One little change to your packaging process can make a huge difference to the overall cost of getting a product picked off the warehouse shelf, packed up, and delivered safely to your customers’ happy hands.

And with ecommerce set to make up 20% of retail sales by 2019, many businesses will find themselves in a situation where demand has outgrown their packing and distribution processes. This is why it’s crucial your process is optimised.

To make sure you’re doing everything to make it as cheap as possible, you should start with your process. Making the right changes at the right points in your operation could cut hundreds of thousands from your packaging costs, so let’s see what you can do.

TRANSIT

Most logistics companies will charge based on the cubic volume of packages. This means that even taking 1mm off each package or reducing the volume of each pallet, even fractionally, will save you a lot of money each year.

But it’s your distribution process that may be costing you more than you think. Especially if you consider the amount of goods that become lost or damaged in transit. This can lead to some big losses when you need to replace any items. The best way to get around this is to make sure your pallets are loaded securely. This can be done with automation.

AUTOMATION

Introducing automation at the batch and palletisation points can also help you make huge savings. When you think about the cost of incorrectly palletised loads being rejected or damaged in transit, it becomes crystal clear that investment in this area can give you some serious long-term savings. Automation can help you not only speed up your packaging process, but also with accuracy and precision, it can make it more accurate and much cheaper for your business, as employees are freed up from their time constraints.

WAREHOUSE SPACE SAVING

Improve pick/pack timings and efficiency on-site by freeing up space in your warehouse. The key is to keep the flow of products in and out of the warehouse smoothly. One of the best ways to tackle this is to reduce the amount of packaging materials or stop buying larger-than-necessary quantities to reduce per-unit costs. You’d think that buying in bulk would save you money, but not when there’s so much in your warehouse that it’s hindering your process.

It’s also possible to order smaller volumes as they’re needed. Some providers even offer a stock holding service. This means you don’t have to store the excess stock until needed.

COMMUNICATION

There must be a solid communication strategy in place to make it easier for businesses to find problems within the delivery stage. If too many packages are being damaged, your warehouse gets told quickly, to help you make better decisions on how to resolve these issues. It also means you can rectify the problem before it becomes a huge issue for your company. What’s more, timings can be optimised when there’s a strong, communicative, collaborative relationship between warehouse managers and transporters.

Reassessing your packaging and distribution process, right from picking and packing to delivery, can enable you to find new ways to optimise your process. Around 70% of our online retail customers who have done this are now using bespoke packaging solutions that have saved them so much in costs.

Learn how you could resolve your packaging cost issues with this free whitepaper.