9 Smart Shipping Tricks And Packaging Solutions To Reduce Supply Chain Costs

by | Aug 10, 2021

5 min read


Shipping is – expensive!

In general, shipping costs increase every year. In addition to that, the pandemic triggered a sudden soar in shipping and logistics due to the ecom boom.

And supply chain challenges don’t end there.

Shipping disasters like the Suez canal blockage, Xinda 9 shipwreck, and close to 400,000 seafarers stranded at sea further agonize the situation.

This makes it even more challenging for supply chain companies to tackle humanitarian crises and keep up with profit margins.

So how can eCommerce businesses and supply chains predict and manage risks to save costs, reduce penalties, overcome hidden costs, and stabilize revenue margins?

Here are 9 shipping strategies and packaging solutions to reduce supply chain shipping costs.

1. Look for Fast Loading Carrier Companies

The shipping and logistics pricing quoted by the carrier is inclusive of the loading time. It could be anywhere between 2-4 hours, depending on the fragility of the goods, quantity, and package size.

However, if the same is done in half the time, it can help shipper companies like yours negotiate a better rate with the carrier and save significant costs.

A reduction in load time by a number as low as 5% can quickly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

2. Plan Your Logistics and Schedule Night Pick-ups

Well-planned logistics operations can save last-minute costs and extra penalties that arise out of urgency.

Hasty logistics scheduling also results in delivery delays, missed freight or cargo, and financial losses. Planning ahead and keeping weather, international events, and border situations in check can save you costs and stress.

Quick tip: In the real world, advance planning is not always possible. But smart planning is. During a crisis or for last-minute deliveries, look for night pick-ups instead of the standard transport options to save at least 15-20% on standard rates.

How does this work?

For a potential saving of 15-20% on standard rates, give carriers a night pick-up time. The carrier can fill his backhaul with your freight, leading to maximum utilization of carrier space, especially for a long haul.

3. Off-Peak Days Shipping

According to air freight company, Bookairfreight, they say you can save up to 35% of your shipping costs by choosing off-peak days shipment.

How to plan to ship on off-peak days?

Bookairfreight says, planning and coordinating production to ship before peak seasons is a smart way to save costs that most businesses fail to do.

Why does this work?

Generally, Mondays and Fridays are considered ‘non-peak days’ because most suppliers want their product stock ready in store shelves by Thursday before weekend shopping starts. Carriers tend to have low volume on Mondays due to this reason.

However, advanced shipping is profitable for canned food or non-perishable products.

On the other hand, off-peak season shipping works because there’s less competition and more available freight capacity.

Also, when the logistics companies are given advance notice about future loads, they are well placed to maximize their assets and resources, including vehicles, drivers, and warehouse space, to accommodate carrier requests.

With potentially no waiting time, the carriers see an increase in their profit. It’s a win-win for both parties.

4. Use Fast Boats for International Transportation

Fast boat shipping is a viable alternative for airfreight logistics which is a much more expensive option. Using fast boats with full container quantities not only reduces supply chain costs but also saves months of time.

LogisticsPlus is one supply chain company that offers fast boat shipping.

5. Optimize Your Packaging To Save Costs

You can minimize shipping costs considerably by designing packaging for cargo freight efficiencies.

Involving the logistics teams in product design, packaging solutions and carton selection helps max out cubes in trailers or ships and saves costs.

Here are a few package optimization strategies to minimize supply chain waste:

6. Use Appropriate Dunnage

When products are shipped across the oceans or on a long-distance, extra packaging (like airbags and straps) is used in plenty.

Extra packaging is used to minimize free space between the product and the packaging box to prevent potential damage to products.

Seeking help from carriers to choose appropriate dunnage, lesser filler material, and recycled packaging helps in reducing shipping charges.

7. Optimize The Cube Of The Product

Boxing the products into the right cube size helps in stacking boxes and reduces pallet spots. The right pallet size makes it easier to load/unload the pallets into/from a trailer or a container.

This speeds up the loading and unloading process and ultimately saves loads of time and tons of money.

Many carrier companies help suppliers and manufacturers with building appropriate pallets.

8. Use Sustainable Packaging To Reduce Costs

Packaging is more than just boxing.

And packaging is an often overlooked area that can actually improve supply chain performance.

With climate change becoming a real threat to supply chains, several organizations now prefer eco-friendly and sustainable packaging.

Sustainable packaging is the process of sourcing, developing, and using packaging with minimal environmental impact and minimal carbon footprint.

For more details on sustainable packaging that reduces shipping costs, click here.

And to see what consumers think about eco-friendly packaging, check out this report.

9. Opt for carriers located near shipment points

Carriers based closer to ship-to points may carry your load as a backhaul and fill up empty miles. This leads to reduced freight rates and hence saves you costs.

Again, not many suppliers use this strategy to their advantage because they don’t know how to track miles and shipping points to optimize their supply chains.

Need help doing just that? Click here for a free demo.

Topics: Shipping Costs, Shipping Data, Supply Chain Operations

How much do shoppers care about eco-friendly shipping? We asked 500 consumers.

Check out related resources at Sifted.