This blog originally appeared on SealedAir.com.
We operate in an economy where speed is king. Commerce moves so quickly - from one-click orders to next-day shipping - it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum and begin to assume that everything in our world moves equally as fast.
But the reality is, some things are still a slow burn. While some trends appear seemingly overnight (unboxing experience videos, meal delivery services, same-day deliveries) others take their time, rippling through our global supply chain one pond at a time.
We started talking to our customers about changes to dimensional weight pricing in the fall of 2014, months before major carriers started putting new policies into effect that charge not just based on how much a package weighs, but on its physical dimensions.
Since then, many carriers have made additional changes, increasing freight rates for oversized items, lowering the threshold for what gets a surcharge, and in some cases just increasing shipping rates across the board.
A majority of our customers began feeling the impact of these changes around the middle of 2015. Many have taken action to reduce package size, minimize unused void, and reduce wasteful space-hogging materials. Others haven’t.
These carriers aren’t out to gouge their customers - they’re just living in the same reality we all are: one where speed is the order of the day and every second counts when it comes to delivering on customer expectations. They are doing their part to help create a more efficient global supply chain network by incentivizing right-sized packaging practices. So are we. But this isn’t a trend that is going to burn hot and flame out quickly - it’s a new reality. On June 6, 2016, UPS began an additional handling fee for packages longer than 48 inches - a full foot shorter than the previous policy of 60 inches. Fedex dimensional weight prices are likely close behind.
Reducing the size of every package out the door isn’t just a nice idea - it’s a necessary course of action if you want to reduce the freight cost drain on your bottom line. It also happens to be the resourceful, responsible thing to do.
Smaller packages mean more orders on every truck and fewer trucks on the road.
Less wasteful void-filling materials means less waste in landfills.
Businesses who’ve escaped the pinch of dimensional weight thus far won’t be able to so for long. This isn’t a trend that’s disappearing in a hurry. Luckily, neither are we.
We’ve got all the time in the world to help our customers make smarter choices with their packaging. So what are you waiting for?