External transport can be the biggest cost in many small business budgets and with trading times quite tough, these three tips will help you save money with your deliveries.
Timing is crucial when booking your courier service. The delivery window has a biggest impact on the cost of your courier. If you use a same day or express courier you will be paying an increased cost than if you used a pallet network or gave your express courier a bigger delivery window. By giving your same day courier a bigger delivery window you can gain up to a 50% reduction in the cost of delivery. That's right, over the course of a year you can save your business up to 50% of the transportation budget just by giving the courier company more time in which to deliver the goods. A good decision that goes a long way is explaining to your customers why their delivery will take just a little bit longer because it saves them money too.
Multiple deliveries can again save you money on your courier bills. Driver off sick? instead of getting an agency staff in and taking a risk with your vehicle, consider outsourcing it to your local courier company. It becomes cheaper to hire the courier for the day to complete all your deliveries. Common sense is needed here. If you have yet to outsource your transport and your own drivers can only complete 6 or 7 deliveries a day, you will find your courier does roughly the same. There are only so many miles that can be driven in one day, and hours that deliveries can be made in. It's unreasonable to expect your courier company to do double what a normal driver does, but some companies do and wonders why it costs them more. Savings of 25% can be made here.
Loading and unloading information is our third and final tip here. By keeping your customer informed of when to expect delivery and having them ready to unload the courier means you can avoid waiting time. Waiting time can double the cost of some deliveries where the customer is ill prepared to receive their goods. If we are collecting, the same applies. If the companies know when the courier is arriving all waiting time can be avoided. Accurate collection times can save you 20% of your final transportation bill.
Bonus Tip - get the timing off your courier. For the arrival time of your freight or cargo ask your courier what time they will get there. Not the person in the office, but the actual driver in the van who will have all the up to date traffic timing via their satellite navigation system and it's very accurate compared to the timings given by an online routing program.