How optimised ecommerce packaging can reduce your transport costs

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Have you ever considered how your ecommerce packaging could impact your transport costs? Let’s set the scene…

In the UK, and many places around the world, businesses are faced with rising expenses. If you’re an internet retailer shipping parcels, you won’t be immune. In April 2022, Royal Mail increased their prices on all postage. First class stamp prices increased by 12%.

The hike in costs also applies to parcel rates too. Small parcels up to 2KG now cost £3.35 to sent 2nd class vs. £3.20 a year ago. That’s a 4.6% increase in a year.  And it’s not just Royal Mail… at the start of the year, UK road freight prices were reported to be up 15% vs. the start of 2021.

Coupled with rising energy prices, supply chain constraints and raw material price increases, it’s no wonder ecommerce businesses are looking to cut costs where they can.

So, how can your ecommerce packaging help you control these rising costs?

There are several factors that are considered when shipping costs are calculated. Key among these is shipping size and weight, as well as dimensional (DIM) weight.

Most carriers will have standard pricing tariffs structured around the size and weight of your parcel. Therefore, the right size ecommerce packaging can be key. For example, we offer Royal Mail size cardboard boxes and postal packaging that help you ensure you meet the appropriate sizes for large letter, small, medium, and large parcels.

However, when it comes to DIM weight, things can become more complex. Dimensional weight refers to your packaging density. This is the amount of space it occupies in relation to its actual weight.  If your DIM weight exceeds the actual weight of your parcel, you will often be billed against the dimensional weight. This can push your transport costs up.

When you’re considering the DIM weight of your parcels, you can’t underestimate the importance of packaging in ecommerce. Your packaging materials, whether it’s the outer cardboard box or the in-box packaging like bubble wrap or paper cushioning, ALL contribute to the DIM weight of your shipment.

If you’re packing your product in a box that’s too big and loading it with void fill, you could be paying over the odds to ship the parcel. Paying close attention to the volume of packaging you use can help you reduce the amount of courier space you use and the number of vehicles to ship your parcels, therefore lowering your transport costs. Shaving just a few millimetres off your overall packaging size could help you make big cost savings.

A good example of how to reduce pack weight would be to use performance cardboard grades. These are lighter and thinner than the board in the boxes you may be using, but just as strong. Changing the orientation of your ecommerce packaging could also help optimise the space it uses too.

What else can optimised ecommerce packaging influence?

Optimising the size of your ecommerce packaging doesn’t just help you reduce your transport costs. It can have a positive knock-on effect on the environment too!

Reducing the weight and size of your parcels means less fossil fuels are used in the transport of your goods. In turn, this means fewer carbon emissions. You’re also creating less waste because you’re using less packaging. A win-win situation.

Plus, it’s not just the environment that will benefit from you optimising the size of your parcels. If you’re using less packaging for ecommerce, you’ll need less space to store it. This can be a boon if you’re struggling to find space to store your own product or pay rental for warehouse storage.

How the Packaging Optimiser can help you reduce the size of your ecommerce packaging

Earlier this year, we launched a brand-new tool called the Packaging Optimiser. It can show you how small changes to your ecommerce packaging materials can make a big difference to your costs and the environment.

Our exclusive tool can drill down in to parcel cubage, the cubic meters of vehicle space required for transport and packaging weights so you can review your shipping costs with ease.

If you’re an online retailer want to reduce your transport costs by optimising your ecommerce packaging, or needs help with custom ecommerce packaging, speak to the Macfarlane Packaging team today.


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