In a previous blog post, we explained dimensional weight and how to calculate it. Both FedEx and UPS have announced that dimensional weight rules would apply to all shipments beginning in 2015. On top of that, shipping rates are expected to increase. If you’re not prepared, your expenses may increase when more of your shipments are subjected to the dimensional rates. In this post, we’ll go over some tips to help you lessen the blow.
Examine your packaging – To find out how many of your shipments are likely to be affected, check the pounds per cubic feet PCF rating of your packaging. To manually calculate PCF, multiply the height, width, and length of the box and divide the result by the weight of the box (measured in fractions of a pound). If the PCF is around 10.4 or more, you will probably be minimally impacted by the dimensional weight changes.
Use smaller boxes – Of course, if you are able to reduce the dimensions of the boxes you use for shipping, that’s great! If it’s not so simple, consider using a packaging designer. Most shipping carton manufacturers have staff and laboratories that can help you redesign and optimize your packaging. Major couriers can also provide you with these resources. For example, FedEx just opened a new package testing and design lab earlier this year.
Optimize your dunnage – Padding your goods with dunnage will keep them safe during transit, but the dunnage can also add unnecessary weight and volume. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, and old newspapers. Air pillows may be the best route since they are extremely light, have variable size, and effectively protect shipments.
Consult with your logistics provider – You probably won’t be able to negotiate with carriers effectively on your own, but your logistics provider should. At Fulfillment Works, we offer the most aggressive pricing every day and we regularly, relentlessly negotiate with all our suppliers and pass the discounts on to you.