I'm working on a few ideas. The first one is that every job gets a shipping charge tacked on. It is folded into my service call. That way I don't have to worry about dividing shipping up into different orders, or adding it on to this one, or any of that messing around. I find that my shipping is covered in this manner, and I can afford to upgrade to next day on occasion without tacking on an extra charge.
The next is that I'll place parts orders on MWF or TThS. Or something along those lines. After I build up a good truck stock, then I'm grouping my orders to replace truck stock or to special order for a job. That'll save a lot of money.
The last is a 'parts run.' If I have a parts store that'll deal with me, I can run to them once a week for an order. I don't want to go crazy. Two gallons of gas covers a 40 mile round trip. That is a basic 5-day ground shipping charge.
Shipping can get expensive, but as long as you're not calling in an order for each individual part, you can manage it well.
How do you guys handle your shipping?
It seems that jobbers used to run a delivery route, but I don't see much evidence of that anymore.