Chicago, Illinois (NAPSI) - Finding the most efficient and cost-effective way to ship a product can be a big challenge when someone is trying to start or grow a small business.

Fortunately, instead of labeling and shipping packages by hand, many savvy business people have turned to innovative technology that has automated much of the labeling, printing and shipping process.

The shipping specialists at Endicia, a company that develops electronic postage solutions, offer the following advice:

• Find The Right Shipping Mix For Your Business

“While using only one carrier may seem like a simple solution, it may not be the most cost-effective one,” says Dr. Harry Whitehouse, CTO of Endicia, the leader in solutions for eCommerce shipping. “Taking the time to identify the right shipping mix, including the right fit for B2C shipments, could not only save you money, but may also allow you to offer more attractive shipping rates to customers.”

• Check Your Weight

“Weight is one of the most important factors in determining a shipping carrier—it is also one of the most overlooked. Generally speaking, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers the best value for parcels weighing less than 5 pounds. Also, if you sell items that weigh less than 13 ounces, like socks, beauty products or certain office supplies, USPS First-Class Package Service rates could save you several dollars.”

• Evaluate Surcharges

“Unfortunately, base shipping rates can be far from the final rate you’re actually charged with some carriers,” warns Whitehouse. “Additional fees such as residential delivery surcharges, fuel surcharges, rural delivery surcharges and Saturday delivery surcharges can add up quickly and subtract from your bottom line. It is imperative that business owners double-check their invoices to make sure they know how much shipping really costs.”

• Reach More Customers

“While it’s true that shipping internationally and shipping to APO/FPO/DPO addresses require customs forms, it isn’t true that these shipping processes have to be frustrating, time consuming and expensive. Endicia streamlines the operation by automatically identifying and filling out customs forms, allowing businesses to expand their global footprint with ease.”

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