Blog Posts How to Control Holiday Shipping Costs


  • Free shipping is a top priority for holiday shoppers this year.
  • Retailers and ecommerce companies should explore options for reducing parcel costs.
  • With continued surcharges and increases likely, it’s important to find a balance between cost and service.

Nearly all online shoppers (91 percent) plan to take advantage of free shipping for their holiday purchases this year, the National Retail Federation reports. Those plans are putting enormous pressure on retailers and ecommerce companies – particularly in light of the hefty seasonal surcharges that major parcel carriers are imposing.

What can companies do to control their shipping costs? In an article for Multichannel Merchant, Saddle Creek’s Senior Transportation Manager Jennifer Doles offers parcel shipping tips for the holiday season and beyond.

Following is an excerpt…

Help Mitigate the Impact of Seasonal Surcharges

Explore Your Options

Look for the lowest-cost option to meet your transit commitment. Rate-shopping solutions can help you to compare transportation costs for a variety of carriers and service levels. You may be able to reduce costs or – if you are already using the most cost-effective option – reduce days in transit.

Determine Your Strategy

Firm up your parcel strategy for the holiday season as soon as possible to allow time for any necessary adjustments. For example, if free or low-cost shipments are a priority, it may make sense to utilize more cost-effective ground service instead of air. If you plan to guarantee two-day delivery, you may want to consider a higher threshold for free shipping. The goal is to find the right balance between cost and service.

Looking ahead to 2021, there is considerable buzz about the possibility for continued surcharges and rate increases. Continue to monitor the situation and keep potential increases in mind when budgeting for the new year. It is also a good idea to start thinking about longer-term options such as optimizing your distribution network, fine-tuning carrier management and utilizing zone-skipping and postal work-share options.

For more tips, read the full article on Multichannel Merchant.

Related to: Controlling Costs, Parcel Shipping