As a business, especially in e-commerce, shipping costs will always be an ongoing expense you have to deal with.

Whether shipping the product to the customer or ordering the packaging for your product, the weight, size, and even the amount of packaging materials can change the cost.

Not only do shipping costs affect your business expenses, but they can also negatively affect customers with unexpected costs and steer them away from your product.

According to Statista, a staggering 48% of abandoned online shopping cart purchases are due to extra shipping costs!

For this reason alone, businesses must find solutions on how to reduce shipping costs and how to make shipping costs less across the board.

Thankfully, there are several solutions to help you in this endeavor!

Carefully Consider Your Packaging

Let’s first start with the package itself and how to reduce shipping costs.

Before shipping anything to the customer, you can begin saving by optimizing how you package your product, which will also lower shipping costs.

Corrugated boxes are one of the most common shipping methods, but how much does packaging cost for a product?

Source: PakFactory

Several factors affect the cost of packaging, but all of these factors are within your control.

Research Accordingly

Before committing to any corrugated packaging solution, doing your research is a good idea.

Many options and customizations are available for corrugated boxes, but the most durable or biggest option might not be the optimal choice for your product.

Understand the specific needs of your product so that you do not overpackage or underpackage it.

Planning and research is the best way to start and ensure you are not overspending on unnecessary packaging.

Use The Right Packaging Material for Shipment

With the above in mind, you can now decide what material to use and how much you need.

The key when deciding your packaging materials for shipment is to use the least amount possible while ensuring your product can still arrive safely at its final destination.

Things like fillers might be necessary for more fragile products, but with research and help from a packaging specialist, you can find the optimal materials while keeping shipping costs minimal.

Ultimately, weight can significantly minimize shipping costs, and the materials you use for packaging affect this.

You might not be able to reduce the weight of your product, but you can certainly reduce the weight of its packaging.

A one-pound difference in packaging can save you thousands of dollars in shipping costs!

Size Matters – Optimize Your Space

In a similar vein to packaging material, the size of the box is also an important consideration when determining how to minimize package and shipping costs.

If your product is small, there is no need for a large box.

Just like how you should minimize the materials for your package, only use the box size necessary for your product.

Large boxes create more weight, waste, and void space that needs to be filled – which may also increase weight – to prevent damage to your product.

Carriers such as UPS and FedEx have even implemented dimensional pricing that considers your package’s volume, size, and weight.

This means carriers reward businesses for using smaller packages with less void space and snuggly fit products. Maximize the density of products you fit inside your box.

Buy In Larger Quantities

The next way to reduce shipping costs is to consider buying in larger quantities.

Now that you have optimized your package through its weight, size, and material, purchasing your packaging solution in bulk can help minimize the cost of shipping and packaging.

Larger quantity purchases cost less because the machines used by manufacturers will not need repeated setup for each order you make, instead being able to produce your boxes in one go.

Source: PakFactory

In addition, most manufacturers sell converted boxes by the square foot of corrugated per run.

Square foot price breaks can be as significant as a 20% reduction from one square foot board break to the next, so always consult your supplier for a quote on these breaks. They can save you between 10-15% in shipping costs!

Shipping Flat to Reduce Shipping Costs

Also, when ordering in larger quantities, consider a collapsible option when determining how to make shipping cost less for your corrugated boxes.

It is not just the shipment of the product to your customers that costs money, but also the shipping of your freshly produced corrugated boxes to your warehouse!

Shipping your boxes in a collapsed state allows you to save space and fit more on your transport of choice.

Think of it this way, is it more cost-efficient to have your boxes shipped in one truck or multiple trucks?

Lightweight Boxes

Using lightweight packaging is an effective way to reduce shipping costs.

The weight of a package plays a significant role in determining shipping costs.

Using lightweight corrugated boxes can help to lower shipping expenses by reducing the dimensional weight and actual weight of the package.

The use of lightweight corrugated boxes also ensures that the packaging materials do not add significant weight to the products being shipped. This allows businesses to ship more products at a lower cost. However, it’s important to ensure that the corrugated boxes are still strong enough to protect the products during transit.

Using lightweight materials does not mean sacrificing the strength and durability of the packaging.

Businesses can work with packaging suppliers to find the right balance between weight and strength to ensure their products are adequately protected while minimizing shipping costs.

Choose Your Shipping Method Wisely

The final solution for how to minimize shipping costs is to carefully consider the shipping method of your corrugated boxes and products.

Know all the charges and rates of possible carriers and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Know the difference between the three main shipping modes: land, sea, and air. Depending on your needs, each method has its benefits.

The most important things to consider when deciding on your shipping method is distance, time constraint, and the size and weight of your package.

Ground shipping is ideal for short, local distances and can carry heavy loads, but it has a smaller carrying capacity and is expensive for long distances. This method typically charges based on product weight or dimensional pricing.

Air shipping is the fastest method and can carry a high capacity of items, but it is the most expensive. 

It is ideal for time-sensitive projects, but like ground shipping, air shipping typically charges dimensional or actual weight, depending on which one is higher. 

Sea shipping is ideal for long distances and has a high carrying capacity but a significantly longer delivery time. 

This method is very cost-effective if you have flexible project time and charges based on volume, so collapsible packaging benefits most from sea shipping too.

Optimize Corrugated Box Styles

The design of corrugated boxes can significantly impact the shipping costs for businesses. Optimal box styles for reducing shipping costs include those that are lightweight, compact, and sturdy enough to protect the contents during transit.

Source: PakFactory

Some examples of optimized box styles include:

  • Regular Slotted Containers (RSC): These are the most common box style used in shipping. They are simple to assemble and can be used for a wide range of products. The RSC design features flaps on both the top and bottom of the box, which makes them easy to close and seal. The RSC box is also highly customizable, allowing businesses to adjust the size and shape to fit their specific needs.

  • Half-Slotted Containers (HSC): These boxes are similar to RSC boxes but do not have flaps on the top. They are ideal for larger items that need to be loaded from the top. HSC boxes are also stackable, making them efficient for storage and shipping.

  • Die-Cut Boxes: These boxes are custom-made and designed to fit the specific shape and size of a product. They are highly efficient in terms of space utilization and material usage, which can help to reduce shipping costs. Die-cut boxes are also sturdy and can protect delicate or fragile items during shipping.

  • FOL Boxes: FOL (Full Overlap) boxes have flaps that fully overlap, which makes them very sturdy and suitable for heavy or fragile items. They are also efficient in terms of material usage since the flaps overlap and use less material. FOL boxes are typically used for shipping large, heavy items that require extra protection.

By using optimized corrugated box styles, businesses can reduce shipping costs while ensuring the safe and secure delivery of their products.

Planning and Research Saves Money

In the end, there are no shortcuts when figuring out how to reduce shipping costs or how to minimize shipping costs.

The best and most efficient way to save is to plan, research and speak with professionals.

Research the materials and package size that best suits your product. Know what your product needs and doesn’t need; streamline your package to reduce shipping costs.

Understand the manufacturing process of corrugated boxes. Speak with the manufacturers and find the optimal amount to order.

Plan your project and research your carriers. Know the different charges that may apply, like dimensional pricing. 

Recognize the benefits of each shipping method and plan your project accordingly.

If you’re still wondering how to reduce shipping costs and packaging costs or need more help, a packaging specialist can point you in the right direction!

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