Posted on April 30, 2015 by Dennis Salazar

Reduce Shipping Costs by Using Mailer Envelopes Rather than Boxes

It may sound a little strange coming from a corrugated box designer and supplier but the “box to bag” shift is very real and for good reason. If you are not already paying higher shipping costs due to dimensional weight, the bad news is that you soon will be. The good news however, is that you can still maintain or possibly even reduce your shipping costs by making a few changes to your e-commerce or subscription box packaging.

What is dimensional weight?

Essentially, package carriers are now charging for the space your package takes up in their system and truck. So the cost to ship a light product (example – apparel) in an oversized box is determined by the overall dimensions rather than just the weight as previously calculated for most packages. In other words, it used to not matter if the box or package was larger than it had to be, but now it does and you will be penalized with a new, higher rate.

Isn’t the best solution “right sizing” the box?

Right sizing any box is always a good idea and can result in substantial packaging and shipping cost reductions. However what happens when the size of the product being shipped varies month to month, or order to order? You will often end up shipping a box that is larger than it needs to be because it is very costly to create and stock a variety of branded box sizes to handle the changes in product dimensions.

Available custom printed with 25,000 minimumWhat are the advantages of mailer envelopes?

There are many varying factors but often times, they are lower in cost compared to some corrugated shipping containers. In addition to acquisition cost, they occupy less space on a truck or in your warehouse so the inbound shipping and storage costs are minimized.

In use, they also reduce packing labor because they do not have to be erected or taped. Most mailer envelopes have a convenient peel and seal strip that eliminates the need for additional tape to secure the contents.

The greatest advantage is the way they can conform to the product being shipped. There is no oversized penalty being paid because whether you are shipping one or three tee shirts (for example) the mailer envelope is always the perfect size.

What type of mailer envelope do you recommend?

It always depends on the application. What you ship, how you ship, and even how many you ship can influence our recommendation for you. Here are a few options we offer:

  1. Unpadded POLY mailer envelopes – very commonly used for apparel for their light weight and moisture resistance. 25,000 minimum for custom printing.
  2. Unpadded PAPER mailers – a very popular option for green minded customers with a very low one case minimum for custom printing.
  3. Padded POLY mailer envelopes – or as they are often called, bubble mailers, are a great option when a little package rigidity is desired and the product requires some cushioning or protection. Also has a 25,000 minimum for custom printing.
  4. Padded PAPER/POLY mailer envelopes – this is usually not one of our favorite options because when the inside bubble cushioning is laminated to the paper exterior, it renders the structure unrecyclable. However, they are lightweight and print up beautifully with a minimum 25,000.
  5. Paper board or RIGID mailers – these flat mailers are more versatile than most people think and they too can be process printed in a relatively low 25,000 minimum.

Shipping packages is growing increasingly complicated because there are so many costs to be considered. For many of our e-commerce and subscription box brand owners, packaging and shipping are two of the major costs they try to manage, so we have become well versed on how to help them accomplish that.

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a no cost, no obligation review of your specific application.

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