How to Pack a Package: Key Tips and Practices

Five ways to pack a package to maximize efficiency and potential savings

Knowing how to properly pack a package is important, whether you’re sending items to customers or mailing a birthday package to your sibling. But, shipping costs can add up quickly, especially when the average cost to send a 1-2 pound parcel is about seven dollars, and FedEx® and UPS® combine to deliver more than 32 million packages per-day.

Bits of savings on items shipped here and there can add up to a significant amount of money in the long run. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you pack your next package more efficiently, in order to maximize your potential savings.

1. Know what you’re sending

Some things cost less than others to send. Clearly, sending a bowling ball will be much more expensive than sending a pair of sneakers. But, there are also smarter ways to send that can help you save. For example, if you’re sending media like books, DVDs, sound recordings or manuscripts, consider using the U.S. Postal Service’s® media mail service. Media mail shipping is designed to serve as a more cost-effective way for sending media and other educational materials.

2. Use the right box

If the box is much bigger than you need, you’ll probably end up paying much more to send it. Think of it like the Goldilocks principle: a box that’s too small won’t adequately protect your object, while a box that’s too big will require a ton of packing material to fill the dead space. Find a box that’s “just right,” optimizing the use of packaging materials and reducing overall shipping costs.

3. Don’t overpack

Overpadding items may mean that you need to use a larger box than necessary, which ups the amount and cost of packing material, as well as the price tag of the whole package. Of course, it’s important to make sure that you protect the item you’re sending with packing paper, packing peanuts or bubble wrap. But, there’s no need to overdo it. When you send a watch, for example, a couple layers of bubble wrap will suffice; the padded watch should still fit in a small box.

4. Make what you’re sending smaller

We’ve already established that using a smaller box or envelope could save you money. But, don’t only think of that in terms of finding the smallest box. Often, you can reduce the size of what you’re sending by efficiently organizing the contents of your package. Mailing a shirt to a customer? Rather than haphazardly tossing the shirt into a box, neatly fold the shirt as small as possible, so it fits into a padded envelope instead.

5. Invest in folding boxes

When you want to send a package immediately, it’s frustrating not to have the right size box on hand. Save yourself from future frustration by stockpiling folding boxes, which can be cut to the precise size you need. Folding boxes help you save even more, without compromising performance or durability.

And finally, make sure to choose the right carrier for your needs. The right carrier can change from package-to-package, depending on what you’re sending, how large your parcel is and where you’re sending it. Partner with a trusted shipping and mailing solutions expert to help you find the right carrier for your different shipping needs.

Pitney Bowes can help maximize your savings on every package you ship with PitneyShip® shipping software, our all-in-one integrated carrier shipping solution that helps you ship with the carrier best suited to your needs, at the most efficient rates.

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