One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Save Money by Right-Sizing your Packages


A couple years ago UPS made the announcement they would be switching over to using DIM weight while considering the billable weight for shipping rates and other shipping carriers followed suit.  This change had a delayed impact on a lot of companies as they had or were in the process of negotiating shipping terms for set periods of time.  But, many of those contracts are now expiring and more and more companies are asking us:  How do we get our shipping rates down?

“Billable Rate: Billable weight is the weight used to calculate the shipping rate. For domestic and international services, the billable weight will be the greater of the dimensional weight compared to the actual weight.”

There are a few ways we go about looking at lowering shipping rates while guaranteeing the integrity of the package.

Find out how prevalent the problem is.

Many times we find there are at least three people involved in determining if shipping charges have gone up and whether or not their bottom line is being negatively impacted:

  1. The person creating the shipping label and seeing the price – this could also be the person negotiating with the shipping company on shipping terms.
  2. The person sourcing the packaging materials and creating the least amount of inventoried items on the floor.
  3. The person paying the shipping bills each month. This person could be noticing the charges creeping up.

Getting in contact with each of these people can help a company save on shipping.

Right-size your shipping carton.

If you’ve determined your shipping charges have indeed gone up and/or you noticed many times there are items shipping in over-sized boxes it is time to right-size your package.  Categorize your items by what type of box they ship in first – single wall or double wall – and then by size.  If there are items that are close in shape and size that can use the same box then do that, but if you have a large array of products then it might be time to up your box inventory.  For some customers, having multiple sized cartons on their floor can sound cumbersome, but saving an extra 10-20% in shipping costs makes it worth it.  This is even truer when carton minimums are as low as 10 or 25 boxes when shopping with Colony.

How’s your cushioning?

Our rule of thumb for our customers is create no less than a 2” barrier of padding around a breakable object (or more depending on the weight).  But, depending on your cushioning preference there might be room to reduce the weight or overall size of the package.  For instance, clothing has often times come in boxes but many customers have realized bagging that clothing has reduced shipping costs dramatically – we offer individual bags and even bagging systems for customers.  Likewise, books and other flat – non-breakable items might ship more cost-effectively in a five-panel folder or a mailer.  Exploring alternative cushioning and/or the actual packaging the product is going in can make a big difference.

These were three easy ways you can help your company save on the backend of your business.  Again – determine if rates have gone up or if changing up your box inventory can positively impact your shipping rates, right-size with proper box sizes so small objects aren’t being shipped in over-sized containers, and last make sure your cushioning preference is matching your packaging needs.

Our sales professionals have the expertise to help you maximize your savings when it comes to appropriately packaging your products.  Fill out the form for more information!


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