Every eCommerce business needs to know and understand what shipping zones are and what they mean. Zones are a big part of your fulfillment cost, and they help you understand the delivery time for your packages. Having a clear understanding of shipping zones will help your fulfillment strategy be as accurate as possible. Once you understand the zones, you can use it to your advantage, reducing shipping costs or even offer free shipping.
What Is a Shipping Zone?
A shipping zone is section of delivery territory. Every zone is a curtain distance from your point of origin. The zones get higher as the distance from your point of origin grows. Each zone has a set of zip codes to indicate what addresses are in what zone.
These zones are not fixed. When looking at all the zones, they will be different depending on the point of origin. Zones are basically the distance between two points. The greater the distance between your fulfillment center and your customer, the higher the zone and the higher the cost.
Each shipping zone has a different price. Let’s say we are shipping a 5-pound packages. Well, if we ship them by FedEx Ground the packages going to zone 8 will cost around $14.97 to ship. Then for packages going to zone 5, they will cost around $12.92 to ship and packages going to Zone 2 will only cost $9.87 to ship. The smaller the zone, the smaller the price.
Shipping zones help delivery companies charge the right amount of money for each delivery. There will be much less gas, driver time, and wear and tear on equipment when delivering to Zone 2 than if they were delivering to Zone 7.
All the different prices for each zone can get really spendy. Especially if you have a high volume of orders for your eCommerce business. There are a few ways to keep the price as small as possible. One in particular is picking a 3PL that has multiple warehouses. This will help the costs stay down a tremendous amount.
Here at Launch Fulfillment, we have two warehouses with many more on the way. We have one in Utah and one in Kentucky. If we only had the warehouse in Utah, all the orders going to the east part of the country would be in a higher zone, making the price higher. With having our other warehouse what could be a zone 8 from the Utah warehouse is now a Zone 2 from the Kentucky warehouse.
If you have any questions about our warehouses and how the shipping zones work, feel free to contact us and we can answer any questions you may have.