4 Tips When Buying Shipping and Packaging Supplies in Bulk!

Shipping and Packaging Supplies

Does your company supply or ship items to clients? If so, proper packaging is essential to ensure that ordered goods can reach your clients in excellent condition. Or else, you’ll risk losing clients due to poor quality services. 

Most companies order shipping and packaging supplies in bulk because they save time and money. It helps streamline business operations, saving you the hassle of making weekly or monthly purchases. Since you won’t have to pause production to wait for packaging materials, your business can continue operating normally. 

But buying the needed packaging and shipping supplies in bulk is a feat easier said than done. This process can often feel overwhelming and confusing. 

Here are some helpful tips to consider when purchasing shipping and packaging supplies in bulk:

1. Determine Your Packaging Needs 

Packaging is a vital element in the shipping process. You can prevent any breakage to any item with the correct materials. Assessing these factors can help you identify the best packaging and shipping supply solutions

  • Type or kind of product 
  • Suitable forms of packaging 
  • Required units
  • Compatibility with your brand

You also need to know the dimensions of the materials for your packaging to ensure they fit your items. You can measure your products’ length, width, and height. Afterward, you can ask your supplier if they have packaging that fits the dimensions. Otherwise, you can search online for other options. 

Another essential thing to do is to find out the number of boxes you need for shipping. Determining the number of orders you make each month can help you estimate your required quantity. Then, you can round off the figure to the nearest hundred or thousand. 

In most cases, buying in bulk helps reduce your total shipping cost since sellers are more willing to give you a better deal. It also saves you the trouble of making repeat purchases, which can further complicate the shipping process. 

2. Know The Shipping And Packaging Supplies To Buy

Packaging and shipping supplies ensure the smooth running of your business. Here are some of the items that are best to buy in bulk: 

Cushioning Material

When shipping items to customers, it’s necessary to use the correct packaging to protect them from breakage. You can lose profits due to poor package handling, such as falling during unloading. A proactive measure to prevent such an issue is to buy cushioning material. 

The best cushioning materials include the following:

  • Paper void fills
  • Bubble wrap
  • Air pillows

These materials can provide added protection compared to just a standard packaging box. It would help if you had this, especially when dealing with breakable items. 

Shipping Containers

These can either be cartons or boxes. They’re integral for shipping items to your customers because they prevent them from deforming. The best shipping container to use is corrugated packaging boxes because of the following qualities:

  • Durability 
  • Impact-resistant design
  • Ease of storage  

You can expect to spend more because shipping containers are generally quite expensive. If you buy these boxes in bulk, you can ask for discounts to help lower your total shipping cost.  

Water-Activated Tape (WAT)

It’s a handy sealing tape to keep the items safe from spilling during transit. It’s also known as gummed tape, and they only take up a little space even when you order them in bulk. A water-activated tape is durable and can serve you for many months. 

3. Choose A Reliable Supplier

Working with a reliable supplier is critical to avoiding disruptions in the supply chain. Every minute counts in shipping, and you want a supplier that delivers items on time. The only way to guarantee this is by finding a supplier that understands your needs well. Other benchmarks that can help you identify the best supplier include the following: 

  • Years of experience in the packaging and shipping industry
  • Quality of packaging the supplier uses
  • The price they charge for their services compared to their competitors
  • The supplier’s physical address and location
  • Find out the mode of delivery—for instance, pallet freight or couriers

Customers don’t judge you solely by the quality of your products. They also consider how well you anticipate their needs by carefully packaging their items and on-time delivery. Hence, it’s necessary to work with a supplier that prioritizes quality in their choice of packaging material. Otherwise, you might lose money in the long run if an item gets damaged during shipping. 

Instead of selecting the cheapest option, get a supplier that offers quick delivery, backup service, and safe handling. Make sure your packages reach your customers on time and in good condition.

It also helps to check the supplier’s site and read online reviews before sealing the deal. You can check out their website to see the services and the ratings their customers give. These insights will help you determine whether it’s worth working with the company.    

4. Identify When To Buy

You want to avoid any last-minute pressure when buying shipping materials. Otherwise, mistakes are more likely to happen when making rush orders. Before you buy materials in bulk, try purchasing fewer items than needed. You can also ask for samples to gain an impression of the materials. This way, you can avoid making costlier repeat purchases. 

Here are some tips to help you learn the ideal time to proceed with the order: 

  • If you have new products, know when to ship them. 
  • If you want to reduce your operational costs, contact the supplier and ask for discounts.
  • Data analysis can help you plan for future demand if your inventory runs low.

The best way to avoid trouble is to plan proactively. Doing so can help you anticipate when to place a bulk order.


As an entrepreneur, you can only be an expert in some fields. Inevitably, you’ll need assistance. A good example applies when making bulk purchases for shipping and packaging supplies. You can meet your shipping needs and satisfy your clients with the tips mentioned.

Detailed above is a look at how you can buy shipping and packaging supplies in bulk. These insights can help you better deal with the potential setbacks that may arise. 

Shipping and Packaging Supplies article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 28, 2023.
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