I drove past my favorite gas station this morning on my way to work and was stunned to see the price per gallon had increased again since last Friday, making the current price almost fifty cents higher than it was just five days ago. Inflation is all around us and these rising costs are impacting everything we buy, including our packaging supplies and e-commerce shipping boxes.
Most People Overpay for DTC Shipping Boxes
As consumers, we can’t help but analyze and examine every shipping box that our team receives. Being in the industry and with our experience, we are probably the worst critics because we know better. After reviewing hundreds of boxes, we can positively say that in the vast majority of situations we can potentially reduce the box cost by 10 to as much as 30%.
It is not magic or smoke and mirrors, it is simply updating the box design to keep up with the current market and product conditions. Most box specs in use today were created years ago, and since then almost everything has changed. Designs, board grades, sustainability requirements, and especially customer product dimensions and configurations. The needs have evolved but the packaging being used has not kept pace with them!
We could probably list a dozen different ways to save money but here are three basics that serve us well in reducing customer’s costs:
RIGHT SIZE YOUR BOXES
We work with a lot of new companies and most oversize their boxes because of the unknown. “What if” we increase the size of our products?
What if we sell larger orders than we anticipate?
What if we add new and larger items to our product line?
What if we minimize the number of boxes we stock by using larger sizes?
We have heard them all, and I can tell you that in most cases these “what if” scenarios never materialize. Of course, changes occur, and they certainly will, but often they are better handled by smaller sized or additional boxes.
Reduce your box, shipping, packing, and void fill cost with a total usage review by an experienced packaging professional like our branded packaging advisors.
MODIFY YOUR BOX PURCHASING PROCESS
Do you know where the next price break is on your specific box sizes? Thanks to the per piece amortization of set-up costs, the price difference between ordering 1,000 and 2,000 boxes can be over 15%. This does not include the freight cost savings and we all know what has happened to shipping rates in the last year. Building a little inventory can also act as a cushion should there be another, unexpected industry price increase.
CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE PACKAGING AND/OR DESIGNS
Have you considered mailer envelopes in place of mailer boxes? They are not for everyone but with new cushioned mailer envelopes (see the first related post below), the number of applications that do not require a corrugated box have grown. In many cases, there are different style or designs that will do the job as well at a lower cost. For example, we now have new equipment able to print the inside and outside of an RSC box in a single pass. That delivers that premium look at a much lower cost compared to a die-cut mailer. Another design innovation is our Ta-Da Box which was featured in Packaging Design Magazine. This is just one of many new designs we offer.
WHERE THERE IS A NEED, THERE IS A WAY!
It is our unofficial slogan, but it is true. There is always a way to reduce a customer’s packaging cost.
Recently we engaged a website developer to help us create a new look. He is taking us through a process that begins with an introspective analysis of our company and our external messaging. As business owners, it’s the sort of thing we all know we should do periodically, but we get too caught up in the day-to-day business to ever take the time to do it.
That is the way it is with packaging. Customers are so busy picking, packing, and shipping orders every day to ever really think about their packaging from an unbiased perspective. What they need is experienced minds looking at the entire process, not just to save a few percentage points but to produce overall double-digit savings to offset fast-rising costs.
Don’t expect an industry price decrease any time soon, if ever. If you want a lower cost, you have to produce it and we can help you. Give us a call at 630-551-1700 or contact us through this website. We look forward to working with you.