Automotive | Packing & Shipping Tips

How to Save Money When Shipping Automotive Parts

Better Packages

By: Better Packages on October 9th, 2018

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How to Save Money When Shipping Automotive Parts

The online automotive aftermarket retail industry is highly competitive and getting more so every day. How can you gain a strategic advantage in this environment? One way is to reduce your expenses, which gives you more capital for everything from expanding your product line to doing more marketing.

What’s a surefire method for cutting back on expenses? Lowering your shipping costs.

Shipping costs tends to be significant for online automotive retailers because the items being shipped are often:

  • Heavy
  • Oversized
  • Unevenly weighted
  • Irregularly shaped
  • Fragile
  • Susceptible to scuffing or scratching

And because you can’t change the physical characteristics of your merchandise, you need to pay special attention to how you are packing and shipping each part.


Proven Strategies for Minimizing Shipping Costs

For online automotive aftermarket retailers, the fastest way to grow the bottom line is to increase sales while simultaneously decreasing costs. 

While your marketing and sales teams are working on the first task, your shipping team can be working on the second. Here’s how:

  1. Negotiate an advantageous rate for shipping. There are many factors you can discuss when meeting your shipper at the bargaining table, including increasing shipping volume or a quote from a competitor.

  2. Find ways to reduce package weight. When it comes to shipping costs, every ounce counts. You can minimize the weight of your packages by:
    • Using strong, lightweight corrugated cartons
    • Selecting cartons that are just big enough to do the job
    • Using a carton custom designed for the item
    • Filling empty spaces in cartons with lightweight packing material
    • Using customized foam inserts
    • Sealing packages with a single strip of water-activated tape (WAT)

  3. Eliminate expensive printed boxes. Water-activated tape (also known as gummed tape, Kraft tape, or paper tape) can be printed with your branding, making it a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness.

  4. Minimize theft. Another benefit of sealing packages with WAT is that the durable, tamper-evident bond it creates helps keep thieves from pressing down on the top of a carton and removing items in a way that isn’t detected until later.

  5. Increase packing station productivity and safety with a UL-listed water-activated tape dispenser. These devices make it easy for shipping staff to get exactly the amount of tape they need quickly and efficiently. Plus, they help prevent repetitive motion injuries.

  6. Keep adequate supplies on hand. Having to rush order shipping supplies to meet customer demand because you let your inventory of cartons, tape, and packing material dwindle can be very costly. Be sure that someone on your shipping team is tasked with keeping an eye on supply levels.

  7. Minimize returns. Any time a customer must return an item, your shipping costs increase. In fact, they may triple if you must pay the shipping cost on the returned item and then send out a replacement. In addition to properly packing items so they arrive in good condition, you should also have processes in place to ensure that the correct items are shipped in the first place.

Immediate Improvement in Your Financial Performance

The great thing about cost cutting to improve your bottom line is that it is completely within your control. 

Your ability to attract new customers and grow sales is affected by several market dynamics, but you can start reducing your shipping costs today. All it takes is an assessment of your shipping practices and the time it takes to make the necessary modifications. 

If you have questions about whether or not our water-activated tape is right for your online automotive parts business, let us know! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

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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.