How many different size e-commerce shipping containers do you really need?
They say variety is the spice of life but in packaging, it can hurt your bottom line if the wrong decision is made. The typical e-commerce shipper has two options:
- Utilize more, different sizes for an exact fit approach
- Minimize the number of different sizes and adopt a few or one size fits all approach
The benefits of using various size containers
The most obvious benefit is that the box better fits the product being shipped so there is less room for the product to move and additional/ancillary packaging such as void fill can be minimized or eliminated. The product can add strength to the packaging so you are less likely to experience crushing and exterior (outside/in) damage.
You are minimizing box size, which minimizes board weight and that has a positive effect on storage, as well as inbound and outbound shipping costs. Customers are less likely to complain about excessive packaging which can be a key issue depending on your product and customer base.
The benefits of minimizing the number of shipping containers you use
There are really two advantages of using fewer sizes:
- Fewer packaging SKU’s to manage, purchase, and inventory
- Theoretically – a lower cost per unit due to increased purchasing quantity and lower price
There is no question that using fewer sizes can save time and space and you don’t have to worry about having the right size shipping container in stock. It is also true that purchasing (for example) 4,000 of one larger size container is going to cost less (per box) than purchasing 1,000 of that same size.
However, the key question is always going to be about order/purchase volume in relationship to size. Since order size discounts diminish (in terms of percentage) as the order size increases, at some point ordering several sizes MIGHT prove less expensive compared to a larger order of one (larger) size container. In other words, make no assumptions, let us help you do the math and determine what is really in your best interest.
So, what is the best e-commerce packaging option for you?
Simply put, it comes down to usage volume. What does the order mix look like? Here is an example I often use when helping a customer review their options:
If the largest necessary size is only 12% of your volume, and you buy one size container, large enough to accommodate that and all your smaller product sizes, you are over packaging 88% of the time. That is probably not in your best interest because you are not likely to ever save enough money on the large box to make up for all the over packaging costs you are going to experience. Not to mention that your green minded customer may wonder why you are using an extra-large box to ship an extra small product.
Does that make sense? If not, one of our branded packaging advisors can quickly walk you through our process and help you determine what is really in your best interest. Yes, we sell “packaging that communicates” that looks great, but equally important is that it is eco-friendly, and at the lowest possible cost to purchase and use.
Contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a free cost analysis of your specific application.