How to Reduce Shipping Costs with Efficient Packaging
Shipping costs are an inevitable part of selling goods online, regardless of whether you do it on your own website or through fulfillment services. Shipping costs frequently account for a sizable portion of online retail costs. This is particularly true for smaller companies, whose demand may not be consistent enough to negotiate bulk shipping discounts with carriers. This means that trimming the fat off shipping costs can make a noticeable difference in your company’s finances.
In this article, we will discuss five ways that you can optimize your packaging in order to lower your shipping costs:
5 Ways to Reduce Shipping Costs via Optimized Packaging
1. Reduce Package Dimensions
Optimizing the size of your packages is essential for cutting down on shipping expenses. Carriers utilize dimensional weight (DIM weight) to calculate how much space a package takes up in their trucks, planes, or ships during shipping. They then use your package’s DIM weight to determine your shipping costs. This is because bigger boxes take up more valuable space in shipping trucks, meaning more trips—and more specifically, more fuel—are needed to ship the same number of packages.
The key to reducing your DIM weight is to reduce package dimensions as much as possible. At the same time, you still have to ensure your packages provide enough protection to prevent damage during transit. Using packaging materials wisely plays a big part in cutting down on package size; using foam cutouts, air pillows, or corrugated inserts offers much better protection than choosing an oversized box and stuffing it full of packing peanuts or bubble wrap.
2. Reduce Package Weight
Even though you might not be able to reduce the weight of your products themselves, there are a few methods you can use to lower the total weight of your packages. Aside from choosing the appropriate package size, other important considerations include minimizing the amount of filler material used and utilizing lightweight packaging materials like bubble wrap or air bags to save weight.
Note: In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to work with your carrier and choose one of the generic packages that they offer. These packages cover a range of sizes and use cases, and carriers usually offer flat-rate shipping for their generic packages, which can help avoid overweight package fees.
3. Bundle Smaller Items Together
When a customer purchases multiple items in one order, sending items out in individual packages can be incredibly expensive. Bundling items together in one package—or even bundling separate smaller packages together in one larger box—can help cut shipping costs and possibly cut down on delivery times. Bundling items together also reduces the chance of items being lost during transit and orders arriving incomplete.
4. Switch from Boxes to Mailers
DIM weight charges have made it necessary to make packages as small and lightweight as possible in order to save on shipping. This means that traditional boxes may not be your best option in some cases.
Mailers, namely folders, tubes, and envelopes, are lightweight, space-conscious packaging solutions that work great for smaller or non-fragile items. Mailers are commonly used for shipping clothing, paper products, and even small jewelry. Mailers tend to be much more cost-effective than traditional boxes, so it may be wise to consider them if your products don’t necessarily need extra care.
5. Design Custom Packaging
If stock packaging options aren’t saving you money on shipping or preventing damaged goods, then custom package design might be the best choice for your products. Damaged goods and returns are sometimes overlooked when it comes to shipping, but having to ship several times to complete an order can quickly drive up your shipping expenses. Custom packaging offers an additional layer of protection for items that need it, including:
- Sensitive machinery, tools, or lab equipment
- Extremely fragile items like glassware or pottery
- Items that require extra protection from humidity, static, or corrosion
Designing custom packaging allows you to optimize your package size without sacrificing protection, greatly reducing the risk of damage during transit while keeping your DIM weight to a minimum.
Looking to Reduce Shipping Costs Without Sacrificing Package Quality?
Preferred Packaging Products is the One-Stop Solution for All Your Packaging Needs
Since 1985, we have been the preferred packaging, logistics, and automation solution for businesses along the Colorado Front Range.
We specialize in custom package development and can help you optimize your packaging to maximize product protection, minimize material and shipping costs, and keep customers happy. We also offer a wide selection of high-quality generic packaging materials and products to suit all of your packaging and business needs.
Some other ways Preferred Packaging can help your business include:
- Our logistics, warehouse, and distribution services can help you streamline your logistics process and better support order fulfillment.
- Our package kitting and assembly services can take a load off your employees and help your business focus on other tasks.
- Our packaging equipment automation and installation services can increase your efficiency and help your business transition to a more hands-off packaging process.