What is Domestic Shipping? How to Get the Best Rates

What is Domestic Shipping? How to Get the Best Rates

When initially researching how to send your products to customers, you may ask: What is domestic shipping? How much does it cost? In short, domestic shipping involves sending goods or packages within a country’s borders. While domestic shipping varies significantly from international shipping regarding logistics and pricing, it still comes with its fair share of complexities and high costs. 

This blog will define domestic shipping and how to achieve low rates for your business. 

What is domestic shipping? 

Domestic shipping is the transportation of goods from one point to another within the borders of a single country. So, if your business is considering offering shipping services from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States, that would be considered domestic shipping. 

In addition to the 50 states, other U.S. territories include Puerto Rico, Guam (GU), U.S. Virgin Islands (VI), American Samoa (AS), and the Northern Mariana Islands (MP). Each of these territories has a unique political status and relationship with the United States, which can change over time, but as it stands, shipping to these locations would also be considered domestic shipping. 

Domestic vs. international shipping

When wondering: What is domestic shipping? And how it differs from international, the differences are actually quite vast. One involves shipping within a country’s borders, and the other consists of shipping across borders. International shipments come with many factors to consider, like obtaining customs clearance, finding a provider that ships globally, and the corresponding fees and regulations that come with shipping out of U.S. territories. But once you master the art of shipping internationally, the process makes for a profitable return. 

However, if you’re a small business or a business just starting out, domestic deliveries may be the best option for you initially. When shipping domestically, delivery times are significantly faster than shipping overseas, allowing your business to work out any kinks locally before expanding further. Longer travel times open more opportunities for lost packages, delays, and complex customs requirements. Further, if a customer overseas has a problem with an order, there are far more challenges involved, such as language barriers, different time zones, and longer return times. 

Businesses can also establish partnerships with local domestic shipping providers to create concrete shipping processes that will be easy to amplify once your company is ready to expand internationally. That way, when your business is booming and there’s nowhere to go but up, you can work with a provider with experience in global shipping operations to increase your target market and open new doors of opportunity for higher revenue. 

Domestic rates explained 

With inflation at its peak and shipping costs rising, businesses are compelled to find the most cost-effective way to ship packages. Seeking affordable rates to optimize company expenses increases profit margins, helps businesses stay competitive, and offers financial security for the long haul. 

Here are some pricing considerations when shipping domestically. 

  • Package size and weight 
  • Delivery speed 
  • Shipping provider
  • Add-on services
  • Shipping insurance

The courier and shipping provider you choose to work with will determine your domestic shipping costs, as each company offers different pricing models and shipping options based on the package size, weight, delivery speed, and the contents of what’s being sent. Further, fuel surcharges and shipping during peak seasons and holidays can also dramatically impact the final pricing for domestic shipments. Understanding these factors and optimizing shipping strategies can help businesses manage their domestic shipping expenses more effectively. 

How to receive low-cost shipping rates without compromising quality 

Opting for lower shipping costs may result in prolonged transit times, potential damage to goods, and unsatisfactory customer experiences. But with the right strategy, your company can find the best domestic shipping rates without compromising quality. 

Here are our top tips on how to get the best rates when shipping domestically. 

1. Research providers and compare costs 

When choosing a shipping partner, it’s crucial to select a provider that not only offers affordable rates but also has years of shipping experience to safeguard your items. Many shipping providers provide cost-effective solutions and shipping options tailored to businesses’ needs. These encompass diverse shipping and packaging options and delivery speed alternatives. But the key is to find a harmonious balance between affordability, quality, and speed. Start by searching for providers that offer services that perfectly align with what you are looking for. It’s important to never settle on a provider simply based on their rates. Consider their years of experience, track record, and other offerings that could benefit your shipping processes in the long run. 

Creating the best shipping experience possible should be at the forefront of your mind during this process to remember what’s important: returning business. Then, compare rates to determine your best option that will work for the long term. Consider selecting a provider with international shipping options if you choose to expand your services to new global territories later. By selecting the right services, companies can enjoy the advantages of cost savings while maintaining the quality and efficiency of their shipping processes.

2. Reduce package size and optimize packing processes

To ensure you get the best rates possible when shipping domestically, it’s essential to consider your shipment’s weight and dimensions. Major domestic shipping carriers often impose weight restrictions on packages and may levy additional shipping fees for parcels exceeding these limits. Some carriers use dimensional weight to calculate the cost of shipping, which refers to the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. It’s a particular pricing technique used for commercial shipping. Opting for custom boxes tailored to each product, rather than relying on one-size-fits-all solutions, can assist in minimizing dimensional weight costs.

Further, some providers offer flat-rate shipping, a set rate for every package, despite the size differences. So, if you have a product that is very similar in weight and size that you are shipping across the United States, flat-rate shipping can be a great way to save on costs. 

In addition to determining your best package size and weight to reduce costs, it’s also important to look into the packing materials you’re using. While opting for cheaper packaging may seem like a cost-saving measure, it can lead to additional fees if high-value items break during transit, necessitating replacements or returns. Investing in slightly pricier packing materials can yield long-term cost savings. Lightweight materials can fill voids within boxes, ensuring a snug fit that prevents excessive movement during transit. Solutions such as air pillows, custom inserts, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts cater to various packaging needs, providing added protection, especially for more oversized or fragile items.

Once your items are securely packed, implement best practices for quality assessments and proper shipping label checking. Sending parcels to the wrong address can lead to delays and loss of goods, accruing additional unnecessary costs. 

3. Consider various shipping speeds 

Domestic shipping services can take anywhere from 1 to 5 business days, but it greatly depends on the shipping provider, the nature of the goods, and the shipping zones you are sending to. When looking for the best delivery rates for your parcel, there are many options to consider. For example, choosing a longer transit time, like economy or standard shipping, can help save on costs, as the delivery will not need to be rushed. However, customer expectations are high regarding delivery services. Since the rise of Amazon and Prime delivery, customers will turn to popular online marketplaces to find goods rather than pay a premium for express or wait weeks for their delivery. Amazon Prime offers two-day, next-day, or same-day delivery, depending on the items and delivery location. With the competition high, businesses must choose options that meet customer expectations and are fast enough to compete with the popular online marketplaces. 

Businesses can also consider ground transportation over air freight. While ground does take longer, air is significantly more costly, with various restrictions to adhere to that make the process complicated. 

4. Negotiate rates 

If you’re considering shipping domestically, you may feel intimidated by the idea of negotiating rates with a provider. But it’s actually quite common and even recommended by many professionals. Finding a provider that can work with you regarding your shipping needs and budget is important. Many traditional providers like FedEx, UPS, and DHL offer affordable domestic shipping rates with saver or UPS ground options, but the prices are often non-negotiable. Your business has unique needs that require precise expertise to get you the best domestic shipping options at the best price. Upon negotiating, you can then determine which carrier options or delivery options work best for your business. 

Domestic shipping takes time to understand at a whole regional level; however, lowering costs at your initial start creates more financial room for your company to make mistakes and grow over time. 

Ship domestically with ePost Global 

At ePost Global, our shipping company offers comprehensive domestic and international shipping options for eCommerce businesses. Our domestic edge services are designed with specific needs in mind and for businesses:

  • Shipping to or within the U.S.
  • Shipping packages that weigh up to 25lbs
  • Looking for cost-effective solutions 

Our process is simple. Create a label for your packages and schedule a pick up for all your packages for drop off at the closest ePG facility to you. ePost sorts and routes your packages for optimal cost and transit times, with one single tracking number for maximum visibility

What sets our shipping solutions apart from other businesses

When you choose to collaborate with us, you gain access to a comprehensive range of services that strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and reliability. That’s what makes our shipping method so unique. We are committed to helping you discover the most economical ways to ship packages domestically, but we also have years of global knowledge as well. Whether you’re a small business just starting out or a seasoned veteran ready to expand globally, we have experience shipping regionally within the U.S. and internationally to Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and beyond with quality shipping services you can count on. From generating labels for your packages to comprehensive shipment tracking information at every stage, we provide innovative solutions that drive tangible results for your business. Our deep-rooted partnerships with USPS help us create unmatched service levels that our customers have come to expect. 

While it may seem difficult to achieve the best domestic shipping rates, utilizing the above tips can help your eCommerce business get started shipping goods domestically. So, when wondering: What is domestic shipping? ePost Global can answer that and so much more regarding domestic or international shipping services and how to get the best bang for your buck.  
If you’re ready to achieve the best domestic shipping rates, contact us! We’re happy to discuss our domestic edge services.

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