As if the disruption to your supply chain isn’t enough, the price of many common retail materials have also increased.
For example, linerboard and corrugated cardboard have both had their price increase significantly because of the additional demand for e-commerce.
Historically, the price of both has been tied to the paper index, which is based on the transaction price between manufacturers and their clients.
Even as the world crawls out from COVID’s tightly clenched fist, corrugated prices will remain higher than normal.
Some market segments, are still hesitant to go out in society (and rightfully so) that, even though they’ve historically avoided shopping online, now they’re going to stay in and buy online more than ever before.
So, all you can do is adjust. Speaking of which, what exactly can you do to soften the blow of increased corrugated cardboard and linerboard prices?
Here’s some ideas:
1. Custom-Size Your Shipping Boxes
Custom boxes do cost more, but that’s only up-front. Once you have your design in place, the cost of custom shipping boxes remains roughly the same.
If your boxes were slightly too big for your product in the past, now’s the time to give them an audit and change them to perfectly fit your products.
Boom. Easy savings there.
2. Increase Your Order Volume
It’s another quick win. Simply talk with your packaging supplier, and ask them about quantity discounts.
This may require innovative cash flow management strategies. But the additional work is worth it.
3. Use the Right Board Grade
You can choose from 19 different grades of corrugated cardboard. Are you using the right one for each of your SKUs?
Chat with your supplier about each of your products so you can analyze them all and find out.
You may identify several opportunities to use cheaper cardboard that still gives your product adequate shipping protection.
4. Can You Bundle Products Together?
What do consumers frequently purchase together?
You could save on shipping costs by immediately putting both of those items together in a single box.
And since the fulfillment costs will be lower, along withl the material costs, you can offer a small discount to your customers to incentivize purchasing in that way.
This may not be the biggest opportunity for savings. But, every little bit counts.