When it comes to finding the best shipping method for your business, there’s a lot of information on the web about various approaches and courier services. To help clear up any information overload this article quickly breaks down some key things to consider when choosing your desired shipping method. By keeping these important issues in mind you’ll soon be on your way to developing an efficient shipping process for your business.
Parcel Service vs LTL
Historically parcel service was intended for the shipment of parcels that were heavier than letter post, yet weigh less than 150 pounds. Today due to changes in how couriers calculate shipment pricing it is possible to still qualify for parcel service for a package that weighs more than 150 pounds, providing that the packaging holds to size requirements. Some carriers use a technique called dimensional weight, or dim weight, to calculate an estimated weight based on the length, width and height of a package. Basically the carriers realized that they were losing money by charging less for large packages that weighed very little (for example, a pillow) and that took up more room in their shipping containers. Although traditionally cheaper than Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping, parcel service can carry with it some risk of damage or delay. If you are shipping large packages Less Than Truckload shipping is probably a better option for you than parcel service, depending on the dimensions of your product. LTL shipping service is generally geared for shipments that weigh anywhere from 151 to 20,000 pounds, and can be found at many common carriers. Traditionally known as the cheaper option, its important to remember the various ways that dim weight may impact the price of shipping items vis LTL.
National vs Regional Carriers.
FedEx and UPS are the shipping giants currently dominating the courier industry. But depending on your shipping needs it could be a good idea to investigate the options available at regional carriers. Regional carriers serve specified areas in the United States, and are generally smaller and can offer lower costs and higher degrees of flexibility as a result. Because most regional carriers use truck hubs to transfer their packages they avoid expensive airline costs, and pass those savings on to their consumers. In addition, because of their regional status shipments can arrive to their destinations more quickly and you could be charged less for the speed of the service. Their smaller status also means that contracts and pricing regulations can sometimes be easier to understand than those of bigger carriers. However, there are some benefits to using the big carriers. With their larger size they also have greater opportunity for resources and technology, more access to complex routes, and a bigger reach in general. This reach does mean that they can be slower and more expensive than regional carriers because they have bigger delivery area surcharges and higher accessorial costs. However, these revenue thresholds are always negotiable. To decide between these two options you should first consider shipping distance, and then compare the various pricing systems.
Another concern when shipping your items could be temperature. Temperature controlled freight shipping is available for goods that are climate sensitive and that require specialized storage to preserve their quality. Keep in mind that it might benefit you to do some research on the climate that your product will be shipped through, and to make necessary adjustments in which service you choose based on temperature. Rules and regulations regarding dry ice can impact the nature of your shipment, and the materials of packaging that you use can also be impacted by industry standards. Finally, you should determine how time sensitive the items you are shipping are. Standard package delivery is typically 4 to 14 business days, so if your customer places a high value on quick delivery you can opt to provide next day shipping service, which ensures that you ship your product for it to arrive the following business day.
We hope that these insights have helped you get a better grasp on how to determine the best shipping method for your company. SSI Packaging Group is a team of shipping and packaging specialists that are dedicated to serving any and all of your packaging needs. We pride ourselves on providing personalized, flexible and reliable service. Call us at (804) 649-1111 to speak with a representative or view our products to find out more.
So you've been needing to replace the inkjet coder in your production line, but you're just not sure how to get it approved? Maybe your labeler is on the brink and you're tired of it slowing production while someone fishes out the old sticky labels. Old machines don't last forever, they need to be replaced.
Tada, do we have a deal for you...
Be the hero and get a $500 credit when you trade in that old system. Yep, that's right. Get a $500 credit when you trade in any marking and coding system and replace it with one from one of these manufactures:
Contact one of our marking and coding specialists today to take advantage of this offer. 804-649-1111
The Fine Print- *Offer ends December 28, 2018. Excludes Digital Design Printers and Unicorn Systems.All credits will be applied once the unit that is being replaced is shipped to SSI. Credits will not be given for the trade-in of old shoes, your first car, or your best friends beer can statue.
Food labels are important, more than for providing us with some in-store entertainment while standing at the checkout line. They help us determine that our foods contain what they say they do, and don’t contain the stuff that we don’t want. Seems pretty basic to us now, but back in the day the food industry was the wild-wild-west, full of bad guys putting whatever they wanted into jars and calling it jam.
In the beginning food quality was pretty much thought to be up to the consumer. Food distribution was wholly unregulated and small scale, with oversight being mandated to state lines and mainly concerned with weight, which helped to serve trade interests. When the industrial revolution rolled around the advent of chemical additives and mass product distribution techniques allowed for producers to supply food at an unprecedented rate. Transportation improvements allowed for the widespread distribution of processed goods, allowing for synthetic foods and packaged cereals to dominate shelf-space nation wide.
The lack of government oversight allowed for bad actors to create concoctions of edible and sometimes not-so edible products masked beneath deceiving labels. There were reports of this happening with jam products with some companies blending a combo of tar, apple peels, and sawdust and coal-dye tar together. Producers of high quality goods started to get frustrated with that competitive cost advantage that these inferior products were gaining and began to move towards government action to try to ameliorate the issue.
This is where the first attempt to regulate food quality came in, with the establishment of the 1906 US Pure Food and Drug Act. This act ensured that food quality was the responsibility of the supplier and said that food actually had to contain real, unadulterated ingredients. The social climate of the time impacted the food regulation industry, with things like the woman’s suffrage movement and Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” impacting public perception of food safety. These cultural shifts led to the 1938 food drug and cosmetic act, which still shapes many of the food labeling laws that we see today.
Today food labels help keep consumers informed, and work for small businesses to provide assurances that your products are high quality. As a small business owner, if you are ever in need of labeling needs SSI provides reliable printers with easy to navigate interfaces. To find out more click here or call us today at 804.649.1111
SSI Packaging is proud to announce Kevin Thomas as our our newest team member. Kevin is our New Product Specialist for marking and coding solutions in Virginia and Maryland. As a graduate of North Carolina State University Kevin leveraged his business management degree at Frito Lay before coming to SSI Packaging Group.
We are glad to have Kevin join our team. If you are in Virginia or Maryland and need assistance with marking or coding your products, please feel free to contact Kevin @ 804.649.1111
Your products’ label should do the talking for you, acting as the perfect icebreaker for your message. By picking the right design and keeping an eye out for the details, your product can communicate your values while it’s sitting on the shelf. Here are some key things to keep an eye out for when designing or selecting a label.
Busy store shelves that are crowded with options can have the effect of drowning out your product. That why it’s important to make sure that your label clearly defines what your product is and what it does. Clear and legible branding is the easiest way to make sure your consumers notice your merchandise, and remember who you are.
Font is a good example of a way that you can get creative with your messaging. You can choose fonts that reflect what the product does, like using minimalistic fonts for products that are used for cleaning. Try not to get too fancy with your choices though, it’s important that the information is clear and easy to read.
One technique to label design is paying attention to how your competitors have chosen to present their products. You can decide to stand out from the pack with original labeling, or you can stick to tried and true styles. As long as the design is consistent and true to your brand you can make sure that no one will gloss over your items for someone else’s.
White Space Use
Keeping the design clean and simple is a great opportunity to use white space efficiently. If you are providing a product that has simplicity as a value this can be reflected with packaging that uses white space to create a focus upon the key details of your product. Many beauty and health companies use this technique efficiently and recently it’s even been moving over into market segments like nutrition and medicine.
Colors can be very meaningful, and the colors you choose can impact how people feel about you brand. For example, if your product label is red or orange it typically conveys an energetic feeling and a vibe that says excitement. Blues, browns and greens can emphasize holistic values.
Make sure that your label fits the size and the texture of the container. If it is an attractive item, like honey, you could make the label smaller to enhance the natural appearance of the product. If you want to cover up a less appealing looking item you can use label size to your advantage. Match the sizes and shapes in ways that make sense to your brand image.
Quality is important for all aspects of your product, including the label. If your items will be shipped or stored in heat sensitive environments pay attention to the types of materials that go into your labels so that fading, peeling or cracking does not occur. Also nice to note, it’s possible that people may want to reuse your product container for reuse later so you could try to get labels that are easier to remove.
SSI Packaging Group provides a full line of quality and reliable label printers and applicator systems. Whether you're interested in high speed options like the 3600 PA System or the entry level CTM 1800 PA System, SSI has you covered for any and all of your printing and labeling needs. To find out more, check out the full line here or give us a call at 804-649-1111.
Packaging supplies are designed for practical uses, but sometimes inspiration can strike in the most unexpected ways! We’ve gathered some fresh ideas from people who have used packaging create art. Whether you are inspired by these creations or simply surprised, check out these 5 cool things that artists have done with everyday packaging materials.
1. Corrugated Cardboard Villagers
This project by Warren King was inspired by his grandparents, who lived in a small village in China for several years before immigrating to the United States. When Warren traveled to the same village that his grandparents had left, many of the locals recounted stories to him about the Chinese civil war, and about his family members. He decided to recreate the residents of the village in an effort to better understand the people he was meeting, and to explore his grandparent’s history. He formed his sculptures with cardboard and glue, and although they appear to be solid forms he actually left the backs of them hollow to represent his search for knowledge.
2. Stretch Wrap T-Rex
Moscow based Evgeny Ches was inspired by the natural environment to create art with cellophane and spray paint. He wanted to challenge the idea that street art belongs solely in cities by choosing to place his artwork in nature, and remains consistent to the theme by painting mostly animals. His use of neutral colors and the flexibility of his locations combine to give a big surprise to those who find these works of art in the wild.
3. Packing Tape Scenes
Artist Max Zorn layers packing tape to create contrasts between light and shadows. Originally inspired by the street lamps that light up Amsterdam, Max wanted to create art that appeared when night fell, rather than artwork that disappeared. He began by placing his artworks over streetlamps in big cities, and his project has grown globally ever since. Next time you visit a new city look closely at the street lamps, you might find a little surprise!
4. Plastic Bag Television Blub
This art installation by Ronald van der Meijs is called Squaring The Sphere. It is made from a series of interconnected plastic bags that are wired with tubes of air, and as time progresses the bags inflate and deflate in a continuous loop. Ronald shaped the bags to look like a television bulb as a way to connect television and marketing the artist’s perspective on consumerism.
5. Packing Tube Elephant
Spanish studio nituniyo created this elephant out of 6,000 cardboard packing tubes for the annual fallas festival in Valencia. This festival consists of several days of parties, food and artwork and on the last day of the festival the sculptures are burned in special ceremonies. The title of this sculpture translates to “dreams of weight” and the spectators were encouraged to write their wishes or dreams on pieces of paper to place inside of the tubes.
If you are looking for materials to begin your next great art project or simply seeking quality packaging from people who care, SSI Packaging Group is here for you. To find out more, check out our products here or contact us anytime at 804-649-1111.
During a recent Wire & Tube Exhibition the Artist Afran used the Leibinger Jet3UP PI CIJ printer to create a painting (or is it an inking?) of Charlie Chaplin.
Check out this video.
Small business owners are all too familiar with the challenges that come with reducing shipping costs and maximizing efficiency. Here are a few ideas that can help you to tackle this common challenge.
Don't be afraid to negotiate with carriers
Sometimes it’s easy to feel like a little fish in a big tank, especially when it comes to negotiating shipping rates with popular carriers. But don’t despair; if your business is shipping a high number of goods it is possible to negotiate prices with your carriers. This is because shipping companies set their pricing schedules based upon the volume of items that you ship, so more items usually equal lower rates. To facilitate successful negotiations try to maintain clear goals while presenting reliable data. And probably the most important step: make sure that you reach out to several different shipping companies at once. This will allow you an additional bit of leverage that you could use to your advantage (plus encourages a bit of friendly competition between carriers!).
Maximize efficiency by purchasing a label applicator
Practical solutions like purchasing a label maker can help you streamline your shipping process and reduce costs. This way you can avoid writing each label individually, which takes a lot of time and can look unprofessional. If your looking to eliminate operational issues like jams or mechanical adjustments, The Videojet 9550 is a model that can help improve productivity while lowering costs. For business owners with flexibility in mind, the CTM 360a Series Label Applicators are a series of printers that are an industry standard. These printers can be instantly adjusted onsite with any software updates, ideal for entrepreneurs that are on a time crunch. More interested in thermal printers? The CTM 3600PA Printer Applicator is a durable model that can apply labels at high speeds, and the CTM 1800PA Thermal Transfer Printer Applicator is low cost and efficient-the ideal tool for entry level applicators. By making the move towards professional labeling systems you can set up your business for big payoffs later on down the line.
Choose the right materials
It might be tempting to forgo quality packaging when looking for ways to reduce shipping costs. But using cheap packaging has long-term hidden costs that can damage your reputation, and impact your bottom line. That’s why it’s important to consider not the price of your packaging supplies, but the value of your materials. Instead of picking the cheapest box for your big bulky items, choose corrugated cardboard and heavy-duty boxes so that they can be adequately protected in transit. And try not to make the mistake of assuming that each product can be shipped in any sized box, while filling in the excess spaces with packing foam or bubble wrap. It’s safer and more cost efficient to coordinate packaging sizes with the weight and size of the items you are shipping.
Find a Packaging supplier that will treat you right
SSI Packaging Solutions is a team of specialists that are dedicated to serving any and all of your packaging needs. Whether this means making sure that your items arrive safely, or helping you select quality products- we pride ourselves on providing excellent service to small and big businesses alike. Call us at (804) 649-1111 to speak with a representative or view our products to find out more.
An inc.jet .UNO print solution can help you to replace your troublesome CIJ
Printer and here’s why...
By using self-contained HP cartagrages, there is no messy cleanup. The high-capacity ink cartridges are long lasting and when they run out, simply pull out the empty one and drop in the new one.
No Small and Lowered VOC's
Forget the days of fumes and chemical smells from inkjet systems. Because .uno uses a closed packaging system, the ink is delivered on demand only. There are no solvents, spills, or makeup. The result is a no-smell inkjet system that is super reliable.
With it’s simple design comes a great by-product…higher reliability. Get on your business and forget about working if your coding and marking system is working correctly. .uno just works.
Since there are less parts, nothing to maintain, and limits downtime to a few moments the operating cost for .uno systems are a fraction of traditional CIJ systems.
The easy to navigate interface will get you the results you want without having to worry about spending hours programming. Enter your required fields and print.
Space is a huge consideration when considering marking and coding systems. Production lines have limited space for bulky inkjet systems. .uno systems need an extremely small footprint for the printhead and interface, preventing the need to redesign an entire production line.
BONUS - A True Lifetime Warranty
A guarantee of reliability is what your business needs today. And a company to stand behind its words. inc.jet does just this by offering a genuine Lifetime Warranty on its hardware. If there is ever a problem, we will replace it free of charges for the lifetime of that product, whether 1 year or 20 years from now
To take advantage of this limited-time offer, call one of the experts at SSI today. Our goal is to make sure you have the best solution for your particular setting. SSI Packaging Group stands behind our products and our work. We only install marking and coding solutions that we trust based on our long-time experience in the market. Call us today at 804.649.1111
Everyone has had moments popping the sheets of bubbles that are leftover from packaging. But the next time that you have some leftovers, try to resist the magnetic pull of breaking those little bubbles. There are tons of other cool uses for bubble wrap that you can take advantage of.
Protect your windshield
Bubble wrap is a great insulator, and can be used in a variety of ways to protect things from the cold. You can tape sheets of it to the inside of your windows to contain heat during cold snaps and reduce your heating bill. In addition, bubble wrap is a great tool to keep your car windshield frost-free during the snowy winter months. You can also use bubble wrap to protect your home’s windows.
Insulate your plants
Speaking of frost prevention, you can use bubble wrap to protect plants that are too large to bring inside during harsh conditions. By cutting the bubble wrap to the appropriate size and taping around the entire plant, pot included, you can prevent freezing and keep your plants alive until springtime.
Keep your groceries cold
When things start to heat up in the spring and summer, you can use bubble wrap to keep the cold in. Wrap it tightly around your cold groceries when you have a long ways to transport them. It’s a crafty way to make sure you aren’t bringing ice-cream soup to the park picnic!
Bubble wrap is a great medium for holding the shape of delicate items like handbags or tall boots. It is soft enough to prevent stretching, won’t attract moths or rodents, and lasts forever. They’re a great way to preserve the freshness of your accessories when you put them in storage.
Make your travels pop
Next time you have a big adventure, take a little bubble wrap with you in your suitcase. The bubble wrap will save space in your suitcase for any souvenirs you’d like to bring back, and will protect them on the bumpy ride back to your home.
Pad your sleeping bag
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, bubble wrap can help keep you comfortable. Instead of buying an expensive sleeping pad from a camping store, use bubble wrap as a cheap alternative. You might also find other uses for bubble wrap on your trip that you hadn’t thought of. Lightweight, waterproof, and strong, bubble wrap is just a handy thing to have around during a camping trip.
Bubble wrap is such a tactile material that it’s no wonder kids are naturally drawn to it. Craft ideas for bubble wrap are almost endless: dip it in paint and use it to stamp patterns onto paper; make a jellyfish Halloween costume; or tape it to the floor and let kids roll toy cars over it. Next time the kids are feeling a little bit of cabin fever, grab a bit of bubble wrap and get crafty!
Get everything you need from SSI Packaging Group
When you need bubble wrap or just about any other packaging material, SSI Packaging Group has you covered. We are a leading distributor of Sealed Air product packaging products, including: