Contact Us: (877) 717-2520
Product Packaging Best Practices
Long before shipping a single unit of product, you need to research and plan the packaging of your product. Not only does efficient packaging reduce shipping costs, but it has a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of fuel needed to ship product. If you can ship 1000 units instead of 800 on a single truck, you using fuel more efficiently. The guide below is designed to help maximize the efficiency of your packaging.
Pallets and Package Size
Pallets come in standard widths and you want to maximize the amount of your product that you can fit on a single palate. This reduces your shipping costs. Having excess space on a pallet might not seem like a big deal, but when you multiply that excess across hundreds of pallets and it adds up. The standard pallet sizes are:
- 40 x 48 x 5
- 45 x 48 x 5
The packaging you design needs to sit on a pallet in a way that does not leave any excess room on each of the pallets. Your goal here is to maximize the number of units on a pallet by selecting the right package size and shape. You can do the math yourself to optimize your packaging or a piece of graph paper can also help in a pinch, but the best way to optimize your packaging is with software. There are also a lot of software packages that can help you to optimize your pallets. Click here to see an an example from TOPS Engineering. This software helps to automatically calculate the effect of packaging changes.
There are lots of software options and you need to select the software that meets your required level of sophistication and desired features.
Not only does the packaging need to ensure you maximize your shipping capacity, but also needs to protect your product during shipment. You need to determine if the product in question is perishable or fragile. The packaging should keep your product as close together as possible to prevent shifting during transport and to maximize efficiency, but also protect from damage.
Use the smallest box that fits your needs. Besides using less resources for the box itself, this also reduces the amount of materials required to protect the cargo.
With regard to the strength of your packaging there is a balancing act between efficiency and strength. If you choose less packaging it's better for the environment and less costly in the short run, but if it leads to damaged product it's not worth it. Saving pennies on packaging is not worth the extra time and wasted fuel involved with returning damaged goods. Your packing needs to be as light and efficient as possible, but still keep the product safe.