How to Save Money on Packing Supplies and Shipping

Your packing supplies and shipping are often the largest expenses you'll face if you manage a warehouse or production facility of any sort, or if you work from home and ship out items to your online customers. There are many things you can do to save on both of these expenses if you plan ahead when it comes to the items to buy for your particular packaging and shipping needs. Note a few simple but very effective tips for saving on the costs of packing supplies and shipping, no matter your industry or product.

1. Use envelopes rather than boxes

Your shipping company will probably charge you by size of packages and not just weight, so use envelopes rather than boxes where possible. These will be smaller so you save on both weight and overall dimensions. You can often find plastic envelopes or cardboard envelopes that fit your product and offer the same protection as a box. You can also eliminate the need for packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and other fillers when you use envelopes, also reducing your costs for packing supplies.

2. Recycle

If you ship to one customer repeatedly and use the same type of packaging for the product, note if they will collect the boxes or packing materials and set them aside so you can have them returned to you or have them picked up during a delivery. You can then reuse these packages for future deliveries, keeping them out of landfills and also cutting down on your costs. This is especially good for thick cardboard or for shipping items on pallets, as these types of packing materials can often withstand the rigors of repeated use. Your customer might also appreciate not having these items fill their garbage bins, so they may be happy to work with you to get these back to your facility regularly.

3. Invest in a vacuum seal

If you need to package your items in a plastic bag before you put them in a shipping container, invest in a vacuum seal. This will remove much of the air from the bag. You can then ship more items in one box or ship your items in a smaller box since the bag won't be taking up so much space. A vacuum seal may also provide more protection for your items since you can then pack them very tightly; they won't move around in their plastic bag during transit and will be less likely to break or get damaged inside the packaging.