Article: Is Your Packaging Out of Control?

Time to stop damaging your brand and incurring unnecessary costs.

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For many eco-conscious consumers, nothing is more irritating than a big truck pulling up to their house with small products packed in a sea of unrecyclable Styrofoam peanuts, excessive bubble wrap, and oversize corrugated boxes. Sendflex’s recent ebook, 10 Brand-Enhancing Moves Retailers Can Make to Optimize Customers’ Delivery Experience, notes that sustainable packing is crucial in inspiring consumer brand loyalty.

But consumers aren’t the only ones irritated by poor packaging. Carriers today are incredibly irked by the misappropriation of precious space in their trucks, which can incur penalties, just for starters.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for better results when you set about fulfilling orders:

Poor packing practices irk carriers and create more unrecyclable waste.

eCommerce growth accelerated by the pandemic has created a surge in B2C shipping volume and started an unprecedented capacity crunch in the parcel shipping industry. U.S. carriers--from giants like FedEx and UPS to small and medium-sized carriers—struggle to keep up with freight volumes and are piling on surcharges and fees as we head deeper into 2021. At a time when every cubic inch counts, wasteful packing diminishes a carrier’s ability to maximize their vehicle space.

The issue of poor packaging is not new—it’s just rapidly reaching a crisis point. Following the 2015 holiday rush when FedEx was unable to deliver all packages on time, chairman Fred Smith pointed the finger at poor packing habits. He remarked that there are shippers who “view transportation companies as some sort of utility, and they make some really, really bad decisions. We are getting lots of packages that were one or two cubic feet and inside was a six-ounce stuffed toy.”

According to Republic Services, one of the largest waste collection companies in the U.S., household rubbish has increased more than 25% over the past year. Whereas retailers were careful to recycle 90% of the large, corrugated containers shipped to brick and mortar stores, now smaller, more frequent (and often hastily packed) B2C cartons end up as unrecycled waste at residential curbsides.

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Online retailers pay the price for shipping air.

Poorly packed orders result in unexpected DIM fees levied by carriers seeking compensation for shipments that occupy too much space on vehicles relative to their weight. Moreover, with parcel carriers now rationing capacity, retailers who do not maximize shipment density find themselves unable to ship all orders on time, resulting in unfulfilled delivery promises.

Most warehouse management systems (WMSs) do not take sustainable or transportation cost-effective packing into account during wave picking processes. If they did, consumers would not be hauling so much waste away to dumps. Instead, WMS picking and packing sequences prioritize by time and steps to inventory, leaving item packaging to guesswork or tribal knowledge.

Cartonization algorithms improve consumer delivery experience while reducing costs.

The good news for shippers, carriers, and consumers is that Paccurate’s innovative cartonization technology enables shippers to determine the best way to pack orders instantly. Paccurate factors in SKU weight, dimensions, and product shapes as well as business rules such as fragility, don’t pack with, carrier costs, and % fill. You can apply the same cartonization algorithms to building pallets or loading containers.

With cartonization and palletization controls in place, everybody wins:

Shippers can reduce shipping costs, avoid unexpected DIM fees and load more orders in the same vehicle space.
Carriers can cube out their vehicles, avoid disputes over DIM surcharges and lessen capacity rationing.
Consumers are more satisfied with their delivery experience, unburdened with excessive waste removal, and more committed to their favorite brand.

Sendflex has teamed up with Paccurate to help shippers apply cartonization technology to Transtream multi-carrier shipping processes. The combined solutions determine more accurate parcel, LTL, and final-mile shipping cost calculations in order entry and more transportation cost-effective packing processes during wave picking processes. Equally important, they enable you as a shipper to match your requirements with carrier capacity, constraints, and preferences.

Contact us at learn more about how Sendflex’s Transtream multi-carrier shipping solutions relies on Paccurate to optimize the consumer delivery experience.

LEARN

Download Top 10 Things Retailers Can Do to Optimize Their Customers' Delivery Experience

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Shipping technology developers and integrators, 3PLs, and shippers need to shift the focus from automating shipping processes to optimizing the quality of a seamless D2C delivery experience. Here's how.

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