Shipping customer orders on time is one of the most critical parts of your fulfillment process. And it’s vital to optimize the shipping process to keep customers happy. Consumers are always on the lookout for brands that offer them faster shipping times with minimal shipping costs (thanks, Amazon). While meeting these expectations isn’t always easy, business owners can lower shipping costs by reducing costs at individual stages of the fulfillment process.
One part of the shipping process where business owners can cut costs is with packaging by getting your hands on free shipping supplies. There are a few promising ways to score some serious free shipping supplies, and we’re going to take a look at those now!
Carriers that offer free shipping supplies
Many different carriers offer business owners free shipping supplies. One thing to keep in mind with each carrier is they only let you get free supplies if you use their services. For example, you can’t walk into the UPS store with FedEx’s packaging and expect them to let you ship it. Let’s see what each one is offering.
How To Get Free Shipping Supplies from UPS
The advantage of working with a UPS store is they provide different boxes for each category of mail services. All you have to do is walk into your local UPS store, and they’ll provide packages for free.
How To Get Free Shipping Supplies from FedEx
You can get free shipping supplies from FedEx by going to their retail locations or ordering the shipping supplies online. The packaging is complimentary when you ship with FedEx.
Are FedEx boxes free?
Yup! FedEx offers free shipping boxes and free shipping supplies in great variety. These boxes are available in small, medium, and large sizes for free.
How To Get Free Shipping Supplies from USPS
The US Postal Service also offers various free shipping boxes, including priority mail express boxes, global express guaranteed envelopes, and padded flat rate envelopes, among additional packaging material.
For flat rate shipping, free flat rate boxes are available on their website. You can get free supplies for services like First Class Mail, Media Mail, and Priority Mail.
Which boxes are free at the post office?
The free boxes at the US Post Office include different USPS Priority Mail Boxes like the priority mail medium flat rate box and other free USPS boxes like the small flat rate box and the large flat rate box.
Does USPS have free poly mailers?
Poly mailers are a great way to ship products like sweaters and clothing that don’t need bubble wrap and can bear top-loading. In general, the USPS does not offer poly mailers, although you can get padded flat rate envelopes that are plastic on the outside with Priority Mail.
How To Get Free Shipping Supplies from DHL
DHL is a giant when it comes to international shipping. Free shipping supplies can be ordered at the DHL website, including shipping labels, envelopes, mailers, waybills, padded pouches, free DHL boxes, and much more.
Tips To Keep In Mind With Carrier Packaging
Free packaging from carriers is excellent, but it’s not a ‘no-strings-attached’ deal. Here’s what to keep in mind when using free supplies from carriers.
Use specific mailing services
When you’re getting free shipping supplies from a carrier, it’s often complementary. This means that you are limited to a specific mailing service. Again, you can’t expect to get free supplies from FedEx if they know you’ll ship with UPS.
Use only specific carriers
Often, the free boxes supplied by the carrier come with shipping labels and stamps. These labels are not processed and can’t be read by other carriers.
Don’t order more supplies than you need
We know it’s tempting, but carriers offer free shipping supplies and expect etiquette from their customers. So don’t order more supplies than you need, even if they’re free. If it takes too long to get shipping supplies, head to your nearest customer center to pick up the supplies when needed.
Alternative Methods To Get Free Shipping Supplies
If you don’t want to commit to a carrier, there are other ways you can find free shipping supplies.
Reuse old packages
A great and cost-effective way to source your packaging is to look for reusable old packages and take off their old shipping labels. You can look up free packaging ads on websites like craigslist. This way, you reuse packaging that would have otherwise gone to the landfill.
Get old boxes from local stores
You can get free shipping supplies and old boxes from local stores for free. Depending on what type of packaging supplies you require, you could swing by your local furniture stores, grocery stores, boutiques, etc. This practice is especially popular with the community of recyclers and is a sustainable move for the environment.
Let ShipHero Handle Shipping For You
ShipHero is a leading 3PL that handles fulfillment for ecommerce brands. Here’s how you can improve shipping and grow your business with ShipHero.
The Right Packaging For Each Shipment
We use the packaging that we know is best for the types of products you’re selling for every order. Factors like size, weight, fragility, and more are taken into account when we pick and pack orders. This will save you money on shipping costs as we don’t charge for shipping supplies.
Save On Shipping Costs
ShipHero has volume discounts with major carriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx, and more. We pass these savings on to you to reduce shipping costs. Because of our distributed fulfillment network, orders are sent to warehouses closest to your customers to reduce shipping costs and transit times.
The advantage of free shipping supplies is that since you can reduce your shipping costs, your business can lower the shipping charges that customers incur. Remember – customers are looking for faster shipping times and minimal costs, so you can drive your sales up by presenting them with attractive shipping options.
Get started with ShipHero today by clicking the button below.