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Ever receive a huge box at your door, only to find that the item inside is a fraction of the size and buried in 10 gallons of packing fill? This is a common mistake many retailers make – using shipping containers that are much too large for the product being packaged or going overboard with protective packaging – resulting in a heavier and bulkier package than necessary and increased shipping costs.
Simple changes to the type of packaging can result in significant savings when it comes to shipping costs. By choosing more efficient packaging materials, overall package size and weight are reduced, which are the primary determinants to calculating the cost to ship an item. In addition, this lightweight packaging approach saves resources, reduces environmental impact, and leads to better sustainability practices.
Packaging choices that affect shipping costs are:
- Corrugated Box Weight & Size: Package light-weighting begins with the box you choose to package your product. Pratt Industries is dedicated to performance-based packaging because it believes the corrugated industry must continually seek new ways to reduce paper weights – without giving up any performance characteristics. Our boxes are right weighted for optimal performance through traditional drop shipment. In fact, many of the boxes offered by UPS and USPS are made by Pratt Industries from 100% recycled paper. In addition, it is important to right size the box to the product being shipped. This will reduce the amount of air and filler, as well as cost less to ship.
- Protective Packaging Wrap and Fill: In today’s more eco-friendly business climate, sustainable void fill options are readily available. For example, the protective packaging product SimPad is manufactured from high strength film that is filled with 100% recycled high-density expanded polystyrene beads and will be available for purchase on PrattPlus.com soon.ExpandOS™ Interlocking Packing Pieces are reusable, biodegradable and easily recyclable. Plus, they’re proven to reduce packout times in many applications.
- Product Pack Configuration: The way an item is placed in a box influences the container size and amount of packaging fill needed, especially when shipping more than one item in a package. If there is too much air space to fill, it can increase the likelihood that an item will shift during transport. In addition, it’s not only important to pack items in an optimal configuration to reduce void space but also to find a packing method that takes the least amount of time to execute.
What other packaging choices and methods have you discovered to reduce shipping costs?
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