Why Packing Optimization Matters

packing optimization matters

When it comes to eCommerce, every penny counts thats why packing optimization matters.

The traditionally thin margins that are often associated with eCommerce must be protected at all costs. But what if there were actually areas that could not only be optimized to maintain margins, but also grow them? This is where shipping strategy and packing optimization comes to play.

Most people see shipping as a necessary evil and an unavoidable added expense. However, on the contrary, the most successful eCommerce companies actually use shipping as a differentiator and growth mechanism. One place we can look for low-hanging fruit, ripe for improvement, is packing optimization. So, what is packing optimization? It is the simple practice of using the smallest possible box for shipping of any order, regardless of piece count and size. By  leveraging hardware-free dimensional pricing mechanisms, your company can use this as a means to mitigate shipping costs and even increase profit margins.

A common way to calculate packing optimization is to use a hardware-free dimensional pricing calculator that finds you the most cost effective service and box size to minimize business expenses. By doing so, businesses can then provide optimized in-cart pricing directly to buyers, which reduces shipping costs while also increasing conversions.

While using a dimensional pricing calculator gets the job done, just imagine if your software could automatically determine the optimal packing for a mix of items without any human intervention on your part.  Not only would you save money on shipping, time, and labor costs, but you would also eliminate the chance for human error. That’s what hardware-free dimensional pricing and packing optimization software is all about!

If you choose to use shipping software to utilize packing optimization, the next question is, which shipping software should you select? There are many factors you must consider, but the very first step is determining what your needs are.  Do you ship parcel, LTL or both?  Do you need software that is able to rate shop both parcel and LTL options? Do you need software that determines when a large quantity of boxes would be better suited for LTL shipping or when a pallet would be more cost effective to ship as loose boxes?

While there are a number of ways to achieve dimensional pricing optimization for every need, not all options are hardware-free. Some 3rd party softwares require hardware and software to provide packing optimization, so it is critical to spend enough time determining what your needs are and how you need the software to work.  It may be helpful to visualize how you currently fulfill orders and try to pinpoint where you would benefit from such efficiencies, which often includes removing a step or two from your current fulfillment process.

Another thing to keep in mind is carrier flat rate boxes. Through packing optimization methods that include hardware-free dimensional pricing calculations, you can implement a system that determines when it is more cost effective to leverage a carrier flat rate box instead of a standard box.  By using software capable of making these decision on an order-by-order basis, you will ensure that every shipment is priced appropriately and can be confident you are not giving your hard earned profit to the shipping companies.

Regardless of whether you choose to go with a hardware based solution or hardware-free, the sooner you implement a packing optimization method into your fulfillment processes the better.  This will allow you to reduce costs, increase business, and free up resources to focus on what matters most: continuing to grow your business.

Things to Think About: Shipping Packages

Things to Think About: Shipping Packages

You have an item. You sold this item to a person in another city. This item will not fit in an envelope. This item is large. It needs to be put in a box. But, which box? Which carrier do you use? How do you ensure you are getting the best rates and capturing the highest ROI for this item?

Below, I’ve listed 3 things to think about when you are beginning to build your eCommerce business

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UPS & FedEx Raise Shipping Rates for 2017

UPS & FedEx Raise Shipping Rates for 2017

With FedEx and UPS both announcing rate hikes last year, I wanted to take a quick moment to break down the changes in shipping rates:

FedEx’s rate hike took effect on January 2, 2017. Some of these changes include:

  • FedEx Express rates are increasing by an average of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export, and U.S. import services;
  • FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates are increasing by an average of 4.9%, with FedEx SmartPost rates also changing;
  • FedEx Express and FedEx Ground U.S. domestic dimensional weight advisor will change from 166 to 139;
  • FedEx Freight rates will increase by an average of 4.9%;
  • The FedEx Freight extreme length surcharge will change from $88 to $150, and will be applied to shipments 12 feet or greater compared to the prior 15 feet

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How to Find the Best Shipping Method

best shipping options

How to Find the Best Shipping Method

Is it an antique armoire? How about an industrial washing machine or a high value piece of technology? No matter what item it is, at one point in time, it had to be shipped. Finding the best shipping method for your goods can be extremely difficult. Here are a few factors to consider to make shipping a little easier.

Boxes

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