If you regularly ship packages, you're familiar with the concept of dimensional weight because it's been used for several years on oversized ground shipments and air shipments. But as a small parcel shipper, you may have used it infrequently before January 2015, when it was implemented across the board by two main ground shipping companies for all shipments within the continent of North America. Dimensional weight is simply a different way of calculating a package's shipping cost that takes into consideration both a package's weight and its size; but using it means you'll have to be extra careful about efficiency or you could be charged extra. Here are three tips for optimizing your shipments within the dimensional weight system in order to cut down on shipping expenses.
If your company has the overhead to invest in equipment that will help save money on shipping, you can buy machines that create custom-made cardboard boxes tailored to the dimensions of the product. These machines can save nearly a third of the cardboard that would otherwise be used. Depending on the size of your company, this caliber of savings means the machines could pay for themselves in weeks or months! And since you'll be producing less waste cardboard, it's an environmentally friendly solution as well.
2. Don't get sloppy.
So if you're being charged for the size of the box, does this mean you should skimp on the protective packing materials? Of course not; broken products can be a much bigger liability than increased shipping costs. However, it may be possible to find more efficient packing materials for certain fragile items; for example, if you were using crumpled brown paper, try switching to bubble wrap or perhaps foam packaging to save box space.
3. Use an alternate carrier.
As a temporary measure while you're working on renovating your packing process, you can switch to a smaller LTL shipping carrier. However, you'll still need to get your new process up and running as soon as possible. One reason dimensional weight was implemented is to cut down on empty air in shipping trucks, which will make shipments more efficient because trucks will be able to fit more in each load and earn more money. Other LTL carriers will need to implement a similar system if they want to compete in the market, or the relative inefficiency of their loads will drag them down. Experts predict that they will soon change their pricing system to reflect these considerations.
Changes often feel like unnecessary hardships, especially when they result in higher costs for your company. But the implementation of dimensional weight pricing is a long-awaited and much-needed change that will cut back on the shipment of empty air, reduce packing waste, and encourage efficiency. Use these three tips to embrace the change and let the world know that your company is forward-thinking and always in favor of progress, even if it does present a challenge.
For more information, contact a local shipping company like World Cargo International Services.