Optimizing Warehouse Packaging for Cost EfficiencyAnna Lee
Making a leaner, more efficient warehouse is a smart way to reduce overall costs, but there is more you can do on a smaller scale, too. Looking at the individual aspects of your warehouse and the jobs performed therein can provide avenues for cost savings. One of these avenues lies within the exterior packaging you’re using.
The exterior packaging is what the product or packaged product is placed in for shipment. It can include fill to protect the product, and it includes everything from a small cardboard box to a crate or other container that is necessary for oversized products.
In a warehouse, there are ways you can ensure that you are getting as good a return as possible on all packaging. Here are four:
- Fit the pallets. Using pallets to store products will help you maximize the precious space that is available in your warehouse. It also makes moving SKUs back and forth easier and faster. When you choose or design your packaging, keep in mind how you can fit as many boxes as possible on a pallet. When fewer packages fit on a pallet, it takes up extra space and also increases costs along the supply chain. Find packaging that maximizes your use of pallets.
- Consider its duty to protect. Packages get crushed and dented all the time from mishandling and even handling in general. Throw forklifts into the mix, and there are even more opportunities for your products to fall or get otherwise banged around. Your packaging needs to sufficiently protect its contents so that when mistakes happen, it doesn’t take money out of your pocket over damaged goods. It also needs to protect your goods from the environment, like extreme temperatures, or in some cases, static electricity. On the flip side, you also don’t want the packaging to add a lot of weight. This adds to your shipping costs.
- Be mindful of the material. The material you choose for your packaging definitely plays into the last point. The ideal choice is something that is lightweight, yet strong. There are other factors to consider, though, especially when you think about what the customer wants and/or expects. Recycled or recyclable materials are attractive to customers, especially those who go through a lot of packaging. The option to recycle is only becoming more important to people.
- Be mindful of the fill. Void fill varies in cost, and it also varies in practicality. Some will better protect fragile contents while others simply minimize jostling. Don’t use expensive fill for something that doesn’t need it, and don’t use more than you need. Savings – and waste – on fill adds up quickly.
By being smart about your packaging, you can shave both time and money off of your overall process and expenses. If you’re unsure how to make the best choice, or if you have a complex packaging issue you need help with, consult Packnet. We have numerous materials and other packaging solutions available to fit every need. Our engineers can custom design a package for you, too. We listen to our clients’ needs and then provide a solution that exceeds their expectations. Call us at 952-944-9124.