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eCommerce Shipping 101: Cheapest Ways to Ship in 2022

When it comes to business, it’s essential to save every penny possible. Whether those savings increase your profit, or you pass them along to your consumers, doing so is necessary if you want to create a successful, long-term eCommerce operation. So, how can you lower eCommerce shipping costs and make use of the best deals — without hours of stress and confusion? Today, we’ll discover the cheapest ways to ship in 2022, and discuss some other helpful shipping cost-cutters!  

eCommerce Shipping Factors

The best way to accurately compare and calculate shipping costs is with the help of an all-in-one shipping solution, like our favorite, Shipstation. It makes it easy to find the best rates among major carriers for the most popular shipping factors, like:


  • Delivery Speed
  • Package Size
  • Parcel Weight
  • International Delivery

Delivery Speed

To many customers, speed is the most important variable when deciding to make a purchase. However, it can be difficult to keep track of the various fees associated with numerous possible shipping timeframes. Here are the cheapest shipping rates for some of the most highly-requested delivery intervals:

   

  • Next-Day Morning Shipping: FedEx and UPS are quite competitive when it comes to guaranteed delivery the following morning. The rates don’t vary much between FedEx Priority Overnight and UPS Next Day Air (delivery by noon) or FedEx First Overnight and UPS Next Day Air Early (delivery by 10:00 AM.) 
  • Next-Day Shipping: In regards to expedited shipping, UPS Next Day Air Saver and FedEx Standard Overnight are highly competitive, and the best choices to ensure your package arrives within one day. 
  • 2-Day Shipping: If you require a strict 2-day delivery guarantee, choose either FedEx 2 Day or UPS 2nd Day. USPS does not offer any guaranteed delivery services within two days.  
    • 2- or 3-Day Shipping: If you have a bit of flexibility in the shipping time frame, USPS usually offers the lowest rates for 2- or 3-day shipping, as long as the package weighs less than 7 pounds. For heavier packages, UPS and FedEx are more competitive.

    Package Size

    Not all items shipped require the same size packaging. Naturally, however, the larger the size of the package, the greater the shipping costs. Flat Rate packaging is a great way to control the cost of shipping, but, as you may have already discovered, it doesn’t always provide the lowest rate possible. Here are some other packaging options you can consider to further reduce shipping costs:

    • If possible, First Class Mail envelopes and Flat Rate envelopes offer the lowest shipping for First Class Mail. However, keep in mind that tracking these parcels is not an available option.  
    • For small packages shipping with First Class Mail, Media Mail, Priority Mail Package, or Flat Rate, USPS usually offers the best rates. 
    • Whether your package is small but heavy, or large and light, USPS provides the cheapest shipping rates for cubic and dimensional pricing when compared to the competition. 

    Parcel Weight

    Like package size, the weight of a shipped item plays a large impact on the delivery rate. Aside from cubic and dimensional pricing, here are other weight groups and their most competitive rates:

      • For packages weighing less than 1 pound, USPS First Class Mail or Media Mail is the most cost-effective shipping option, depending on the type of item in question.
      • For packages weighing between 1 and 5 pounds, choose USPS Priority Mail for the most savings on shipping costs. 
  • For packages weighing more than 5 pounds, FedEx Ground and UPS Ground are generally the most affordable options.
  • International Delivery

    The phrase “international delivery” is enough to make some entrepreneurs shudder with fear. However, depending on the required timeframe, there are a few great options for affordable international delivery:

    • Standard Delivery with First Class Mail International is the most affordable option for international shipping as long as the package weighs under 4 pounds. However, shipping may take weeks as there are no delivery time requirements. If your package is heavier than 4 pounds, USPS Priority Mail International tends to be more competitive and offers the best rates.    
    • If you need faster international delivery, USPS Priority Mail Express International and FedEx Economy International Service generally have the best, comparable rates. 
    • For expedited delivery, FedEx International Priority offers slightly better rates than UPS Worldwide Express. 

    Cheaper Ways to Ship in 2022 with ShipStation

    One of the benefits of using a shipping cost calculator is the ability to shop rates from a variety of shipping carriers and choose from the best, negotiated shipping rates. For example, by signing up with ShipStation, users can take advantage of up to 40% off of USPS Priority Mail rates and 18% off of USPS First Class Mail Package rates.


    However, the rate discounts don’t stop there. UPS offers to ShipStation users discounts of up to 50% off of UPS Ground shipments and 65% off of UPS 2nd Day Air and Next Day Air. Plus, on eligible packages, you can save up to 76% off international services, too.


    Hybrid services (such as FedEx SmartPost, UPS Mail Innovations, and UPS SurePost) are another great way to start saving even more money on shipping rates, and they are very easy to use if you already work with FedEx and UPS. Essentially, those services combine efforts with USPS to circumvent residential delivery surcharges, reducing your cost on each package shipped to a mailbox or PO Box. 


    When strategizing how you can cut shipping costs, don’t forget about insurance. While many carriers offer shipping insurance, it can come at a high price. ShipStation works with Shipsurance to offer highly affordable, competitive parcel insurance for cents on the dollar. 

    Ship Smarter & Save More 

    Business owners work diligently in every aspect of commerce to apportion funds properly so that they can make a profit and keep costs low for their buyers. Don’t let precious funds slip through the cracks when it comes to shipping and delivery. By utilizing an all-in-one shipping solution, like ShipStation, you can continue to cut shipping fees and save more money. 


    If you have questions about your eCommerce journey, feel free to reach out to our experts for help