Packaging costs are a huge factor for businesses that ship products. They can make up a large part of business operating costs, and so many companies try to minimize packaging costs as much as possible. Cutting down on material costs is the first thing that most people will think of then trying to reduce packaging costs, but there are several other factors that play into it as well including what packaging materials are required, the quality of those materials, and order volume. Generic packaging can be a cost-effective solution for packaging costs at startup. This is your ready-made packaging that is produced in massive quantities (the most recognizable example would be Amazon’s standard shipping boxes). But depending on your product type, size, fragility, and shipping volume, generic packaging may not be the best solution for what your business needs. This is when you should consider an upgrade with custom packaging. Here’s what to think about when deciding if custom packaging is right for your business: When Is Custom Packaging A Good Fit For Your Business? When Shipping Costs Are Too High Shipping costs are determined by comparing a package’s actual weight to its dimensional weight. The greater number will be used to determine the shipping cost. Dimensional weight is calculated based on the size and density of the package. The best way to think of dimensional weight is to visualize the available space in a truck or plane. The bigger the box you’re trying to ship, the more the shipping rate will be because it is taking up more space. Essentially, this means that package sizes can have a big effect on your shipping costs. If you are using generic box sizes, you may be spending more on shipping than is necessary, especially if you are shipping smaller or lighter items in bigger boxes. Custom packaging will help optimize package sizing, which will help keep shipping costs to a minimum. When You Want to Cut Down on Material Costs The size of packages not only affects shipping costs but material costs as well. Many people have posted pictures on social media of a package arriving that is too big for the product they’ve ordered. For example, using a generic Large standard-size Amazon box (18″ x 14″ x 8″) to ship one book, cell phone, or t-shirt is unnecessary and wasteful. The customer will receive a box that’s loaded with 95% filler material and 5% product, and that filler material will most likely go right in the garbage. Buying generic “one-size-fits-all” boxes in bulk may keep down upfront costs, but ensuring that you are using the appropriate size boxes for ALL of your products can equal huge savings in the long run. Custom packaging that’s optimized to the product it’s protecting means less packaging material, less filler material, and less tape or other supplies needed to secure them. This will minimize material costs, reduce material waste, and promote green shipping practices. When Your Products Need to Arrive Safely The most important aspect of shipping is making sure your product arrives safely. The most frustrating thing for a customer who is waiting on a package is that their product arrives damaged or broken because of ineffective packaging. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 packages without proper protective packaging will arrive damaged. Custom packaging can help minimize these risks and ensure that your product is protected. Custom packaging will let you design a package that fits your product like a glove and protects it like a suit of armor. By designing the packaging, you are also able to design any filler materials such as internal inserts, dividers, and blocking/bracing items that you need to reinforce your packages. This means your products stay protected and will reduce the risk of returns, refunds, and losing customers for good. A good example of this is bicycles. Bicycle parts aren’t just thrown all into one big box and shipped out; bicycles are shipped in larger packages with smaller, specific fitted boxes inside that isolate and protect the wheels, the frame, and other parts. This not only protects the parts from being damaged externally but from hitting and damaging each other inside the packaging. Learn about the shipped product testing we can do for your packing solutions, and how we can help here. When You Want to Stand Out from the Competition Custom packaging is a surefire way to stand out from your competitors. Not only does custom packaging appear more professional than using generic packaging, but it can create a higher sense of value for your products in the minds of your customers. You’re investing time and money into your packaging, so your products must be worth it, right? Using different materials or going above and beyond with the packed presentation can create a great first impression and create a memorable unboxing experience for the customer. Looking for custom packaging solutions?Preferred Packaging is here to help. Since our founding in 1985, we have become the preferred packaging supplier for hundreds of companies along the Front Range. We owe our 35 years of success to taking the time to really listen to our customers and come up with effective solutions for their packaging and shipping needs. We are fully equipped and able to design and manufacture packaging products, as well as provide generic packaging products, equipment automation, kitting & assembly, and warehouse & distribution services.  To see what packaging and shipping solutions we can provide for you, call us at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online today.

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Product packaging is a vital aspect of any business that ships products. In addition to keeping products safe, the packaging is usually the first thing that customers will see, and so great packaging can provide a “wow” factor that attracts customers and enhances your brand image. But every day, many businesses make simple packaging mistakes that can delay deliveries, increase shipping costs, and even lead to damaged products (and reputations!) Steering clear of packaging mistakes listed here will give you a competitive edge by controlling shipping costs, maximizing efficiency, and making sure your products get delivered safely to your customers. The 7 Most Common Packaging Mistakes Businesses Make 1) Using the Wrong-Sized Packaging Products can come in every shape and size imaginable, so you should ensure that your packaging matches the shape and size of the item it’s protecting. Packaging should always be stackable. If boxes are too large, they will take up unnecessary space during shipping and require additional cushioning material or loose fill (packing peanuts, air pillows, etc.) inside to prevent damage. This means more material costs for you and more material waste. On the other hand, packaging that is “just big enough” to fit the product but doesn’t allow sufficient packaging protection inside can also lead to damage during shipping. Finding the right balance of protection, cost-effectiveness, and presentation can be difficult. Custom package design might be the solution that you need to keep your packages protected while keeping costs to a minimum. 2) Not Using The Correct Packaging Materials You also need to use the right types of materials for the type of product you are packaging. Usually, heavier products will need stronger, more resistant cushioning material or loosefill such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or airbags to prevent damage. Products that are lighter or not as fragile, on the other hand, may be able to get by with wadded paper or newsprint to keep them from rattling around in the package. Having the correct materials for each of your products to be packed in needs to be an individual decision considering the weight, risk of break and size/shape of the product that needs to be packaged. 3) Not Using “Green” Packaging Materials There is a lot of scrutiny on the environmental impact of business nowadays, especially for the packaging and shipping industry. According to a study from the University of Indiana, packaging materials make up just under 2/3 of all household trash, and almost 1/3 of all trash in our landfills! It’s also estimated that just about 40% of all plastic waste comes from packaging materials. Reusable packaging materials like corrugated cardboard and paper have a low ecological impact, but other materials like plastic bags, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam packing peanuts are not biodegradable or recyclable. Bioplastics, recycled paper/plastics, or post-consumer materials are great alternatives that will cut down on your environmental footprint. Green packaging can also help with expenses and attract more customers. It’s not always necessary to use as much packaging when using green packaging options, which means lower material costs and lighter, less expensive shipping costs. A small amount of savings per shipment can add up to substantial savings annually. 4) Using Low-quality Packaging Different products need different packaging, and materials can be costly, especially for smaller businesses. However, extreme cost-cutting measures or using different sources for packaging materials will inevitably lead to quality concerns and raise the risk of damaging products during shipping. While it may seem like a good idea to shop around for the best deals for your materials, choosing a single, one-stop supplier saves time, effort, and money while making it easier to verify the quality of the materials you’re sourcing. Since you’re likely to buy several different materials together and in bulk (boxes, loosefill, shipping labels, etc.) you may also be able to get discounts or other incentives from your supplier. 5) Doing a Poor Taping & Labeling Job Having the best packaging materials on the planet won’t mean anything if you can’t hold the packaging together consistantly. Incorrectly taping a box or using ineffective tape can lead to a box opening up during shipping and possibly damaging or ruining your product. It’s recommended to use 3-inch tape and follow the H-tape method to cover all seams of your package and create a more secure package. Improperly applying shipping labels to your packages will increase the risk of your package being delayed or lost in transit. Make sure that the label is neatly written and legible, and always put the label on top of the package; this will make it easier for the shipping company to sort and keep track of your package. 6) Lack of Package Testing If your packaging fails during shipping, customers will tend to think badly of your brand negatively affecting your overall reputation. Not ensuring your packaging can protect your product from bumps, falls, humidity, pests, or other factors can lead to big problems down the road. On the other hand, over-packaging or over-protecting your products can lead to annoyed customers, complaints to customer support, or bad reviews. Not to mention the excess use of materials will increase packing costs. Package testing needs to happen during the design and production process, well before you ship a product. Our team has a lot of experience testing current packing for improvements, as well as developing specific packaging methods to ensure the best levels of protection with the lowest packing costs possible. Efficiency is critical, using package testing can help develop a consistent process good for your costs and that keeps customers happiest too. 7) No Customized Packaging A plain cardboard box looks just like any other. In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, people have a lot to think about and remember; having unique packaging is a way to stand apart. There are many ways to approach this from the materials your using and the packed presentation to a subtle nod of your brand on the outside of the box like what Amazon does.  The first priority...

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