Let us say you are processing 1000+ orders a month via your ecommerce web store. You are shipping all those orders from your warehouse and you are always choosing the cheapest shipping method based on the Ship-To address and the weight of the package. You think you have reduced the shipping costs to the best you can ? No, not really.

A large component of your shipment costs is the packing and shipping supplies that you use for every shipment leaving your warehouse. Those cardboard cartons, tape, bubble wrap, and foam can all add up and cost you a fortune. But more importantly, if dealt with wisely, they can also save you a ton of money.

John Lindberg has written an excellent article on Practical Ecommerce about saving money on shipping supplies. Please read the full article for several ideas, and for a free downloadable spreadsheet model to help you figure out your potential savings. Here are the highlights of the article.

  1. Negotiate volume discounts from your shipping-supplies vendor. Use Blanket Purchase Orders to lock-in the discounted price
  2. Packing materials such as tape and wrap may cost more than the carton per shipment. Educate your warehouse employees on the cost factors and encourage them to save on shipping supplies.
  3. Provide full range of stocking supplies in your warehouse to avoid small objects being shipped in large boxes thus adding to the shipment weight
  4. Choose the right shipper (UPS vs Fedex vs USPS) for the right shipment to save costs

Spending some time to understand your shipping trends will help you save significant amount on your shipping costs.