Have you ever mailed a package to a customer and later learned the goods inside were damaged, lost, or destroyed? Besides being embarrassing, having to resend a package can be expensive and time consuming. While you don't have control over the shipping and handling of your package, you do have full control in the way it's packed, and can take the right measures to physically protect your shipment from damages during transit. Here are four basic packing and shipping factors to consider for preventing package damages and cutting costs.
20% of returns are due to damaged products, and replacement products can be up to 17x more expensive to ship. If you know your product is fragile, take precaution. Most shipping damage is the result of items within a shipping box being moved. You'll want to secure your products as tightly as possible, so even if the box moves around in transit, your items are safe.
Use corrugated bubble wrap to individually wrap your more delicate items before placing them in a shipping box. Unlike plastic bubble wrap, corrugated bubble wrap is eco-friendly, and made of up-cycled cardboard. Include additional packing materials when arranging breakable goods within a shipping container. To prevent damage from a package being moved, pack tightly using sustainable packing materials. You can find a list of eco-friendly materials here.
Consider the environment that your package will be exposed to when traveling. This is especially important for packages transported for thousands of miles, whether it's by truck, rail, or air.
Determine if your package will be going through challenging environmental conditions, such as extreme weather, and humidity. Materials that absorb moisture can help alleviate the risk of damage due to humidity changes within the container. Wood, paper, natural fiber fabrics, and silica gel are all great examples of moisture-absorbing packaging materials.
Check the Edge Crush Test (ECT) for a box, which states how much weight can be loaded on it before it buckles and then collapses. This awesome video by Lumi shows you exactly how to do the test, in under a minute.
Pro Tip: Pack heavy, large items in boxes with double or triple walls. Small to medium-sized products can be shipped in single-walled boxes.
- Ship liquids separately, if possible. However, if this isn't an option, be sure to separate liquids from solid items by using jiffy envelopes
- Lightweight packages can sometimes cost more to ship than heavier ones when they take up more space. Shipping companies use dimensional weight to determine shipping costs for bulky packages, even when they're lightweight. Dimensional weight consumes space on a shipping container, so this factor also affects shipping costs. Choose the smallest package possible for your items to cut costs. You can even ship clothing in an envelope if it fits!
- Don't go to extremes regarding packing materials for sturdier items, such as books. To save money, decide what's necessary and unnecessary for safely packing shipments. In other words, items that are not fragile don't need to be wrapped in thick, heavy-duty packing materials.
At eShipper, we love helping small businesses create efficiencies through packaging and shipping solutions. Contact us to get a cost analysis and see where you can save.