Reducing Freight Strategies for your Apparel Business Intelligently

Freight costs are some of the most significant expenses that all apparel brands incur. Accordingly, it makes sense to analyze shipping fees when you're tightening your clothing business budget. Consider the following strategies to reduce your freight costs without compromising the customer service for which you're known.

Negotiate Lower Freight Rates

A conversation with your transport providers is the most obvious place to start trimming your freight costs. If you're shipping a large volume of clothes with just a small number of transport providers, you'll have the greatest leverage.

If your volume isn't large enough to persuade your providers to trim freight fees, consider teaming up with other like-minded fashion brands. You won't need to share sensitive information with these firms to all benefit from lower shipping rates; many businesses benefit from consortium transport rates. What's more, according to Apparel Magazine, some of the most cost-effective consortia feature companies in a single industry, such as the fashion sector. Consider using an independent third party that can gather relevant data, negotiate pricing, and supply shipment tracking software to get the best consortium rates.

Ship During Off-Peak Days

Carriers usually charge a premium for shipping products on particular days. You'll commonly find carriers charging less on Fridays, for example, as products shipped then won't arrive for the weekend. Monday is also usually a low-volume day.

Shipping goods on quiet days, rather than busy peak days, can save your company roughly 10 percent. Your business can easily take advantage of these savings as clothes and accessories aren't perishable. Regular customers may grumble about small delays, but if you pass on a reduction in shipping fees, they'll be easier to swallow.

Explore Alternative Delivery Methods

Air freight is often the go-to delivery method in the time-sensitive fashion industry. The small delays that come with shipping only during off-peak days are insignificant compared to the weeks or even months that customers wait for goods delivered via ocean freight. However, the potential savings of alternative shipping methods make them worth exploring.

According to the World Bank, air freight costs four to five times more than road transport and 12 to 16 times more than sea transport. Offering a base shipping option using road or sea is ideal for businesses selling clothing that isn't time-sensitive, such as retro T-shirts. In some cases, such as when a customer lives near your apparel warehouse, truck delivery can be just as quick as air. Just make sure you let customers know the likely wait for this budget option.

Some items, such as swimwear or sundresses, might be unusable if they don't arrive close to their order time. You can balance price with customer expectations by combining air freight with road transport.

You might like to include an air-only option for impatient customers, but this should be priced accordingly so that it doesn't affect your budget. When faced with the financial realities of fast shipping, many consumers will become more willing to wait.

Don't let freight take a bigger bite from your apparel business's budget than it needs to. With these strategies in place, you can continue to deliver the customer service you're known for without paying those high shipping fees. Contact The Apparel Logistics Group for a free consultation to learn about strategies your apparel business can implement to reduce freight costs.

Posted: 2/2/2017 4:33:50 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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