Saving Money on Small Business Courier Fees: 4 Tips

There are many costs associated with running a small business, but one that is sometimes overlooked is that of deliveries and couriering goods. While commerce and ecommerce companies should have a good handle on this expenditure, and even know of some ways to save money while ensuring high quality customer deliveries, there are some tips that can help the inexperienced, businesses that are expanding into item delivery, and other organisations. Even eBay sellers can benefit from some cost saving tips to help reduce packaging and delivery charges.

Courier service
photo credit: TNT Corporate Communications / Flickr

1. Work With your Courier

Different couriers offer different services, so if you need international delivery then ensure that you use a courier like TNT Direct that provides this service. Choosing a single courier that can meet all your needs is not only convenient, but it could also provide you with some cost savings. Economies of scale exist in the courier industry, as well as in other industries, so sending multiple deliveries will usually work out cheaper per delivery than if you were to send each item with different couriers.

2. Cut Down on Unnecessary Packaging

It is important that the items you have delivered arrive in the condition that they left in, and it can be tempting to overdo the packaging to ensure that this is the case. Brown paper, padded envelopes, bubble wrap, polystyrene chips, and additional layers of cardboard are not all necessary even when sending the most fragile of items, and the cost of these can add a surprising amount to your monthly packaging expenditure.

3. Buy Packaging in Bulk

If you do regularly have items delivered to customers, then buy packaging materials in bulk. Buy multiple, large rolls of brown paper, rolls of bubble wrap, and buy boxes, cartons, and envelopes in larger quantities so that they cost less per item than buying them individually would set you back. Don’t overdo it, however, otherwise you will have to find room to store the items where they won’t become damaged, and you may find that you are left with a surfeit of boxes.

4. Consider a Franking Machine

If you send more letters than you do parcels, then you could benefit from buying a franking machine. Effectively, this enables you to precisely weigh the letters that you send, potentially enabling you to save money on standard posting charges. The machine does require some initial outlay, but if you send out large mailshots or large amounts of letters then the franking machine could pay for itself in no time.


As always, you need to try the perfect balance between costs and service quality. You don’t want to end up with a sub-par courier just because you want to save some money.

The best option is to find the most reliable courier that can give you various delivery options and services, because you do need an accurate and dependable courier to best-serve your customers – which in itself can be translated into lower overheads and overall delivery costs. Next, focus your cost saving endeavor on logistic efficiency, such as better warehouse management, more streamlined operations and reduced steps for fulfillment – to name a few.