Whether your company ships a few packages every week or hundreds each day, packing and shipping costs impact your bottom line. Implementing changes to your packaging and delivery practices that save time and money can ultimately have a very positive impact on your shipping ROI. Plus, these cost-control measures are relatively easy to make.
“Whether your company ships a few packages every week or hundreds each day, packing and shipping costs impact your bottom line.” TWEET THIS
ROI-Boosting Shipping Strategies
In general, the three areas where you can get more for your packing and shipping dollar are the effective use of time, materials, and services. Specifically, some of the most effective ways to get a bigger return on your shipping ROI include:
1. Increase packing station efficiency
The more efficiently your team packs cartons, the less it costs to get packages to their destination. There is an entire science behind packing station design, but some of the key considerations include:
- Determining the right work area size to safely maximize productivity
- Engineering an efficient workflow
- Ensuring adequate packing supplies for uninterrupted operations
2. Switch to lightweight packaging
Both the size and shape of your packages can be a factor in the shipping cost. Here, we will focus on the weight. Since even a small increase or decrease in weight has the potential to move your fees into a higher or lower category, every ounce counts. To drop your shipping weights into a lower rate class, try strategies like:
- Using air pillows or custom-designed foam inserts rather than paper or other heavier packing materials.
- Packing in cartons just big enough for the items shipped. While you want the carton to properly accommodate an item, extra room means extra padding and more weight.
- Using corrugated cartons. Corrugated packaging has a three-layer design that creates air-filled pockets that add strength without adding weight.
- Sealing with water-activated tape (WAT). Also known as paper tape, gummed tape, or Kraft paper tape, WAT creates a strong, tamper-evident seal with just one strip. In fact, it effectively “reacts” with the carton surface, merging with it to develop a superior bond. Plastic pressure-sensitive tape doesn’t produce a strong seal. Consequently, many packers use several tape strips. Visit this page for more details on the ROI of WAT.
3. Use branded WAT to replace expensive printed boxes
Having your logo visible when a package is received is an effective tactic for increasing brand awareness. However, specially printed branded boxes can be expensive. WAT can be printed with logos, slogans, or other information that identifies your company. Consequently, not only does branded WAT provide cost-effective advertising, it also delivers:
- A cleaner, more finished look with a single strip
- Lower storage costs over printed boxes
- Easier identification of lost packages
- An effective way to communicate important information such as advice for opening the package, reminders about upcoming events (“Shop now for Mother’s Day”), etc.
4. Negotiate (or renegotiate) advantageous pricing with your shipper
It is not uncommon for people to assume that a company’s stated price for a service is non-negotiable. In other cases, the person in charge of a shipping contract may know that shippers have pricing flexibility but simply forgets to renegotiate the company’s rate periodically. Either way, it pays to keep in mind that:
- If you have a significant shipping volume, follow your shipper’s packaging guidelines, and pay your bills on time — in other words, if you are a good customer — you have some leverage that may be useful in striking a better deal for your organization
- Shipping rates can be renegotiated at any time
- A good shipper will see rate negotiations as a win-win collaboration rather than a competition where only one side “wins”
- If your current shipper won’t provide the rate you believe you deserve, there are likely others who will
Smart Shipping Strategies are Money in the Bank
Increasing your profitability through initiatives like growing sales can be challenging, as you are, to a degree, at the mercy of your market. The ability to improve your bottom line by cutting shipping costs, on the other hand, is firmly within your control.
If you aren’t already closely tracking your shipping costs, be sure to start doing so and establish a baseline before you implement cost-control measures. With that information recorded, you can easily document the shipping department’s new contribution to the company’s financial health.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, and how they can help you increase your shipping ROI, please contact us at your convenience.