How to Maximize Your Shipping Weights & Sizes: How to Ship Smarter As A Small Business Part 2
How to Maximize your shipping weights and sizes
Okay, okay. The title is a little cheesy, I’ll give you that. But hey, this is an article about how much size actually does matter when you’re shipping items, so we couldn’t resist. Plus, it got you here, reading the article, which is great.
I’m assuming you’re a small business owner or manager that’s spending way too much time and effort shipping your products. Awesome. We’re here to help.
Hopefully, you’ve read part 1 of our 10 part How to Ship Better series (which we will be converting to a beautiful eBook after post 10) but if you haven’t yet, that’s okay. You can read it next. If you haven’t read the previous post and you have no interest in learning how to ship your products more efficiently, then this post is not for you and I apologize that it’s taken you this long to realize that. Since you’ve made it this far though, here’s a funny link to a video about shipping from K-Mart. Enjoy!
Now we can get down to the nitty gritty of how size matters in shipping and how you can make sure that you’re maximizing your efficiency with each order.
Common Size & Weight Mistakes To Avoid
Common Mistake 1: Weighing Finished Packages Instead of Products
Many companies weigh each individual package before it’s shipped. While knowing the package’s weight is obviously important to make sure you’re not overpaying, weighing immediately before shipping costs unnecessary time.
Instead, weigh each product and your packaging up front. In your inventory management software, mark the accurate product weight. Next, automate the process so that the weight calculation of orders is based on the products included and the weight of the packaging materials. This way each order will have an accurate weight attached before anything is even placed in the box, saving you and your team from costly mistakes.
Common Mistake 2: Estimating Weights
If you take our advice above, this won’t be an issue. But we still wanted to highlight it, because if your weights are wrong when you print your postage, a) your customer will have to pay for the difference on arrival or b) you’ll end up paying more than is necessary. I don’t have to tell you about the problems either option causes. Don’t be lazy. Know your weights.
Common Mistake 3: Not Utilizing Dimensional Pricing
Instead of pricing based off weight, dimensional pricing is now in effect. If you have a small, dense product (like our rolls of amazing direct thermal shipping labels), it makes sense for you to take advantage of dimensional pricing. If you can cram a lot of your product into a smaller box, you’ll end up paying much less.
Common Mistake 4: Using the Wrong Boxes
Many shipping teams, especially at smaller operations, simply grab whatever box is closest when packing orders. You’ll end up with damaged products and both higher shipping and material costs if you employ this method. Instead, learn about the various options you have for boxes from your shipping vendors (see Part 1 of the shipping series: Meet Your Reps) and make sure you have a variety of boxes that fits your product line and volume.
You will also want to consider regional flat-rate boxes to save costs if you are shipping a lower volume of orders.
So there you have it. Size matters. In fact, it’s just about the most important aspect of shipping. If you don’t know the size and weight of your products and shipping materials and you don’t know the different advantages that each shipping vendor offers based on your company’s size and volume, then you will be sure to continue spending way too much money and time on shipping.
In case you missed Part #1 of the series, you can read it now. Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Post #3: Utilizing Shipping Freebies