How to Reduce Air Express Costs

Want to reduce air express costs? You can!

It’s been said that “time is money”, but when it comes to air express shipments, time “costs money”. Plenty of it. While each shipment may cost only a few dollars, it really adds up when you look at company-wide expenditures for air express services. In fact, many companies spend millions of dollars on air express services each year. One of the big drains? Priority Overnight and Next Day Air services.

Here’s the problem. Many users of these services select premium service options as their default. They automatically select the fastest (and highest cost) services available, even if their packages aren’t all that urgent. What can you do?
There are some easy-to-implement things you can do to bring air express costs back down to earth. According to John Harold, president of the San Francisco-based logistics management firm Business Logistics, employee awareness and education is the key: “Many employees nowadays simply ‘default’ to using priority overnight whenever they feel that a sense of urgency is involved”, Harold says. “What they often don’t know is that express packages may not be needed or even opened by the recipient the following morning — afternoon delivery, for example, or even second day service can often meet the recipients’ needs just fine.”

Words to live by: “Ask and Act”

When it comes to air express service, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a fast way to higher cost. That’s why we recommend that companies teach employees to ask package recipients when they plan to act on the materials being sent to them. Let the recipient determine the service level for the package based on his or her ability to actually open the package, read or review the materials, and initiate action of some type as a result. “Once employees get used to asking when the recipient will act, then choosing the shipping method that is the most cost effective, you’ll start seeing air express costs go down. Senior managers must stand behind the concept so that everyone is comfortable ‘asking the question’ whenever a package is to be sent by air express”.

“While air express services are here to stay, there are lower cost, reliable alternatives such as ground courier, intra-company ‘pouching’, priority USPS mail, and Email”, says Harold. “We customize express service programs to meet client needs in the most economical way.”

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