Can You Lower Shipping Costs by Reducing Package Sizes? A Comprehensive Guide on Ways to Reduce Sizes of Package During eCommerce Shipping (2022)

Shipping costs form a significant part of the overall expenditures that eCommerce businesses need to incur to successfully fulfill orders. While it is a necessary and unavoidable cost, practising a few sensible strategies can enable sellers to save a large amount of money, which is especially crucial for small and medium-sized businesses that are already operating on thin profit margins. We can reduce shipping costs in a variety of ways, but one of the most attainable ones is by reducing package sizes for every shipment.

It may not seem like an obvious solution but if every package comprises a reduced footprint on the delivery vehicle, more parcels can be added and delivered in the same shipment, rather than needing multiple attempts. A large portion of shipping costs is calculated depending on the size and weight of the shipment. By having small package sizes, retailers can offset additional costs by either having smaller package sizes or using the extra space to ship more orders. In this blog, we will take a more detailed look at the importance of reducing package sizes, how it can help lower shipping costs and 5 ways to enable small package sizes.

Importance of Reducing Package Sizes in eCommerce

Lowers Shipping Costs

The primary reason for reducing package sizes is to lower shipping costs. Since shipping costs are largely determined by the size and scale of the shipment, having small package sizes can be beneficial to retailers by saving them a significant amount of money that they can then reinvest in other aspects of the business, such as product development and marketing. For eCommerce sellers that are in the process of expanding their services to other regions, having lower shipping costs due to reduced package sizes will enable them to offer lower prices to their customers, ship more orders in bulk and attain positive customer feedback as a result.

Reduces the Amount of Packaging Material Needed

By optimizing all the processes involved in packaging, retailers can reduce the amount of material they need for each delivery. eCommerce packaging generally requires many layers to keep the product safe and intact in transit, such as the product box, bubble wrap, plastic covers and the outer box. If the entire package is stripped of any unnecessary materials and is only delivered with the components that are needed, it will not only reduce shipping costs by creating smaller, less weighty shipments but will also reduce the amount of wastage that customers need to get rid off when they unpackage their order. 

Related Article: Eco-Friendly Shipping for eCommerce Companies in 2022 to Go Green & Be Sustainable

Takes up Less Space in Storage and Transit

We have already established that reducing package sizes enables lower shipping costs but the central way that this is achieved is through the use of lighter and smaller packaging. For instance, 1 large television will cost more to ship than 2 smartphones, even though the value of the smartphones may be higher. This is due to the fact that the television will take up more space in transit, thereby reducing the storage capacity of the eCommerce shipping company. Additionally, heavy items are more challenging to load and unload which increases labour costs. Therefore, it is important to try and store as many items as you can while shipping out orders.

WareIQ – Amazon-prime Like Logistics for Modern Brands in India

WareIQ, an eCommerce fulfillment company, empowers online brands with a superior-tech platform to compete with Amazon like service levels by bringing their average delivery timelines from 5-10 days to 1-2 days.

"With WareIQ, UTH is able to consolidate common inventory for all platforms and get much closer to the customer through access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres, and last mile & hyper-local courier partners. We are excited about being able to offer same day delivery in several pin codes due to WareIQ."
- Samit Mehta, Founder, UTH Beverages

3 Areas Where Reducing Package Sizes Can Lower Shipping Costs

Weight 

One of the biggest trends in eCommerce shipping is the effort companies are making to reduce the weight of their packages, which can be done by removing certain elements such as bubble wrap or plastic. The heavier the package, the more costs they inspire due to the difficulties associated with loading and unloading them, shifting their position, and additional strain they put on the delivery vehicle, causing higher wear and tear, and lower fuel efficiency, not to mention the increased risks of them damaging other, more petite products.

Dimensions

When it comes to eCommerce, bigger does not always mean better. Larger packages are always more expensive to ship than their smaller counterparts. Therefore, it is important for retailers to find ways to reduce their package dimensions. A relatively well-known example of this would be the recent trend of smartphone manufacturers opting to ship their phones without headphones or chargers, initially pioneered by Apple. This has enabled box sizes to reduce dramatically, while devices themselves continue to get bigger. This allows companies to ship more of their products in the same cycle, reducing the number and frequency of shipments they require to fulfill a certain amount of products.

Handling

Packages that are larger in size translate to many physical constraints such as more workers required to load or unload them, or heavier vehicles needed to transport them. For instance, maybe 50 boxes of a small product, such as AirPods, could be loaded onto a vehicle by the time it takes to load 5 washing machines. This is one area value isn’t directly associated with size as smaller products are often more expensive than larger ones. To make product handling easier, faster and cheaper, consider investing in lightweight and more durable packaging materials so that products can have the same protection, without the added bulk.

5 Ways to Successfully Reduce the Package Sizes of Your eCommerce Business

Optimise Your Product Placement

The way a product is placed inside a box can have massive implications on its overall footprint. Analyse your product’s dimensions and figure out the most efficient way to place it inside of its original box. This will automatically reduce the size of the outer storage layers. Practices like vertically stacking product elements on top of each other instead of side by side can have a positive impact on reducing package sizes.

Bundle Similar Products / Orders Together

One way to reduce shipment sizes is by placing similar products or orders together. For instance, if a shipment comprises multiple beauty products, they can all be packaged together in the same overall consignment. Similarly, if many orders are placed from the same location, all the products needed to fulfill those orders can be bundled together (also known as product bundling), which will result in a reduced shipment size as opposed to having scattered packages for the same order location.

Use Custom Packaging Solutions

Custom packaging services offered by 3PL companies can immensely help in creating small package sizes. In contrast to companies like Amazon that just have a standard package design for every order, regardless of the nature of the product, customized packaging can tailor every aspect of the package to your liking. This will enable products to be packaged more optimally, taking into consideration the design and dimensions of the product. Additionally, you can have more control over how you highlight your brand.

Reduce the Use of Plastic

Plastic packaging materials in the form of bubble rap and protection film can significantly increase the size and bulk of shipments. While products do require some amount of protection from mishaps that can occur in transit, a large amount of space can be saved by only cutting it down to the bare essentials. You can also conduct research into how to make boxes stronger so that they will be able to withstand more pressure rather than relying on heaps of plastic materials within the box.

Opt for Multi-Function Packaging

If you sell a wide range of products with similar sizes, consider having one standard box design that you can use among all of them, with just the design and product information varying based on the product. Additionally, you can make your packaging itself double as the brochure instead of including a separate one. There are also a wide variety of box designs that can fold in when stored and expand when unpackaged.

Conclusion: Can WareIQ’s Services Help Reduce Package Sizes for Your Company?

If you need to reduce your logistical and operational costs, shipping expenses would be a good place to start. To enable significant savings on shipping and last-mile delivery, reducing package sizes to their smallest possible occupancy is essential. eCommerce packaging generally comes with a lot of bloatware that is ultimately wasted once the product is unpackaged. It is important to ascertain what materials are essential to keep the product safe and what materials can be removed to save space.

Additionally, how a product is placed in a box can also have an impact on its size. By having small package sizes, you will be able to reduce the amount of space that is taken up by each SKU, resulting in lower shipping costs and additional space to place more items. If you are an eCommerce retailer that needs assistance with reducing package sizes to lower shipping costs, WareIQ can be the answer you are looking for. 

reducing package sizes_WareIQ services

WareIQ is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce fulfillment companies in India. We provide a swathe of solutions encompassing every aspect of eCommerce. In terms of reducing package sizes and lowering shipping costs, we offer the following solutions:

Custom Packaging

We provide all our customers with custom packaging facilities so that they can offer a truly personalised experience to their customers. You can choose to highlight your brand, choose your design, colour, materials, product placement and much more. We can help offer your customers a one-of-a-kind unboxing experience while also reducing package sizes to help you generate more space in storage and transit.

Partnership With Multiple Shipping Companies

We have partnered with 20 of the largest shipping aggregators in India. We will automatically assign the fastest route and most cost-effective delivery option for every order. If there is a delay with any provider on any route, we will transfer the order to the next-best option, ensuring that your orders are always delivered on time. Additionally, you can avail of bulk discounts if your orders are over a certain threshold.

No Order Restrictions

We do not impose any minimum or maximum restrictions on your inventory, either in storage or transit. You can simply opt for the amount of space you need in any of our fulfillment centers or transport vehicles and pay for what you use. Additionally, you can add or remove space according to your requirements.

Reduce Packaging Sizes: FAQs