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Maximize Inbound Shipping
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Maximize inbound shipping savings

Rising overhead is a constant strain on retailers. Costs for rent, utilities and insurance all continue to climb while competitive pressures prevent merchants from raising their own prices to cover any shortfalls. Shipping costs are no exception in the world of rising costs. With annual rate increases by all carriers, skyrocketing fuel costs, and accessorial charges that may increase 30% or more year over year, it's no wonder why many businesses are looking for ways to significantly reduce shipping expenses. But how?

As a retailer, reducing your inbound shipping costs is one of the easiest, yet most often-overlooked ways to lower your overall shipping expenses. Vendors typically receive volume shipping discounts from carriers — but do your vendors pass along those volume discounts to you? When you control and route your inbound shipments, you have an excellent opportunity to significantly lower your costs. If you allow your vendors to ship your orders and invoice you for shipping & handling charges, your transportation costs are probably higher than they should be. Let's take a look at two simple steps you can take to lower your inbound shipping costs and add profits to your bottom line.

Establish Shipping Discounts
The first key in developing and implementing an inbound shipping program is to establish discounts for your incoming shipments. You can receive discounted shipping rates offered through the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas' endorsed business provider PartnerShip and the MRAA Shipping Program. This MRAA member benefit features shipping discounts with FedEx, one of the nation's premier transportation carriers. There are never any minimum shipping requirements or obligations, and it's free to enroll. Members can enroll online by visiting www.partnership.com/26MRAA or contact PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 to receive a hard copy enrollment form by mail or fax.  

Complete a MRAA Vendor List Form
After you have enrolled in the MRAA Shipping Program, the second, and most important step to begin saving money on inbound shipments is participating in PartnerShip's Inbound Shipping Management Program. Simply click here to complete PartnerShip's MRAA Vendor List Form, and PartnerShip will contact your vendors to arrange for shipping charges to be billed directly to your FedEx account at your discounted rate. This is called routing your orders inbound "Collect". Collect is a billing option which means you are invoiced directly by the carrier at your discounted rate. Collect billing does not mean paying the driver at time of delivery.

Taking control of your inbound shipping costs is one of the easiest, yet most over-looked ways for a business to reduce shipping costs. Please understand that it may take time to set up and perfect this program, but it is definitely worth it as the savings drop straight to your bottom line. As we said before, if you continue to allow vendors to prepay for shipping and add it to your merchandise invoice, you will continue to pay more than you should for incoming product.

PartnerShip LLC administers the MRAA Shipping Program, and offers a free service to implement an inbound savings program for MRAA members. PartnerShip will contact vendors on your behalf. For more information or to enroll in this free member benefit, please visit www.PartnerShip.com/26MRAA or contact PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com.