lower parcel costPreviously, we’ve touched on dozens of simple ways to reduce freight costs. No doubt you already know that controlling transportation costs can make the difference between finishing a quarter in the red or in the black. These solutions can be relatively simple, like switching to bubble wrap (75% cheaper than foam spacers). Then there’s solutions that require more complex structural changes to your business, like investing in Third Party Logistics software that makes shopping for the best freight rates easier.

Today, we wanted to touch on one of our previous suggestions that falls somewhere in between simple and complex. We’ve already told you that signing up for professional associations can save you money, but often shippers don’t realize just how much they could be saving. We also want to give some examples of professional associations that provide shipping discounts for members, and show you just how many possibilities there really are. For instance, in addition to your specific industry association, some chambers of commerce can also set your company up with discounts. In most cases, these discounts more than cover the cost of any membership dues.

Professional Associations Can Secure Major Shipping Discounts

What kind of groups can help lower parcel cost, and just how much can you save?

    • The National Business Aviation Association says their members saved more than $35,000 with FedEx alone in just the first quarter of 2011.
    • The Virginia Retail Merchants Association offers members savings of 27% on every package shipped with FedEx Express and at least 70% on LTL shipping.
    • The Canadian Professional Sales Association helps its members lower parcel costs through 35% discounts with both FedEx and UPS, including international shipping.
  • The American Rental Association offers 30% off UPS small package shipping and 70% off LTL shipping.

And that’s just a tiny sampling of the kinds of programs that are available to help lower parcel price. If you aren’t already a member of professional trade groups like these, then remember to look not just for associations in your industry, but also at regional or state organizations.

When you combine these shipping savings with more cost-cutting tips, you can lower parcel cost dramatically. Whether you’re just charging customers more for premium delivery or installing transportation management software, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the extra savings these groups so often provide.