Skip to main content

Thinking Inside the Box

Modernizing your packaging methods can save money and keep customers happy.

When you’ve been shipping with the same corrugated boxes for years, why question it, right? So wrong! Understanding the subtle nuances of what you’re shipping—how often you’re shipping it, and to where—is crucial for saving on distribution expenses and also for staying in your customers’ good graces.

The big question: What are you shipping?

Corrugated boxes are great for vegetables, eggs, durable goods, baked goods, additives, and more. Identifying which items, and how many, are to be shipped should determine packaging selection. But sometimes that’s not the case.

Fitting in

Companies often choose shipping boxes from set corrugated inventories, and occasionally none of the available options are compatible with the product being shipped. For instance, a small box of batteries may ship inside a shoebox-sized corrugated box because there are no better options. Additional expenses (and customer annoyances) that could have been avoided—such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, paper, tape, and additional postage—then have to be factored in.

Show me the savings

What once seemed like a sound idea (“We’ll manage distribution costs by buying these five boxes in bulk and getting a great discount on them”) may quickly become questionable once a new product or customer is added to your business. Savings once realized may no longer be applicable. Environmentally-conscious customers might express concern about waste. And packing a box within a box requires unnecessary manpower and postage. In short, it’s time to reconsider.

Go on a discovery mission

Setting your shipping to autopilot may seem like a burden averted, but if it’s been a while since you’ve assessed your distribution behaviors, it’s probably time to consult with a strategic partner who can build a process-oriented packaging strategy that works for your business. That’s where the overspending ends—and the real value begins.

By Liberty Kontranowski