How will this affect you and your customers? Well, simply put, this new rate increase means retailers and small package shippers will be paying for the space their shipment takes up in the truck (known as its “cube” in the shipping industry), as opposed to basing pricing on the package’s weight. This means that when the new pricing structure goes into effect in January 2015, shipping boxes with small or light items and lots of bubble wrap (or other void fill) will cost significantly more than it does now.

Retailers will need to take a hard look at their packaging practices and eliminate any space inefficiencies. Making the switch to a shipping envelope will be a reasonable change for many who regularly ship light products like clothing in an unnecessary cardboard carton.

Can’t we just switch to UPS? Generally, when one of the major private carriers announces such increases, the other follow suit. So you can wait to see, but if history proves to be an indicator, you can expect that UPS will be making a similar announcement in the future.

So where does that leave me? Large retailers with buying power and leverage, may stand a chance at delaying or avoiding the dramatic rate increase. But small retailers, who spend less will likely be hit with this significant change right away when it becomes effective. That means the time to plan and make operational changes is now. If you are a small retailer, Etsy or EBay merchant, or online store that regularly ships small, lightweight items you’ll want to explore your options.

How can small retailers ship without breaking the bank? Economical, personalized paper shipping mailers from Wisconsin Converting are an ideal solution. They are available in many stock sizes so there will be a mailer that fits your product perfectly – meaning you won’t pay for any additional space.

  • Eco-Shipper® and Eco-Natural linerboard mailers are a 100% recycled and 100% recyclable shipping bag ideal for clothing and other lightweight items. Preferred by retailers like Tommy Bahama, Ann Taylor, Old Navy, and Gap, they offer an environmentally responsible shipping option that will save shipping costs and look good doing it!

With a white exterior, the Eco-Shipper® is an excellent choice for promoting your business with a professional, clean appearance. Eco-Natural mailers are made with the same high quality and offer a natural kraft shipping bag that looks and feels “all natural.” Both shipping bags come with peel and seal closure, making them easy to fill and handle.

  • Dura-Bag® is manufactured with two sheets of natural kraft paper, reinforced with fiberglass threads for maximum strength and security. Ideal for shipping lightweight items like jewelry and video games or other small electronics these mailers are less rigid than the linerboard shipping bags and ideal for durable goods or goods already in plastic containers.

All WCI shipping bag options are available in a variety of standard flat and gusseted sizes that can also be custom printed in one-case minimums. That means businesses of any size can effectively promote their business and still save on shipping costs.

If your lightweight items need a custom-fitted solution, our packaging experts can help! Call today to discuss minimums and requirements.