January 1, 2015, will look very different to companies utilizing FedEx and UPS for single parcel shipments. Hopefully, your current corrugated supplier has made you aware both shipping companies are changing how they calculate shipping rates. They will utilize DIM weights for calculating shipping charges. This practice is already used for air shipments, but now will apply to ground shipments as well. Carriers want to charge for how much space you are taking up on their trucks, even if your parcel is light in weight. This theory makes sense, but the impact could be huge on several fronts. First, economical boxes beginning in size from 6″ x 6″ x 4″ through 16″ x 16″ x 16″ will be impacted by this change. Under these new rules, you will be charged their dimensional weight regardless of the actual carton weight. The financial impact of this change can be as much as 30-40% for some customers. The question remains, how do I minimize this impact on my business?   Reduction of a box size is the logical approach. IPC has responded by increasing our stock box offering to add some of the more popular sizes, plus more with additional scores for multi-depth boxes. You can “right size” the box for what is going in it without having to increase the number of box SKUs you carry on your floor. I do need to offer a word of caution on this, FedEx and UPS demand 2″ of protective cushioning around the entire product being shipped for freight claim consideration. This means you may be able to reduce your box size, but not at the expense of the amount of protective cushioning you use. Why?   If you reduce box size and reduce the amount of void fill or cushioning you are using, closely monitor your end user claims or complaints. Losing a customer because your product arrives damaged is a very costly mistake that is very difficult to make up. There is a balance that must be struck between carton size and the amount/type of protective packaging you use. Let IPC identify the appropriate box sizes and void fill/protective cushioning you’ll need to mitigate the financial impact of these changes.   IPC is a solutions based company that has a keen focus on your PROFITS. Contact us today and let us help you navigate the new shipping challenges. Need a quick reference on shipping steps to look at before Jan. 1, 2015? click here. Dave Lewis – Exec. Vice President

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