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QIS has sent out tens of thousands of products over our 32 years of operating, so we’ve picked up a few tips along the way for best practices when mailing parcels.

Cutting down boxes that aren’t completely full

You know when you’re packing a box of products to send out to a customer and you can’t quite fill it to the brim? Not only is it frustrating for the neat freaks out there, but it’s also costing you more on your shipping than it needs too. Most freight companies charge parcels by cubed volume of weight, meaning they take into account how large your parcel is, not just how heavy it is.

If you’ve got left over space in your box it would be wise to cut each of the corners, and fold down the sides. Although it may seem like a small and irrelevant thing to do, when you’re sending lots of parcels in the long run it will add up and be well and truly worth it!

Printing your logo on packaging tape

This point has 2 benefits. The first is pretty obvious: it’s a branding exercise. When the package arrives at your customer’s front door and they see your logo, straight away you’ve achieved another touch point. It’s all about increasing brand recognition. The second benefit is a little more obscure but is still quite useful. When a courier company inevitably loses a parcel you’ve sent to a client in their supply chain, they ask if you can give details to help identify the parcel.

If your parcel has your own branded tape on the box or item you’ve sent, it will be a lot easier to identify and rescue the parcel than if it were to have no branded tape at all.

Using a courier bag/mailing satchel to compress the air out before sealing the bag

When you’re packaging stock into a freight satchel/jiffy bag, whichever type you use, it can be easy to seal a lot of air in as you close the bag, which might not sound like a big deal? However that extra air could add a few centimetres to the length and width of your package, just once again adding up to a higher freight cost.

It’s very similar to our point above with the cardboard box: it’s about cutting down the amount of volume of stock you’re sending out. Does 1 oversized courier bag matter? Not overly, but when you keep sending them out regularly, using this tip will save you money in the long run!

Odd shapes require odd packaging

Companies often have many different sized parcels, making it difficult to be efficient and only buy one or two different types of boxes/bags. A good way around this is to use a flexible packaging option, meaning you can change its size and cut off however much you need depending on the size of the parcel. Plastic tubing on a roll is one such option: you can choose the width of the tube to fit your specific needs. Cut off however long a piece you need, and seal it at either end, by heat sealer or by taping it up.
odd shaped box being taped up

Take time to look around for opportunities to increase efficiencies for packing

When you have been packing the same products for many years you just accept what the process is, without questioning it. It can be worth taking time to step back, analyse and research if there’s a better way to pack your product.

We can give you an example. Here at QIS, we were struggling to pack some of our larger products. We were double-bagging some of the parcels (one courier bag over most of it and a second courier bag to cover the other end). This was costly materials wise, and also painfully slow. After a while we instead opted for tubing, which was large enough to fit these items in and also much more cost-effective. It was only after stepping back and analysing the situation that we realised we needed to add the tubing to our range. It saved us time and money, and you could too if you look at where increases in productivity can be made.

Recycling materials you receive from suppliers in your own orders

Assuming you’re sending out physical products, you’re probably receiving some sort of packaging from your supplier. Re-cycling the very materials they send you (assuming they’re in good condition) is a shortcut around having to buy your own. A very common example of this is bubblewrap, which is usually not too damaged in transit and can be re-used to protect your own goods when you send them out. This also goes for voidfill (little foam balls), assuming you have somewhere suitable to store it.

Using a roll to wrap products? Increase productivity with a dispenser!

This point comes back to taking a look around your working space for opportunities to increase efficiency and productivity. If you’re using a roll to wrap products it can be great because you can cut off as much as you need at a time. However it can also be frustrating to use if you’re wrapping a lot of goods. A good way to make it a lot more productive is to get a dispenser, which you can either have sitting on your bench or can mount on a wall next to your work station. This will save you time, and therefore money!

We hope these tips will help you increase productivity and save money in your warehouse. If you’ve got any of your own, please share them. We love hearing crafty ideas and how to shortcut certain situations :)