Did you know last December, the shipping industry handled over 80 million packages a day? If you want to revamp your eCommerce’s shipping department and prepare for a busy season, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over some eCommerce shipping tips.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Maintain Your Supply of Packing Supplies
At your packing station, including packaging materials, shipping boxes, and poly bags. Also, you might want to have promotional items like coupons or sale flyers.
A shelving unit should be nearby. Keep the inserts and packaging materials stored there.
If you have some items that packers don’t use a lot, store them higher. Keep things off the ground to protect against potential water damage.
The packaging material should be easy to access, and you don’t want packers to lose time searching for the items.
To seal corrugated boxes, you’ll need a few items. A tape gun is a helpful tool to seal boxes because they’re cheap and straightforward to use. Packers will need to complete a few passes.
What about an automated water-activated tape dispenser? The machine can cost 1000 dollars, but they create a strong seal and are quick to use.
Add your brand to the tape, and keep your name in the mind of customers and shippers.
Are you a high-volume shipper? You might want to use automated case sealers. This is a high-tech device and isn’t at the packing station.
Open boxes will get put on a conveyor and sent to the spot where boxes from the packing stations will converge. One person operates the case sealer to seal up the packages.
Who Are Your Packers?
Packers will take the order items from the staff. The packer will prepare the item for shipping, package them, and add an invoice.
The worker will also put on the shipping label and put the product in the area where it needs to get picked up.
Keep your labelers and packers together. You won’t do this if your labeler isn’t needed, and you use an automated print and apply the solution. If you don’t, keep these two together, and you will save time.
Some warehouses will have a separate labeler, and they do this to compensate for unshippable orders or non-validated addresses. Yet, consider using software and intelligent processes to eliminate this need.
Make sure you streamline the process for your packers. This way, they can keep up with the many orders coming in each day.
You could also spend time talking to them after the shift. Ask them for feedback or input on how to improve the shipping experience. Your packers might have some insight to share.
Generate Invoices and Labels
Packers shouldn’t have to enter information manually. This can slow down the fulfillment process and increase errors.
Try to pre-calculate the weight. Calculate the weight from a scale that gets connected to printing software.
Shipping software can pull the order up by scanning the item barcode, tote, or other ID. Packers shouldn’t have to type in the package dimensions. Instead, it should get entered by scanning a barcode.
Your packers should be able to generate invoices and labels by scanning or touching a button.
Packers Shouldn’t Walk Around
Your packers shouldn’t have to walk around a lot. Instead, they should be able to move the completed package to a conveyor in arm’s reach.
The conveyor should take the package and move it to the warehouse’s outbound area.
Do You Need a Scale?
Use a scale to calculate the weight of your packages. If you don’t have a scale, calculate the weight by totaling two things.
Add the pre-estimated weight of the items and the packaging materials. Use the shipping software.
Most companies will pick up an electronic scale. The scale will weigh the finished packages and send the data to the shipping software. The weight of packaging and products will vary.
Companies add weight to avoid a penalty for under-estimating the postage. Yet, you could overpay postage. Get a scale to save yourself some money.
You could use a platform model that’s big enough for orders to get packaged on top. This way, you can avoid the step where you need to move the package and place it on the scale.
You can get the record of the accurate weight once sealed. This information is helpful if a customer complains about missing items.
What About Outsourcing Your Shipping Needs?
Some businesses will work with a third-party logistics (3PL) company that will complete the shipping and packaging for them.
Are you looking to outsource this part of your business? Make sure you spend time researching different companies. You want to find a reputable business that will help you manage your shipping demands.
3PL services will also complete supply chain management, organize inventory, and provide delivery monitoring. You will enjoy more affordable costs compared to choosing to do it in-house. Find out more here.
Use These eCommerce Shipping Tips
We hope this guide on eCommerce shipping was helpful. Consider revamping your current shipping department.
You want to make the packaging process as streamlined as possible. Talk to your packers and ask them to provide feedback. If you’re super busy, you could also work with a third-party logistics company.
Are you looking for more business tips? Keep learning about how to improve your business by checking out our resources on the blog.