If you are tasked with ensuring that your packaging and shipping operations run smoothly and without interruption, it is critical that you keep your team supplied with the materials they need to be productive. It is also important that you do what you can to control shipping-related costs. Buying shipping supplies in bulk can help you achieve both your operational and financial goals.
This approach to purchasing also allows you to cut back on the number of “to do” items on your list. Instead of having to purchase more materials weekly or monthly, you might only have to do so quarterly or every six months.
When and Why You Should Look into Buying Shipping Supplies in Bulk
When should you research bulk packaging and shipping supplies?
Really any time is a good time to do some comparison shopping. Whether you choose to buy supplies at that time or not, you will have the information you need to make an informed decision.
Being proactive tends to be better than feeling pressured to make a quick choice between purchasing a short-term supply or buying in bulk. Faster decisions may be required in certain situations, such as:
- Your existing stock is running low. If you wait until there is an urgent need to replenish your supplies, you are likely to make the smaller purchase that you are familiar with. That quantity will keep your shipping operations going, but you will miss out on the benefits of buying in bulk.
- You become unhappy with your existing supplier. If your relationship with your existing provider sours because they raise their prices an unreasonable amount, they start providing subpar service, or some other reason, you may find yourself eager to switch to a new supplier.
- You start shipping new products. If your company introduces new products to its line and they will require different shipping materials, it is very helpful to know your options for accommodating this change in your shipping procedures.
- Your company is looking to reduce costs. Knowing what your bulk purchasing options are can be key if your company launches a cost-control initiative and looks to you for what your contribution to the effort will be.
Shipping Supplies You Can Buy in Bulk
There are many types of packaging and shipping supplies that you can buy in large quantities. Four of the items that can deliver the biggest benefit are:
- Shipping cartons. Outside of what you pay to carriers, the cost of shipping cartons is probably one of your biggest shipping-related expenses. Getting a discounted rate for buying boxes in bulk can produce significant savings.
- Cushioning material. If the items you ship are breakable, you never want to skimp on cushioning like air pillows or paper void fill. Having a good supply can prevent situations where a shipping team member tries to use “just enough” material in each carton in order to make a dwindling supply last a little longer.
- Water-activated tape (WAT). The great thing about water-activated tape (also called gummed tape) is that it comes in rolls that don’t take up much room in storage. Consequently, you can purchase a supply that will last for many months and not struggle with where to store it.
- Water-activated tape dispensers. Especially if you are making the transition to WAT, buying multiple dispensers to ensure you can accommodate any planned growth in shipping volume, or just temporary surges, is a good idea.
Why Tape May Be Your Most Important Packaging Supply
From cartons to packing peanuts, all the supplies you use are important. Perhaps most important of all, however, is your carton sealing tape.
WAT delivers a wide range of benefits that you do not get from other types of tape. For example, its strong, one-strip seal makes shipping operations more efficient. The seal is also very weather-resistant, which helps to protect your shipped items. Plus, WAT provides enhanced theft prevention and security by discouraging “press and grab” thefts.
Plus, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Contact us at your convenience.