Shipping Materials Guide


If you’re not convinced that shipping materials matter, take a closer look the next time you’re at the grocery store. There’s a reason why eggs don’t come packaged in bags the way potatoes are, even though they’re roughly the same size and shape. The reason being, of course, that you can drop a bag of potatoes on top of another bag of potatoes and still have usable potatoes. Drop a bag of eggs onto another bag of eggs, however, and the results are much different. The egg carton is a prime example of why shipping materials are so important — as well as why using the wrong shipping materials can spell disaster — no matter what you’re shipping.

Because there are more than $36 billion worth of goods in transit on any given day in the United States, choosing the right shipping materials is crucial for any logistics professional. Nevertheless, many logistics companies choose the wrong materials, whether they use boxes that are too large or pallets that aren’t strong enough to hold the weight. These mistakes can do more than result in damaged goods — they also result in higher shipping costs due to wasted space and inefficient loading. Logistics professionals have to walk a narrow line between choosing the materials that are strong enough to support the weight, durable enough to protect the cargo, and affordable enough to keep shipping costs manageable.

For example, stronger materials such as steel pallets make sense for heavy loads. However, when used for lighter cargo, they only add unnecessary weight and drive up shipping costs. Choosing lightweight shipping materials reduces the overall weight of the shipment, but can increase the risk of damage to delicate or heavy items. Logistics professionals also need to bear in mind the size and footprint of the shipping materials they choose, as pallets or boxes that are too large for the goods being shipped simply take floor space inside the trailer and make it difficult to load the most cost-effective shipment.

Choosing the right shipping materials means more than choosing the most affordable ones. This guide by can help you select the shipping materials that make the most sense for your shipment.

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