Custom Packaging: When Should You Invest in Better Packaging?
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.