Buying Shipping Boxes in Bulk: Is it a Good Idea?
This post will discuss when buying shipping boxes in bulk is a good value. Bulk purchasing brings with it many benefits, but there are times when more isn’t better. Knowing what you need and can use will help you decide. There is an alternative to large bulk purchases that can help lower your costs.
Why There is a Need for Bulk Shipping Boxes
E-commerce sales saw historic highs during the pandemic, as did the need for shipping boxes. As stores reopened, e-commerce sales declined somewhat, but more than two years later, e-commerce still enjoys a greater share of retail sales than it might have had the pandemic not given it a boost. Consumers enjoy the convenience and competitive pricing of e-commerce shopping, and most major retailers have implemented buy online and pick up at the store options.
Consumers have become more price sensitive given the country’s current economic state. Inflation is causing consumer sentiment to drop, but interestingly consumer spending increased in October despite high inflation. The increase was not felt across all categories; electronics, appliances, and sporting goods took a hit, while groceries, furniture, and cars benefited. Consumers are also shifting where they spend as discount retailers are seeing an increase in wealthier shoppers.
Of course, boxes are needed for both shipping direct to consumers and shipping to retail establishments. This has led to many looking to buy bulk shipping boxes. As a manufacturer, you are also facing high inflation and are likely looking for ways to reduce costs. Being strategic about how you purchase shipping boxes can help lower your costs.
Pros of Buying Shipping Boxes in Bulk
If you are fortunate enough to be in one of the growing market segments selling in e-commerce or retail and have an increased need for shipping boxes, there are benefits to buying in bulk. Purchasing huge quantities of boxes allows you to reap the benefits of economies of scale. A larger number of boxes will typically give you a unit price break. Additionally, shipping for truckloads will be more economical than shipping multiple smaller loads.
Cons of Buying Shipping Boxes in Bulk
If you are getting a reduced unit price for ordering a large bulk quantity, you might be tempted to do it. However, there are some things to consider before you jump in.
Storage — If you buy more than you can use, you must store them. Multiply it across all your SKUs, and you may have a lot of box inventory to manage. Storage space and management add to your overall costs.
Obsolescence — When you buy in bulk, you may be stuck with a bunch of boxes if a product doesn’t sell as anticipated. This becomes waste that adds to your costs.
Box Integrity — Boxes that are not used promptly lose strength. If your warehouse is not temperature controlled, the box strength deteriorates faster as temperature fluctuation and humidity begin to deteriorate the paper and glue. If you buy boxes thinking you can use them across a year, think again. You might end up with box failure, upset customers, and costs of returned merchandise.
How to Lower Your Packaging Costs
Before making any decisions regarding bulk boxes, talk to a trusted corrugated box manufacturer about the options available. Axis Corrugated Container is a trusted, privately held, American-owned and operated company. Unlike publicly held box companies, our focus is on customer satisfaction, not stockholders. At Axis, we actively look to reduce the total costs for our customers in many ways.
- Reducing your overall carton and packaging costs — Our streamlined job workflow minimizes production costs and speeds job processing.
- Reducing or eliminating fill voids — We reduce or eliminate fill voids by right-sizing your packaging. This means fewer packaging inserts and fillers are needed, further reducing material costs.
- Reducing materials — We look to minimize the amount and weight of packaging materials used while maximizing product protection. Fewer materials reduce costs.
- Optimizing DIM factors — If you ship your products via FedEx, UPS, or another shipper that charges by DIM weight, you will see reduced shipping costs when your packaging is optimized.
- Optimizing for Palletizing — If you ship unitized pallets, your boxes can be sized to optimize the number on each pallet for each truckload, saving fuel and shipping costs.
- Preventing product damage with custom design — By having your boxes optimized for your product, you will have boxes designed with protection in mind. You will see a reduction in returns and damaged products, saving you money. In addition, we have an in-house ISTA testing lab to ensure your boxes meet drop and vibration testing requirements.
- Overcoming supply chain challenges — Our logistical proficiency substantially reduces distribution time and costs. We offer Just in time delivery and fast turnaround when needed. You get your boxes when you need them— no need for you to store them or manage inventory.
- Ensuring quality with every order — There is a cost associated with poor quality. We control the quality of every box or display we manufacture at all production stages, so you can be assured your boxes will meet your standards.
By implanting cost savings into our processes, our customers often find that they receive a better value and lower total costs than if they purchased a large bulk order from a publicly traded conglomerate.
Ready to start saving on your boxes? Contact us and talk to one of our packaging experts.