How to Make Your Shipping Process Highly Efficient
The holidays are here, and with consumer confidence high, experts believe e-commerce companies can expect to be busy. In fact, it is estimated that 60 percent of shoppers will spend more than 50 percent of their holiday dollars online. That’s great news for businesses, but if you oversee the department packaging and shipping those orders, it's sure to be a challenging season.
One of the keys to success when shipping volumes soar is efficiency. Even small improvements in your shipping processes can make a big difference around the holidays. Plus, what is often overlooked is the fact that the shoppers you impress with your quick turnaround time now, are more likely to be customers again in the future. Use the tips below to ensure you and your team are working at peak efficiency.
Tip #1: Choose durable cartons and good cushioning.
It is never a good idea for e-commerce companies to use flimsy shipping cartons, and that is especially true around the holidays when shippers are under tremendous stress and potentially not handling packages especially carefully. Corrugated cartons hold up well, provide excellent protection for your products, and help prevent the need to send replacements for damaged goods.
It is also important to choose the right carton size: too small and you increase the risk of items being crushed; too big and items may shift around and break. (Not to mention the added shipping costs associated with using an oversized carton.) After choosing the right box, you want to be sure to use the appropriate amount of a good cushioning material. Newspaper and similar materials will flatten during shipping and provide less protection. Bottom line: a “Fragile” sticker on the carton is not going to protect your product. You have to be sure the package is well-prepared for a bumpy ride!
Tip #2: Get the right shipping tape to ensure cartons are properly sealed.
Water-activated tape (WAT) produces a strong, tamper-evident, single-strip seal. It is easy to apply and creates a permanent bond with the carton surface. When buying tape and other supplies, it is a good idea to buy in bulk. Doing so can help ensure you don’t run out of critical items and may also save you some money.Using the right shipping materials also sends a positive message about your organization and companies that purchase your products for their clients. Those companies want their holiday business gifts to arrive safely and in professional packaging.
Tip #3: Review your shipping processes from a safety perspective.
Accidents or injuries in your shipping department may be more likely during the holiday rush. Reviewing your processes with that fact in mind can help you protect your shipping team and ensure that product is not damaged during packaging and handling. Water-activated tape helps here as well, since your shipping crew won’t be using tape guns with their sharp blades and high potential for repetitive stress injuries.
One way to keep your team from having to hurry to keep up with rising volumes is to pre-pack common items. If you do, be sure to write a description of the contents and the package weight on the carton surface so you don’t have to pause to make that determination.
Tip #4: Take steps to deter “press and grab” thefts and the time spent dealing with them.
Thieves know that packages shipped during the holiday season often have valuable contents. A common practice is to press down on the top of a package until the low-quality shipping tape releases, pull out an item, and allow the carton flaps to spring back into place so that the theft goes undetected initially.
The deep bond with the carton material created by gummed tape prevents the packaging from opening in this way, making it difficult for thieves to get what they are after. As a result, you spend less time dealing with missing items and preparing replacement shipments.
Keep Up With the Holiday Rush!
By streamlining your e-commerce shipping processes and using the right packaging materials, you and your team can be highly efficient this holiday season.
Check out our free guide to determine what type of packaging tape is best for your needs.
Plus, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Contact us at your convenience.
About Better Packages
Founded in 1917, Better Packages is a leading manufacturer of tabletop water-activated tape (WAT) dispensers used in carton sealing. Better Packages’ product line includes auto-dispensing electric machines that are used in high volume fulfillment centers, as well as manual dispensers. In the U.S., Better Packages sells through multiple channels that include industrial and packaging distributors and catalog wholesalers, as well as direct to end-user customers. Its distribution network consists of over 160 authorized distributors including Tier 1 shipping and packaging. Better Packages also has another 50 international distributors that service over 70 countries. Better Packages is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), an acknowledged leader in the packaging industry. IPG sells a full line of Central® water-activated tape, as well as many other premier packaging products.