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5 Best Shipping Options For Small Businesses

Published in eCommerce Fulfillment

One of the challenges small businesses tend to face is managing shipping orders. Slow deliveries can put a dent in customer relationships. Fast deliveries, on the other hand, can be a means to retaining customer loyalty. So what are the best shipping options for a small business?

There’s no shortage of small business shipping solutions out there. However, choosing the best shipping option that serves your customers’ needs and fits within your business’s budget is easier said than done. Let’s go over the top 5 best shipping options for small businesses and important factors to take into account as you look for the best provider.

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The Need for Small Businesses Shipping Solutions

Due to the large sales seen with eCommerce, it’s not surprising that more and more businesses are going online. It’s estimated that by 2027, 23% of retail purchases are expected to take place online. In short, small businesses would be wise to jump into this ever-increasing and expanding market.

However, building an online presence and reaching customers across different regions presents logistical challenges, especially when it comes to shipping and delivery. Small businesses need to carefully evaluate their shipping options and strategies to ensure a seamless experience for their customers while keeping costs in check.

Small Business Shipping Services: 10 Considerations

Here are the top 10 considerations for small businesses when choosing the best shipping provider.

1. Service Reliability

A shipping carrier’s service reliability is crucial for small businesses to maintain customer satisfaction and avoid costly delays or losses. Look for carriers with a proven track record of on-time deliveries, minimal lost or damaged shipments, and consistent transit times. Check customer reviews, industry ratings, and performance metrics to assess a carrier’s reliability.

2. Shipping Rates

Cost is a significant factor for small businesses with limited budgets. Compare shipping rates across different carriers to find the most cost-effective option for your business’s shipping needs. Consider factors such as weight, dimensions, distance, and delivery speed when evaluating rates. Some carriers may offer discounted rates or flat-rate pricing for small businesses. Ideally, you’ll only want to work with shipping carriers that provide transparent pricing without hidden fees or surcharges.

3. Service Coverage

Ensure that the carrier you choose offers shipping services to the destinations where your customers are located. If you have a local or regional customer base, a national carrier or postal service should work well. However, if you have customers across the country or internationally, look for carriers with a vast service network and the ability to ship to remote or hard-to-reach areas.

4. Tracking Capabilities

Consumers today expect transparency and real-time updates on their shipments. Choose a provider that offers comprehensive tracking capabilities, including real-time tracking and delivery confirmation for your shipments. This not only helps build customer trust but also enables you to monitor and manage your shipping operations more effectively.

5. Customer Support

Evaluate the quality of customer service and support provided by each carrier. Look for carriers that offer multiple channels for customer support, such as phone, email, and online chat, and have knowledgeable representatives available to assist you with inquiries, issues, or claims. Responsive and helpful customer support can be invaluable for small businesses, particularly when dealing with time-sensitive shipments or resolving any problems that may arise.

6. Packaging Options

Consider carriers that offer a range of packaging materials and solutions to ensure your products are shipped safely and securely. Look for carriers that provide sturdy boxes, padded envelopes, and protective packaging materials to minimize the risk of damage during transit. Some carriers may also offer specialized packaging solutions for fragile or temperature-sensitive items.

Print Bind Ship, for example, allows you to customize your product and shipment packaging. We can custom print vinyl record mailers, poly mailers, boxes, envelopes, and more – according to your business’s brand.

7. Insurance Options

Shipping valuable or fragile items always carries a risk of loss or damage during transit. Look for carriers that provide insurance options to protect your shipments against such incidents. Consider the level of coverage, deductibles, and the claims process when evaluating insurance options from different carriers.

8. Integration with Existing Systems

Streamlining your shipping processes can help save time and reduce errors. Choose a shipping provider that integrates seamlessly with your e-commerce platform or inventory management system for the utmost efficiency. Such integrations allow you to automatically import order and shipping information, generate labels, and track shipments without manually entering data in multiple systems. Look for carriers that offer APIs, plugins, or dedicated software that can seamlessly connect with your existing business systems and allow you to track data in real-time.

9. Environmental Sustainability

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, choosing a carrier with a commitment to sustainable practices and eco-friendly shipping options can offer a competitive advantage. Check to see if carriers offer initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, such as using alternative fuel vehicles, optimizing routes for efficiency, or offering carbon-neutral shipping options. You can consider carriers that prioritize recycled or sustainable packaging materials.

10. Add-On Services

Assess if the carrier offers any additional services that could benefit your business, such as returns management, product packaging printing, fulfillment, and more. Returns management can be a time-consuming process, and having a carrier that handles reverse logistics can greatly simplify the process for your customers. Plus, opting for multiple services with the same carrier may even allow you to bundle costs.

5 Best Shipping Options for Small Businesses

Although there are many different shipping options to choose from it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to choose the best fit for your customers and your budget. So, to make things easier, we’re reviewing the best shipping services for small businesses.

1. Print Bind Ship

Print Bind Ship is a leading printing, shipping, and fulfillment company with over 60 years of experience. We boast hundreds of success stories working with businesses of all sizes to print unique products and get them into the hands of customers. We’re one of the best shipping options for small businesses looking to bundle costs.

Small businesses can opt for an all-in-one solution for fulfillment, printing, custom packaging, shipping, customer returns, and more. We offer solutions to store, organize, and pack products as well as track shipments across both domestic and international markets. Our shipping experts are some of the most experienced in the industry and we’ll happily work with you to develop a customized, tailored small business shipping solution according to your needs.

Get in touch for a free quote!

2. USPS (United States Postal Service)

USPS offers a number of small business shipping solutions. This company handles both global and local shipping orders. They have free APIs that allow small businesses to add shipping tools to their e-commerce websites. Plus, USPS is one of the least costly shipping options for small businesses. For bulk orders, they offer considerable discounts and loyalty credits, which can help you save costs.

USPS, however, doesn’t handle heavy orders. If you deal mainly in light-weight orders, then this is the best shipping option for you; if your package or product is usually less than 2 pounds, you should use USPS. Moreover, USPS offers a flat rate price for priority mail services. Plus, USPS is the only shipping option that provides shipping services for mail and post office boxes.


  • Quick delivery time, USPS transition takes only 2-9 days (for local shipping) and offers international shipping.
  • Free package pick-up.
  • Flat rate boxes for priority mail.


  • USPS cannot handle heavy orders
  • Delivery on weekends requires additional costs
  • Poor customer service
  • Limited tracking system

3. UPS (United Parcel Service)

UPS is one of the best shipping options for small businesses. Compared to USPS, UPS is faster and more secure in delivery services. Most small business owners use this provider because of its reliable tracking system and speed of deliveries. If you need a shipping option that has a strong tracking system, UPS is likely the best pick.

Furthermore, UPS offers a broader range of shipping options for small businesses. From international shipping to express and freight shipment, among others.


  • A good option for items larger than 2 pounds
  • Great tracking system.
  • Offers value-added services to enhance shipping services like UPS returns, Direct delivery, etc.
  • Express shipping option
  • Discounted rates for members


  • Usually expensive due to surcharges and shipping fees
  • Weekend deliveries cost extra
  • No free package pickup offers
  • Rates are based on weight, size, and location

4. FedEx

While there are not many differences between UPS and FedEx, this shipping option still offers some unique small business shipping solutions. FedEx ships both locally and internationally. They also have lots of value-added services including insurance policies and free weekend deliveries. For faster deliveries, large shipments, and precise tracking, FedEx is one of the best shipping options for small businesses.


  • Weekend delivery available
  • Discounts for bulk orders
  • Accurate tracking system
  • Reward programs for consistent customers
  • FedEx SmartPost delivers to P.O. boxes


  • Usually expensive due to surcharges and fees
  • Doesn’t offer free package pickup services
  • Limited office locations
  • Peak surcharges and fees

5. DHL

DHL is an excellent shipping carrier for small businesses, especially those looking to expand their reach globally. With their comprehensive range of international express delivery and freight forwarding services, DHL offers convenient solutions for shipping goods across borders via air, sea, road, and rail.

DHL takes the hassle out of navigating complex customs procedures by handling all the necessary documentation and clearance processes on behalf of their clients. This invaluable support allows small businesses to focus on their core operations while DHL takes care of the intricate logistics required for international shipping.


  • Extensive international network for shipping globally
  • Wide range of flexible shipping options
  • Comprehensive tracking and visibility tools


  • Shipping services can be more expensive compared to other carriers, particularly for domestic shipments
  • Domestic range may be more limited

Other Shipping Options For Small Businesses

Aside from working with a shipping carrier, there are other shipping solutions for small businesses out there that may be worth considering – especially if you’re looking for certain add-ons or have a particular business model.


Aside from working with a shipping service for your small business, some entrepreneurs will also opt to work with a 3PL. Working with 3PL, can help ensure hitch-free order fulfillment and shipping for small businesses. 3PLs also provide many benefits for small business owners trying to stand firm against their larger competitors. Some of the benefits of opting to work with a 3PL for small business shipping solutions include:

Cost savings: Small businesses can leverage the economies of scale and negotiated rates of a 3PL to reduce shipping costs and gain access to competitive rates.

Operational efficiency: 3PLs can streamline logistics operations, handle complex shipping requirements, and provide expertise in areas such as inventory management and order fulfillment.

Scalability: As a small business grows, a 3PL can provide scalable shipping and logistics solutions to accommodate increasing volume and expanding geographical reach.


Dropshipping can be another attractive alternative to traditional small business shipping options. Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a business transfers customer orders and shipment details to a third-party supplier, who then ships the products directly to the customer.

Dropshipping eliminates the need for a business to maintain inventory or a physical storage space, reducing overhead costs and allowing for a leaner operation. Dropshipping essentially shifts the responsibility of shipping and handling to the supplier, freeing up time and resources for the small business to focus on marketing and customer service. Businesses that take on a dropshipping model can also easily add or remove products from their online catalogs without worrying about inventory management.

How Can I Find the Best Shipping Rates For My Small Business?

To find the best shipping rates for a small business, make sure to compare rates or quotes across as many carriers as possible. Print Bind Ship, USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL are a good place to start. It may also be worthwhile to consider regional options. Ultimately, you want to get as much of a comprehensive understanding of the pricing landscape as possible.

Secondly, check if any carriers offer discounted rates or pricing programs specifically for small businesses. Remember that you can always negotiate with carriers directly, and some may be willing to offer better rates for higher shipping volumes or long-term commitments.

Best Shipping for Small Business: Print Bind Ship

Choosing the right shipping solution is crucial for small businesses to ensure efficient operations, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. While different carriers offer unique advantages, the ideal choice ultimately depends on your specific business needs, shipping volumes, and geographic reach.

Start by carefully evaluating factors such as pricing, service reliability, tracking capabilities, and value-added services, to ensure you select the carrier that aligns seamlessly with your requirements. Looking for extra guidance along the way? You’ll want to reach out to the small business shipping experts at Print Bind Ship.

Print Bind Ship is one of the leading shipping and fulfillment companies in North America. We can customize shipping solutions based on your business’s supply chains, customer demographics, and more. We’re also a leading printing company that can help you create custom products, merchandise, and even product packaging.

Looking to bundle add-ons? We’ve got you covered. We offer fulfillment, seamless integration with your eCommerce storefront, returns management, and so much more. Get in touch for a free quote for your shipping needs!


What is the best shipping method for small items?

For shipping small items, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is often considered the best shipping method. However, as a small business, it may be worthwhile to negotiate with a carrier directly rather than pay for one-off item shipping every time you make a sale.

How can I save money on shipping for my small business?

Look for carriers with discounted rates for small businesses, consider negotiating for better rates based on volume, utilize flat-rate or regional shipping options where applicable, and compare rates across different shipping providers.

How can I improve my shipping process and operations as a small business?

Streamline by integrating your shipping software directly with your ecommerce platform and inventory management systems. Utilize technology for automated label printing, rate comparisons, package tracking. Consider outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL provider if volumes justify it. Review packaging materials and size optimization to reduce costs. Establish clear shipping policies to set customer expectations.

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