Small Business Shipping Strategy

23rd January 2024

Navigating the world of shipping can be a daunting task for small business owners. With a multitude of options, costs, and regulations to consider, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. This guide aims to simplify the process and provide you with the essential information you need to organise and optimise your small business shipping

Understanding Your Shipping Needs

Before diving into the sea of shipping options, it's crucial to understand your business's specific needs. A thorough assessment of your shipping requirements will not only streamline your logistics but also optimise costs and enhance customer satisfaction. Consider the following aspects:

Product Size and Weight: Determine the average size and weight of your products. This will impact your choice of carrier and shipping costs. It can also help you find packaging solutions that protect your goods while minimising expenses.

Shipping Volume: Estimate how many packages you'll be sending out daily or weekly. With InXpress, high-volume shippers are often eligible for bulk discounts and special rates from carriers.

Destination: Are you shipping locally, nationally, or internationally? Different carriers may offer more competitive rates or faster delivery times based on the destination. Additionally, international shipping may involve customs, duties, and additional paperwork.

Delivery Timeframes: Assess the expected delivery timeframes that your customers desire. Are they looking for expedited shipping, standard delivery, or are they more flexible? Aligning your shipping options with customer expectations can enhance satisfaction and loyalty.

Budget and Cost Management: Establish a clear budget for your shipping needs. Being mindful of your budget while exploring options can help you strike a balance between cost and service quality.

Customer Preferences: Pay attention to your customers' preferences regarding tracking, delivery speed, and eco-friendly packaging. Tailoring your shipping strategy to meet these preferences can give you a competitive edge.

Exploring Business Shipping Carriers

There are several shipping carriers to choose from, each with its own set of services and pricing structures. Utilising online shipping platforms like webship+  can help compare quotes and services, and make informed decisions. Some popular options include:

DHL: A go-to for international shipping, DHL specialises in fast and reliable global delivery services. They offer express parcel delivery, freight shipping, and supply chain solutions.

FedEx: Known for its reliable and timely deliveries, FedEx offers a range of services including overnight shipping, freight, and international shipping.

UPS: UPS caters to businesses of all sizes and offers a variety of services tailored to small businesses. With options for ground, air, and international shipping, UPS also provides solutions like scheduled pickups and return services.

Whistl: Known for its cost-effective and efficient shipping solutions, Whistl offers a range of services including parcel delivery, mail sorting, and international shipping.

TNT: Known for its wide range of domestic and international shipping services, TNT offers express delivery, freight services, and specialised shipping solutions.

Packaging and Presentation

The way you package your products not only affects shipping costs but also your brand's image. Thoughtful packaging can make a significant difference in how your customers perceive and interact with your brand.

Eco-friendly Packaging: Sustainable options can appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. Using recycled or biodegradable materials not only reduces your environmental footprint but can also position your brand as socially responsible.

Branding: Customised packaging can enhance the unboxing experience and boost brand recognition. Incorporating your logo, brand colours, and personalised touches can turn a simple package into a memorable experience for your customers.

Packaging Materials: Packaging materials, in addition to adding weight, may impact shipping costs as well. While cutting down on packaging can reduce weight charges, it's important to ensure that your products are still adequately protected to prevent transit damage, especially if you're shipping fragile products.

Managing Returns

Shipping is just one aspect of the logistics puzzle; managing returns is another significant challenge that businesses must navigate adeptly, as customers may choose to return packages for a variety of reasons, such as damages to the product or simply a change of mind. This aspect of logistics, known as reverse logistics, requires careful consideration and planning.

It's essential to scrutinise the fine print of the shipping services you choose to understand how they handle returns, if at all. Having a clear, transparent, and convenient returns policy can not only save you from potential hassles but also enhance customer loyalty. When customers know that they can return products easily and that they're in good hands, they are more likely to make repeat purchases.

Considering Shipping Software

For businesses that frequently dispatch products, consider leveraging the power of shipping platforms such as webship+ - our comprehensive shipping management solution. Webship+ seamlessly integrates with a variety of well-known sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, in addition to your own website!

With webship+, you have the flexibility to choose from multiple courier services, automate shipping across diverse marketplaces, and directly import all product details from your e-commerce channels, eliminating the need for manual entry. Once you book a delivery, your items are automatically marked as 'dispatched'. Plus, you can efficiently manage multiple channels simultaneously, ensuring all your orders are handled in one place.


Navigating the complexities of shipping can be both costly and challenging, yet grasping its fundamental aspects can prove advantageous for small enterprises. Doing so enables you to assess and select the most suitable shipping services tailored to your business requirements. As your order volume increases and your shipping needs expand, having a dependable business partner is crucial for sustained growth. At InXpress, we are committed to assisting you at every stage of the business shipping process, offering competitive rates and exceptional service. Connect with our team today to explore how we can support your business.