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4 Things Every Company can do to Lower International Freight Costs

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Within the last decade, the emergence of e-commerce and other trends have considerably impacted international shipping and logistics. Now, consumers and businesses from every corner of the globe can partner with and receive merchandise from suppliers.

According to data gathered by Statista, there will be more than 5,500 global cargo containerships supporting ocean shipping by 2020, and there are currently 855 planes in the U.S. air cargo fleet.

Whether shipments travel over the water or through the air, there is one consideration that remains the same: cost. International shipments can be expensive, but thankfully there are a few tactics any business can use to help lessen the financial burden.

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1. Think in terms of space - boost density

One tip from David Martinelli, independent principal at Blossom Growth, is to pay extra attention to space and work to increase storage density. Capitalizing on available vertical space, for example, translates to the better use of container or truck space, reducing costly less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments and increasing full-truckload (FTL) shipments.

Not only will better use of space help reduce costs by boosting efficiency, but this approach can also lessen damage to shipments through the elimination of empty space. In this way, it's important to work with a shipping and logistics partner that is particularly conscious of space and efficiency in their use of resources.

2. Consider all options

Competition among shipping and logistics carriers can be a considerable benefit for organizations that require frequent international shipments. This market competition can translate to reduced costs, particularly by carriers looking to carve out a niche and ensure an edge in the marketplace.

In this way, it's imperative to not only consider the big-name familiar carriers for international shipments but also to look at all the available options, including the modes offered. Taking into account the specific schedule shipments must adhere to, it could be more cost efficient to utilize a smaller carrier that supports ocean shipments, for example.

This approach is best achieved with the help of a best-in-class transportation management system that enables users to easily add carriers and compare their options.

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3. Take advantage of supplier discounts

Growth Engine co-founder Bryan Mattimore noted that some suppliers may be willing to take care of certain costs on their end, depending upon elements like shipment quantities.

"Supplies can sometimes absorb direct logistics costs, but can also be partners in cost reduction," Mattimore said.

It's important that companies and their shipping and logistics partners are able to work together to establish this kind of mutually-beneficial strategy.


4. Streamline the workload with robust TMS capabilities

One of the most essential solutions for reducing international shipping costs is to leverage a best-in-class transportation management system that supports the type of automation and information access that streamlines the overall workflow.

A TMS offers critical features, including the ability to compare available freight rates based on carriers and modes, automated invoice auditing, and capabilities for adding carriers. With added benefits like centralized tracking and integration with other key solutions, a TMS is a crucial resource for today's businesses.

For more information, read out shipping software guide.  

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