Overall shipping costs are affected by the shipping and packing supplies used. Nash Packaging notes the importance of choosing cost-effective shipping supplies that encourage maximum protection of products, especially for retailers and e-commerce sellers.
Shipping supplies come in different shapes and sizes. Picking the right type for each product can significantly decrease costs of shipping and boost a company’s bottom line.
Balancing Cost and Safety
It can be a challenge for shipping-based companies to find the right combination of shipping and packing supplies that can safely deliver products to customers at the lowest cost possible. Similarly, products need to be packaged and protected in a way that adds only a minimal amount of weight or bulk.
The shipping box that companies ultimately decide to use will directly impact shipping costs because carriers like FedEx, UPS, and the US Post Office base their rates on the dimensions and weight of the provided shipment.
Companies also need to ensure that their products are properly placed in shipping boxes to increase the likelihood that they will be transported safely and arrive at their intended destination.
Various Products for Shipment
The type of customer base and kinds of goods that a company intends to ship affect the choice of shipping container and supplies. The appropriate container will protect products during shipping and will not have unnecessary space. Some products may require special considerations for shipment, particularly if they are fragile or oversized.
- Small, Foldable, and Durable Products – These are items like books, jewelry, apparel, fashion accessories, and various home and office supplies. They require little in the way of padding because they will likely not break during shipment. Packaging can be kept lean and minimal by doing away with unnecessary fillers, weight, and bulk.
- Dimensional, Flat, and Thin Products – These include photos, posters, framed pictures, hardbound books, and placemats. Like durable products, and unless glass is involved, they require little in the way of cushioning.
- Large and Bulky Products – Large items include things like home goods and décor, small kitchen appliances, and tools. They may need to be placed in corrugated or multi-depth boxes to hold their weight and varying sizes. They may also be placed in close-fitting outer boxes equipped with lightweight cushioning.
- Fragile and Oversized Products – Machinery parts, decorator vases, bowling balls, and collectibles belong in this category. They may need special and individualized packaging to ensure they arrive at the intended destination safely. Glassware, dishes, and delicate items may need to be wrapped both separately and together for complete cushioning.
- Multiple Items – Shipping different products in the same box may require that each item be wrapped individually with a layer of foam or bubble wrap. This can prevent scratching between products.
- Rugs, Posters, and Large Textiles – These items need to be rolled up and put into a long box or a mailing tube because they are not meant to be folded. This type of packaging protects posters and art prints from sustaining damage when the box creases.
These considerations are especially important for a company’s retail and shipment needs. They can help to lower shipping costs while ensuring products are safely delivered.