Pay Attention to Size

Business is going well. Customer orders are coming in, and you’re processing them as quickly as possible. You’re shipping one package a day, or maybe ten, or even hundreds. You’ve got a routine: Grab a box. Put your product in. Add crumpled paper to fill the empty spaces. Seal the box. Ship.

Wait! Let’s back up and analyze. Is that extra paper necessary? If you’re using it to fill voids between the product and the box, should you be using a smaller box instead?

If the product is fragile, then cushioning material should be used to protect the item. But if you’re shipping items that aren’t fragile ― clothing, books, non-delicate items ― then save yourself time, trouble and money by removing the extra fill and using a box that’s more appropriate for your shipment.

Why use more than you need?
Companies ― maybe even your own ― often use boxes that aren’t the right fit for the items being shipped. And to keep the item in place, they use a whole lot of paper or other material to fill in the extra space. While this may be necessary to protect fragile items, additional packaging is nonessential for sturdier items.

There are other side effects of using inadequate packaging, too:

  • You’re paying more for packaging than you need to.
  • You could be paying more for shipping than you need to.
  • Items that aren’t appropriately packed can get damaged in transit.

Benefits of a good fit
On the other hand, choosing the right-size package for your shipments can lead to a pleasing domino effect:

  • Lower cost. Smaller-size packaging translates into smaller supplies costs. Plus, reducing the amount of filler needed will save you even more money.
  • More protection. Right-size packaging will help protect your product so it gets to your customer intact.
  • Improved sustainability. Unnecessary packaging translates into less waste for the environment.   
  • Greater accuracy. When you use the right-size packaging for your product and provide complete and accurate dimensions and weight for your package, the shipping rate you quote to your customer will better reflect the price you pay for the shipment.

Pricing changes
You might have heard that the way to calculate FedEx Ground® packages less than 3 cubic feet changed in January. They’re now determined the same way as FedEx Express® shipments. That is, the rate of all U.S. and international package shipments is based either on the dimensional weight of your package or its actual weight, whichever is greater*.

That’s why it’s important to match the size of your packaging to the size of the item being shipped. In most cases, you’ll save on shipping costs. And that’s a better calculation for your bottom line.

Smart savings
These tips can help you save on packaging and shipping costs:

  • Choose packaging that aligns more closely with the size and fragility of your item.
  • Explore other options besides corrugated boxes for smaller items. Padded or poly mailers may decrease unnecessary dimensional weight.
  • Bring your items to a FedEx Office location where a team member will professionally select the right-size packaging for your item. They can also help you determine how much cushioning is needed for delicate items so you’re not using too much.
  • Contact a FedEx field packaging engineer at  and request a free assessment of your packaging by the FedEx Packaging Services team. The packaging engineers will work directly with you and offer options that can help:
            o    Improve packaging efficiency.
            o    Prevent damage to your product.
            o    Potentially reduce shipping supplies costs.

Right-size today
To get additional information on the best way to optimize your packaging, go to the FedEx Packaging Services page of the Service Guide. Remember: ensuring you use the right-size packaging to protect the contents of your shipment can help increase your bottom line.

More from FedEx Updates
Find additional tips and tricks to improve your FedEx experience on FedEx Updates

*Go to page 120 of the Service Guide for more details on dimensional weight and how to calculate it.

Please note

You are not using a recommended browser for this area of You may be able to use the site, however you may experience some difficulties. Fully supported browsers and operating systems include.

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Windows 200, XP, Vista
  • Google Chrome 13+
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8+
  • Mozilla Firefox 10+
  • Apple Mac OS
  • Mac 10.4+
  • Google Chrome 13+
  • Mozilla Firefox 10+
  • Safari 5.0+
  • iPad & iPhone
  • iOS 6+
  • Safari
  • Android
  • Android OS 4+ (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Chrome
  • Platform Browser