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The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money on Packaging and Shipping: 8 Must-Try Tips

by Busines Newswire
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Shipping costs can feel like a constant problem for any business owner, especially those dealing with e-commerce. 

But fear not, here are 8 effective strategies to significantly reduce your packaging and shipping expenses, freeing up valuable resources to invest in other areas of your business.

1. Choose The Right-Sizing

Carriers calculate shipping costs based on both the weight and the dimensional weight (DIM weight) of your package.  

Using a box that’s twice the size of your product essentially means you’re paying to ship air. Invest in a variety of box sizes, ranging from small to extra-large, to ensure a snug fit for your products. 

Consider using a measuring tool to determine the exact dimensions needed for each item. This way, you can order boxes in bulk at wholesale prices without sacrificing valuable storage space.

2. Explore Packaging Alternatives

While bubble wrap and peanuts might be the traditional go-to for fragile items, they’re not always the most cost-effective option. Consider lighter and eco-friendly alternatives that offer similar protection:

  • Bubble Mailers/ Bubble Envelopes: Perfect for flat items like clothing, documents, or artwork, bubble mailers or bubble envelopes provide a thin layer of cushioning for less delicate items. They’re lightweight and affordable, helping you keep your shipping costs down.


  • Molded Paper Pulp Inserts: These sustainable inserts are made from recycled paper pulp and can be customized to fit the shape of your product, offering excellent protection for fragile items.


  • Crinkled Recycled Paper: A great eco-friendly alternative to packing peanuts, crinkled recycled paper provides void fill and cushioning for your products. It’s lightweight and helps showcase your commitment to environmental responsibility.

3. The Power of Negotiation!

If you’re a high-volume shipper, don’t be afraid to leverage your business with major carriers like FedEx, UPS, or USPS. Pick up the phone and have a conversation with their sales team. 

Explain your typical shipping needs and ask about volume discounts or flat-rate options tailored to your business. You might be surprised at the deals you can score by simply negotiating!

4. Fill those Empty Boxes

Dead space in your packages means wasted money on shipping. Here are a couple of strategies to maximize space utilization:

  • Strategic Void Fill: While filling empty space is important, avoid using excessive void fill materials that add unnecessary weight. 

Opt for lightweight, eco-friendly options like crinkled recycled paper or inflatable air pillows that can be customized to fit the specific shape of your product.

5. Local Pick-Up or Delivery

If you have a significant local customer base, consider offering convenient in-store pickup or local delivery options. 

This eliminates shipping costs altogether for local customers and potentially reduces packaging needs for nearby deliveries.  

This strategy can be particularly effective for bulky or heavy items that would typically incur high shipping costs.

6. Repurpose and Reuse: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Before tossing out old packaging materials, consider ways to reuse them.  Cardboard boxes can be broken down and used for smaller shipments. 

Packing peanuts, if not damaged, can be saved for future use.  Encourage customers to reuse packaging materials whenever possible as well. 

Every little bit helps in reducing waste and lowering your overall packaging costs.

7. Go Green, Save Green

Eco-friendly packaging materials are not only good for the environment but can also be cost-effective.  

Many carriers offer discounts for using recyclable or biodegradable packaging materials. Also, customers are increasingly drawn to businesses that prioritize sustainability. 

So, by going green with your packaging, you can potentially save money on shipping costs while attracting new customers who share your environmental values.

8. Standardize the Packaging Process

Develop clear packaging guidelines for your team to follow, ensuring consistency in the way products are prepared for shipping. This minimizes the risk of over-packing, which can add unnecessary weight and cost to your shipments.  

Training your staff about efficient and standardized packing methods can significantly improve your bottom line.  Here are some key elements to include in your packaging guidelines:

  • Weight and Size Restrictions: Inform your team about the weight and size limitations of various shipping options to ensure they choose the most cost-effective method for each shipment.


  • Box Selection: Provide a guide for selecting the right box size based on product dimensions to minimize wasted space.


  • Sealing and Labeling: Establish clear procedures for securely sealing boxes and properly attaching shipping labels to avoid delays or damage during transit.

The Final Words

By implementing these 8 strategies, you can significantly reduce your packaging and shipping costs, freeing up resources to invest in other areas of your business growth. 

Remember, a little planning and innovation go a long way in keeping  your shipping budget under control. 

Put these tactics into practice and watch your shipping costs shrink, allowing you to fuel your business growth and keep more money in your pocket!