Shipping Solutions for the Bicycle , E-Bike, and E-Scooter Industry!
Riding Bikes is one of my favorite hobbies from railing sweet single track on my mountain bike, to riding out for tacos and beers on my surly, to cruising my kids around on our e-cargo bike. Biking is one of our favorite ways to get around. This is a large reason we have historically put some much time and energy into trying to craft great affordable, automated, and better managed logistical options for one of our favorite industries. So read on and look over our latest and greatest ideas to further economize and automate or simply better manage your companies bike shipping, e-bike shipping, cargo bike shipping, or e-scooter shipping needs.
How to get better UPS, FedEx, ground and parcel shipping rates for bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters
For many bike and e-bike companies UPS and FedEx ground is the primary shipping channels used. However there shipping fees and especially accessorial charges are ever-changing and can really erode your profit margins if you don’t know what you are doing. Below are some of the key UPS and FedEx bike shipping fees to watch out for and our recommendations for mitigated some or most of their costly pain points.
How to get around Large Package Surcharge for Bikes, E-Bikes, and E-scooters
Large Package Surcharge is billed to any shipments whose longest side is 96 inches or above, or whos length +2x width=+2x height = 130 or above. This charge is now $100 for commercial deliveries and $120 for residential deliveries for both UPS and FedEx. These large accessorial fees can make shipping larger bikes and especially larger heavier e-bikes prohibitively expensive especially for company’s looking to sell directly to consumers. Fortunately, these fees are negotiable and can be negotiated down 35% to even 50% off with the right strategy.
Increases in Large Package Surcharge and other Additional Handling Fees 2019-2020
How to Mitigate Additional Handling fees for weight and size of Bikes and E-Bike shipping with UPS and FedEx
Additional Handling Fees, especially per weight, have had the biggest impact on the bike, e-bike, and other outdoor equipment manufacturers. The weight range dropped from 70lbs to 50 lbs by both fedex and UPS now carry an additional $24 fee. Additional Handling Services based off of dimensions of your package kick in if your longest length is 48 inches and if your second larges length is 30 inches and above.
These additional handling services carry a fee of $15 for both UPS and FedEX respectively. Greatly impacting traditional bike and e-bike shipping boxes who’s shipping box dimensions are regularly in that range or larger. With the correct partner or volumes/plan of attack, you can negotiate these painful additional fees down 30-50 % or more in some cases.
Dimensional Weight Divisors and how they impact Bike and E-bike , E-scooter shipping.
Dimensional Weight Divisors are used to calculated billable shipping weights of your bike or e-bike box shipping. You start by multiplying your length x width x height to get the cubic inches of your package. You then divide by the standard dim divisor of UPS and FEDEX which is normally 139.
Your shipment will then be billed by the larger of the actual weight of the package or the dimensional weight using the carrier’s dimensional divisor number. In the example below let’s say the bike box weighed 50 lbs normally. You can see how negotiating a better dimensional weight divisor in your shipping contract can give you a huge advantage for your overall shipping cost per unit. Dimensional divisors can range from 139 to upwards of 250.
Example of what a great effect the Dim Divisor can have on your billable weight!
43x11x32= 15136 cubic inches /139 standard dim divisor =108.8 billable shipping weight
43x11x32= 15136 cubic inches /190 preferential dim divisor =79.6 billable shipping weight
Actual Weight of Box was approximately 50lbs
If there is a line item charge for it there is probably a bit of a discount you can achieve on it
When It comes to ground and parcel shipping our general rule of thumb is if there is a shipping pain point for your bike or e-bike shipping needs there is probably a discount you can ask for. You may not always get all the concessions you want, but if you do not ask you most certainly will not get a discount. You can certainly do this with your fedex and ups direct reps. However, there are companies that specialize in negotiating better rates and accessorial charges fast.
Lowering your overall transportation Discount!
As always you can also bring down your overall cost of shipping bikes, e-bikes, and even electric scooters trying to negotiate your overall transportation discount down. Generally, when you work with your fedex and ups reps directly this is largely based on your historic shipping spend and volumes. However, there are companies that specialize in this sort of rate negotiations and its not unheard of to get ground shipping discounts in the 35-50% range for bike and e-bike shipping needs. If need be, you can also get international and overnight discounts in the range of 40-60% or more in some cases.
Other ideas to keep cost low and crush your sales goals with your bike or e-bike shipping needs
Warehouse and Ship Closer to your end Clients using 3PL's
If all of the preceding ideas do not help you achieve the cost-saving per bike or e-bike you are looking for; you can always use a 3PL to warehouse and ship from closer to your end customers. This can be especially advantageous if you are an east coast located bike or e-bike business and your bikes are being manufactured and shipped from Asia. Generally, we see a 20-50% overall cost savings by receiving west coast destined bikes and other products into our West Coast Warehouses for shipping. Please feel free to call us and we would be happy to run the numbers on this type of logistical set up for your company’s specific needs.
Connect UPS, FedEx and Freight Rates to E-Commerce, or ERP Business Software
Another way to create efficiency and lower your over-all cost per bike, ebike, and possible scooter shipping is to connect all your shipping rates to your e-commerce platform or internal business Software. Fedex, UPS, USPS have had API’s to connect their rates and shipment booking procedures to e-commerce for years now. However, technology forward freight shipping companies now have API automation that can do the same for rating and shipping larger freight loads to your retail clients from your e-commerce or ERP business software too.
Other ways to further economize, automate of better manage Bike and E-bike freight shipping needs
Good Transportation management software can make the overall bike and e-bike shipping process so much easier. Allowing you to shop multiple carriers best rates in all shipping lanes. Giving you real-time access to freight carriers shipping performance data, insurance coverage and exceptions.
These freight software systems also make booking, scheduling, and creating the ultimate Bill of Lading (shipping document) super simple and fast. Many Freight Transportation management software systems also provide easy to use email and other tracking features. Easily keeping your clients, sales teams, and other need to know parties, in the loop on every sales and shipment that goes out. Reducing non-essential busy work of answering clients calls and providing tracking updates manually.
Thoughts on Lowering the overall cost of freight shipping for bikes and E-bikes
- Leverage the freight buying power of a larger 3rd party logistics firm to get better bike and e-bike freight shipping rates
- Try and adjust the packaging to be denser and lower your overall freight class and cost per bike, e-bike shipped
- Negotiate a class reducing FAK/ Freight of all Kinds or CSP/ Customer Specific Pricing deal to further reduce your freight discount, lower your freight class and include standard accessorial charges like liftgates, etc.
- Look for pre-order and other consolidation opportunities: You may be able to use smaller dedicated fleet trucks to consolidate pre-order shipments and do route drop off runs. This can drastically reduce bike and e-bike shipping/handling related damages, provides better more dedicated delivery customer service, and can reduce your overall cost of shipping to the market.
Sophisticated new International Inbound shipping Transportation Management Systems
If you need better, more economical, and transparent inbound container shipping there are some great new technology forward channels for that too.
- Real-Time Transportation Management Portal for quoting, booking, and tracking international container shipping of bikes and e-bikes
- Real-time competitive quotes via software so there are no surprises
- Quickly Compare East Coast / West Coast shipping scenarios easily in real-time.
At the end of the day the world is a better place with more people biking and getting around via bike. So let us help you get more bikes to market in the most cost-effective, automated, and best-managed way possible! Contact us today if you would like better help with any of your logistical pain points for your bicycle or e-bike shipping/logistical needs. We would be honored to work with you more this year!