Shipping Costs Are Out of Control! Here’s How to Save BIG

By Sarah
December 19, 2023

There are three fundamental ways of shipping.

  • Air Shipping
  • Sea Shipping
  • Railway Shipping.

Only a minority of shipping, or even if I say local shipping, can occur through trucks and regional transport systems.

Guess what?

80% of the shipping occurs by SEA. It involves container shipment across the countries. And only in 2021 were 1.95 billion METRIC tons of cargo shipped globally. All thanks to the bulk transport through the sea due to lower costs.

But not all the shipping is time. There are hundreds of reasons for the delays.

Want to know how the delays come out, impact the prices, and enable shipment problems to a more considerable extent?

If so, you are on the right blog. Go through the whole guide!

1. Shipping Basics

1) What is Shipping?

Shipping is the process of transporting products from one location to another. Usually, it is the commodity shipped from one place to another.

Have you seen the transportation companies around your area?

Locally, the shipping occurs through the trucks. Regarding international shipping, shipping modes change; shipping can occur through the railways, sea, or air!

2) How to find the best shipping service?

Many tips can work out in this case. There are many features to look for:

  • Shipping method.
  • Experience of the company.
  • Shipping cost.
  • Feedback from previous consumers.
  • Attention to the customer’s shipping.
  • Safety of the shipping.

More or less, these features can make a company stand out. And it is the right time to take it up and check whether the company has it. Every reliable online or offline service will have these features on the top!

3) How do shipping rates rise?

Have you experienced an increase in shipping rates? Not a single reason affects it.

Before explaining the reasons, let me tell you the formula:

If demand increases and supply reduces, prices pump up! The opposite can occur in reducing demands and rising supply.

Apply this based on the container. If there are fewer containers available, that means more demand. And supply has reduced.

So, the overall prices increase. One more thing to keep in mind is the service you are using. If you work with a relatively new shipping service, expect a lower rate. On the other hand, shipping giants like USPS and FedEx have high costs for the exact shipping method and distance.

4) What are shipping options available?

Before I answer this question, I want to know about shipping. Where do you want to ship?

Is it local shipping? If you are shipping from one city to another, the process is simple, and shipping occurs!

  • Air shipping might occur if the distance between two cities is long.
  • Trucks are the most common way due to reduced costs compared to air shipping.
  • Railway cargo can go for you. It is often good when you need to ship a bulk quantity of products.


For International shipping, you often need bulk human shipping. Even if you do not need bulk shipping, the shipping methods are still changed. These can be:

  • Air Shipping. It is the most popular method for weighing up to 100 kg at a high speed.
  • Sea Shipping. The shipping speed is slow, but the charges are meager. It is suitable for weights up to 500kg.
  • Railway Shipping. It occurs for cargo shipments with a moderate shipping speed and lower costs.

2. How do you find the right shipping provider?

Do you want to find a shipping provider? Think for a moment! When searching, you might land the wrong company. How will you cope with this situation?

If you are worried, relax! I have listed the tips and tricks with the various methods to filter out the best companies available.

1) Explore Online Resources

Do you know the most effortless method for finding any service? What else can it be other than the online websites offering the best experience? Go on. Find them. And get the desired solutions!

For example, if you want a shipping service in your area.

  • Open Google.
  • Write “Best Shipping Service near me.”
  • Or you can try “Top 10 Shipping Companies in China.”

Many blogs and companies will pop out on the screen.

One more thing… Google spices up your research with the reviews. You can check the highest-rated companies.

But be careful. Don’t fall into the trap!

Reviews can be fake. And on the blog, some companies sponsor them. So, it can be a big problem for you to find the right company.

Going one step extra can save you from anticipated troubles. Always talk to the companies. Confirm their experiences. Then, work with them once you know they have a positive work history with years of experience.

Don’t just believe in the online resources!

2) Know the shipping service popularity

Is your shipping service top-rated? There are many companies famous for their reliable shipping service. But a spoiler here!

Some companies are good at local shipment. And if you hire them for international shipments, big troubles will eat you up.


So, confirm the reason for popularity. Know the company has the best staff and is ready to work.

Again, here, you have to check the positive feedback of the consumers. Background of the company. And years of experience. Keeping track of every popular reason can give you better confidence and safety in shipping.

3) Check the rates

Let’s be honest about the rates.

How much budget do you have? Maybe your pockets are filled with dollars, but that’s not the case with every retailer who wants to make money. Retailers have to save on the products and shipping costs.

In that case, know the shipping rates. Get a quote for:

  • Express shipping rates and time.
  • Standard air shipping rates.
  • Sea shipping rates.
  • Railway shipping rates if the company offers this service!

Once you know the overall prices, get quotes from multiple companies.

Compare them and settle on the best prices— GOOD FOR HIGHER PROFITS and better business cash flow!

4) Understand the working mechanism

How does your company work? Is it easy to operate? Some companies are very strict about the shipping and can’t compromise on the dates.

For example, they have to ship the container next Tuesday, but if you ask them to send it by next Thursday, they won’t. And it will cause frustration for you!

So, what to do?

Extremely simple! Change the company. Or find a company that has flexibility not only in the pricing structure but also the shipping times and duration.

And it is possible by getting the shipping freight prices and times!

5) Ensure the safety

Damaged products are not always the most outstanding choice. Who wants to wait for a product that arrives damaged at the end? No use!

Therefore, safety is essential. Some companies offer protection through strong packaging and better protection in transit.

But alas! Some Companies are not very careful. Either you should get the insurance for the freight or find a company that offers an excellent shipping experience with the best packaging and guaranteed one-piece delivery!

How will you do that? Do research. Talk to various shipping services. And get the warranty for safe shipping!

3. Five Reasons Why Shipping Is So Expensive

Shipping is not very expensive, to be honest. But sometimes, situations are not very good, and shipping costs fly out the door.

So, what are the reasons behind increased shipping freight prices per the freight market update?

Take a look at the five main reasons!

1) Peak Season.

Every industry has a peak season. For example, warm clothes are trendy only in the winter season. Rarely does someone purchase them in the summer season.

The same is true for the shipping services. Shipping has a peak season starting from mid-August and goes until Thanksgiving.

If you plan to ship during that period, first of all, there will not be enough service providers. Second, the ocean freight rates chart will be touching the sky! Third, you might come up with shipping delays and other such issues!

Increasing demands raises the cost, so you can understand why the prices are high!

2) Shipping Service is busy.

If you are working with FedEx, and their staff is on vacation. What do you expect? They might not offer you the services. If fewer workers are working, then they might provide you with the services but at a higher cost.

Sometimes, a company has a lot of products to ship. They are so busy giving priority only to the shippers who offer them the highest costs!

In that case, you can face higher prices. If emergency shipping, you have to pay for that too!

3) Increased demands for commodities.

Peak season is around. And shippers are in large numbers. Ports are busy. Shipping services are carrying around the products.

What can you expect from such an increased demand for commodities leading to hikes in shipping rates?

Commodities such as iron, aluminum, and other raw materials are always in high demand. It is because they run the factories and come to play a significant role in the economy. So, no compromise on them.

Foreign companies often go for bulk products and need commodities faster. They are willing to pay higher, too. But small business shippers get stuck in this circle, emptying their pockets to pay the shipping fees!

4) Suez Canal event

This event happened in 2021. The Suez Canal is the main route for shipping, and a container got into an accident, leading to the block of the other container shipping.

It rocketed the overall shipping costs, and shippers had to pay extra.

It is not the first event. We all know about the COVID-19. Everything got blocked, even the shipping facilities. Since there are fewer shipping services out there, demand increased while supply decreased.

In such global problems, shipping freight prices shoot up! Keep note of such things as well.

5) Shipping container shortage

Shipping container shortage is one scenario, and shipping port congestion is another.

In 2019, due to COVID-19, a shipping container shortage occurred. Do you know why? Because China sent most of its containers to the USA and Europe. Suddenly, COVID-19 emerged in the form of a pandemic.

It led to traffic stoppages and container shortages. Since demand is high, but container supply is not enough, the result you already know is rising prices!

One more thing: If many shipping containers come at once at a port, there is not enough space to empty them. So, it can increase docking rates, impacting overall shipping freight prices.

4. Eight Causes of Delay in Shipping

Ship delayed? It is a common scenario because of various reasons. Do you know all those reasons? If not, no problem. Check them out!

1) Inaccurate or missing documents

One of the significant reasons behind the mystery of delayed shipping is the incorrect documentation. Shipping does not occur just with the products. Instead, you have to prove where you are from when shipping occurs, where it is going, and documents showing the ownership.

Many certificates are essential to show the safety of the products. Plus, you are not shipping the prohibited items.

Every single product goes through the monitoring. And you have to submit the relevant documents. Having fake documents or missing any single document can leave you behind. Cause the shipping delays. And customs might ask you for a resubmission!

Always be prepared with the freight market update. And follow all the necessary rules.

2) Peak season

Peak season is a classic example of high demand and low supply. Mid-August to December and sometimes January, peak season is going on. Shipping companies have a lot of shipments to ship. And therefore skyrocketed the costs.

Not only are prices high, but fewer containers are available with the port congestion.

If there are no ports available, where will your container dock? You have to wait for an indefinite period.

Therefore, shipping delays are typical these days!

3) Not enough workers or Equipment

The Wall Street Journal has published some data showing how long it takes to get the container out of the ship! According to it, it takes 3000 workers working day and night to unload a 20,000-container-containing vessel.

It takes a lot of resources and time.

Sometimes, shipping services do not have enough workers. They do not have enough tools to do that.

Shipment unloading takes time. For this reason, you can hire shipping services with the best tools and guarantee faster shipping.

4) Global Crisis

Many global events are big problems. The simplest examples are:

  • Suez Canal block
  • COVID-19
  • Russia-Ukraine War.

The first impact of such things is on the shipping services. And you can expect longer transit times due to a block in international shipping.


There is no solution until the countries open their ports and import and export products.

5) Increased Online shopping

Nowadays, shopping pattern has increased. A US buyer, while sitting in the US, prefers to buy from Aliexpress, and shipping occurs from China.

If such a buyer purchases the same products from the local store, shipping is unnecessary. Since buyers from all over the world are doing so, it causes many shipments.

Again, the increased demands lead to a big problem in shipping and port congestion. Therefore, shipping takes more time than usual!

6) Port Congestion

Port congestion can occur due to local port issues, or sometimes, multiple ships come at once. It causes an increase in the number of containers unloading.

That is when containers have to wait. And a longer wait can delay the delivery of the products to the owners.


Sometimes, the port is unavailable due to some governmental issues. You need to confirm to ensure your shipping is delayed, not lost!

7) Truck problems

International shipping has two parts. One is the cross-border shipping from one country to another. The second is the shipping to the customer.

Local shipping often occurs through trucks due to a lack of trucks, staff, or tools and truck problems.

Trucking issues are also a significant cause for the delayed shipping to the doorstep. Therefore, you should work with a company that has good reliability and excellent facilities without causing any delay in shipments.

8) Worst Weather

Weather is always notorious for every single delay, not only in the flight delays but also in the ocean shipments. Plus, the local delivery through the trucks can also be impacted by the rain or storms and hails.

When there are bad weather conditions, consider it as a top reason for delayed shipping in case of the absence of any other significant event.

Whether local or International delivery, both get delayed, and there is no solution to cope with such a reason for delays. You can wait for your products’ arrival!

5. How do you save shipping costs and avoid delays?

Saving costs is crucial not only for the business but also for the familiar buyers who want to save some bucks. Not only should you keep the price of the products but also shipping.

Here are some tips to follow when shipping.

1) Choose the correct shipping option.

Choosing the correct shipping option is crucial.

Suppose you have to ship 500 kg weights of the products from China. And you need it in the next two months. Since the weight is relatively high, rapidly increasing the overall costs, plus you do not need it faster, you should prefer ocean shipping. The wrong choice of air shipping can be a significant financial loss.

Therefore, always check the rates and shipping time. And choose the suitable shipping option.

Here is how you define the suitable shipping method:

  • Check the shipping weight; for example, 100 kg is suitable for air shipping.
  • Knowing the shipping duration, fast shipping often occurs by air.

It can help better determine the cost!

2) Shipping during non-peak seasons.

Prices jump up to 100% or more in the peak season. It is like supply and demand. If the containers are not available during the peak season, how will you even ship them? If fewer containers are there but demand is high, shipping services will surely raise the costs to reduce the needs.

That will put a financial burden on you. Moreover, if you do not ship, you’ll have to face shipping delays because of later shipments.


A plan before shipping is the HIT OF THE TIME.

Shipping during off-peak season has many benefits:

  • Reduced costs.
  • Timely shipping.
  • Better control over inventory.
  • Right and convenient division of the products.

You’ll save time and money! Do it!

3) Know of any upcoming events.

Is there any event around? China New Year’s holiday or dragon boat festival?

If any event is around, red flag! Stop. Don’t ship. There are many problems like:

  • Shipping staff will not be available.
  • Fewer shipping staff would demand higher costs.
  • Shipping delays occur because of frozen transport across the country.

So, when should you ship then?

It is better to record upcoming events or holidays and then plan. Shipping before or after the event will never cause delays!

4) Work with trusted services

Shipping companies matter a lot when it comes to both pricing and shipping speed.

Some shipping services are relatively new. They offer a lower cost than the marker rates but ship late, causing a big problem. Plus, their handling capacity is not good either.

It is better to plan than to cry later.

Find the top shipping services around the country. If you are trying ocean shipping, look for the companies that ship from a seaport near your country. You’ll get lower costs of shipping and better

5) Transport before any Holiday.

Sometimes, there is no holiday around the country, but the workers are on holiday. In that case, you need to look at the chart of the vacations of the shipping staff. If you are planning your shipment around their vacation days, that is not a good idea!

You’ll not only face the price rises but also the shipping delays. The best practice is to know the vacation days and avoid shipping on these days.

6. FAQs

1) How do you calculate the shipping fee?

Shipping fee does not rely on one factor. For instance, if you use express services from different companies, both will have different rules and charges. Apart from that, there are various factors like:

  • Shipment service
  • Shipping Location
  • Shipping method
  • Shipping time

All these factors can variably affect the shipping fees and may often cause ups and downs.

2) Why is Amazon shipping so slow?

Amazon shipping is not slow; it is just the factors that might cause ship delays. These factors include:

  • Many orders are available on Amazon to ship.
  • The event is around generating heavy traffic.
  • Less availability of the shipping staff due to holiday.

These are going to be big trouble for the slow shipping.

3) Why is International shipping so expensive?

Local shipping is very smooth. Companies have to ship products by truck and local vehicles. No customs process. No other fuss. All of this leads to lower overhead costs and lower rates.

In International shipping, there are hundreds of costs.

  • Distance is long.
  • Fuel cost is cost.
  • Air shipping costs more.
  • Import taxes are applicable.
  • VAT applies sometimes.
  • Customs fees.

All these costs collectively empty your pocket, causing the expensive shipping.

4) How do you work with a trusted shipping partner?

First of all, you need to find a trusted shipping partner. Always look for the best shipping companies around. If USPS or UPS work in your area, that is amazing. Otherwise, take a look around. Know the most popular companies. Get their quotes. And ship only if you are 100% satisfied with their shipping history.


Whenever you are shipping, keep one thing in mind:

Is your chosen shipping method suitable for your shipping process?

Suppose that is a significant green signal! Otherwise, take a look at your pocket. Choose the shipping options accordingly. Plus, keep an eye on the upcoming events. If any event is around, don’t ship. And ship during off-peak seasons.

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