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Reduce Air Freight Shipping Dimensions: 3 Tips

Reduce Air Freight Shipping Dimensions: 3 Tips

Shipping extra packaging peanuts doesn’t just cost you in terms of foam, but in terms of lost expense in freight space that could have been better utilized. In other words, if you reduced your packaging to the minimum thickness and volume to keep units safe you can ship more freight. In some cases, reducing the height of a box by two centimeters allowed one vendor to ship one hundred more boxes in each container. And that’s not to mention all that you would save in materials alone.

Historically, shipping costs were calculated on the basis of gross weight, rather than how much space a package occupies. This proved unprofitable for freight carriers, as lightweight, low density packages could be shipped very cheaply, but still took up a lot of space. The concept of Dimensional Weight was then adopted by the transportation industry as a uniform standard for establishing a minimum charge for the cubic space a package occupies.

So, if you’re not already saving as much in you can in your supply chain, you can reduce your air freight shipping dimensions with the following three tips. Many shippers have already reduced their costs by millions!

1. Consider the Packaging

In general the most economical box dimensions are Length: 2 units, Width: 1 unit, Depth: 2 units. Consider a 10x5x5 inch box which is 500 cubic inches and a 25x5x4 inch box which is also 500 cubic inches. The second box uses 20% more packaging than the first. There are more than ten different ways to construct a box, each at a different cost. Take some time to try different options to find what works best for you.

Your product should fit snugly in its packaging, along with whatever support materials are needed. You have to consider both the amount material needed to construct the packaging, and the amount of space it will take up. This way you can squeeze as many units on to a pallet or into a container as possible.

2. Consider the Supply Chain

You have to consider not only how much air and foam your shipping, but also how each box will be shipped. You have to consider the entire supply chain that your packaged product will travel to get to its ultimate destination.

Spend time thinking about what your packages will go through. Will they be on a pallet? Will they be in a shipping container or a warehouse? If the packaging hangs over the pallet could it get damaged? Try to picture every possible venue units will travel through.

3. Consider the Product

If you have products that are easily breakable you have a particular incentive to consider how your packaged products will be stacked. For example you can interlock packages like bricks for better stability, but this has 40% less compression strength than stacking in columns. If your product is fairly durable, and already somewhat box-shaped, your job is much easier than if you are shipping antique lamps.