When you’re calculating packaging costs, there are a lot of factors to consider. From the cost of the material itself to the time it takes to ship, let’s break down what goes into this number, and the steps you need to follow to calculate your packaging costs. 

What Are Packaging Costs?

Packaging costs include more than just the cost of the packaging itself. Remember that everything that goes into making and delivering your packaging also can affect the cost. Here are four factors to consider when calculating packaging costs.

Packaging Material

The biggest consideration for the cost of packaging is the material you choose. Different materials will be more or less expensive to acquire, produce, and ship. Consider how the costs differ for materials like lightweight plastic, thick cardboard, or even glass.

Packaging Design

Does your product require special considerations for protection, insulation, or cleanliness? For example, if you’re packaging food products that need to stay cool and dry, you will have more specialized packaging to preserve your product quality.

Shipping Costs

Don’t forget that the costs to ship your packaging materials to you affect packaging costs. Heavier, complex, or fragile packaging materials will be more expensive to ship than lightweight, straightforward packaging. The location of your packaging distributor will also factor into your packaging costs calculation.

Lead Time

Although not a direct cost, the lead time to order and receive your packaging could also affect your bottom line. Packaging products that are more complex or customized may take longer to prepare. If you’re on a tight deadline where time = money, then lead time is worth considering. 

How to Calculate Your Packaging Costs

Ready to calculate packaging costs? Follow these steps to collect custom quotes for your packaging needs.

Step 1: Select your material. Choose the material that will offer the best protection for your product without breaking your budget.

Step 2: Find suppliers. Find 3-5 suppliers who carry the type of packaging you need and get a custom quote for the style and design of packaging that works best for your product.

Step 3: Calculate shipping costs. Remember that local suppliers will likely offer better rates on shipping.

Step 4: Compare bids. Which supplier is able to offer the lowest packaging costs while still delivering what you need?

Step 5: Consider value-adding perks. Consider other factors beyond price that may make one packaging supplier a more valuable choice, such as better product quality, a fast customer service response, a short lead time, customer loyalty programs, and custom branding options.

How to Save on Packaging Costs

Are your packaging costs eating up your budget? Here are a few ways to save.

Switch to Poly Bags

If you’re using a heavy material like cardboard, paper, or even glass — making the switch to poly bags could save your company money. Poly bags are much lighter than other packaging materials, but just as durable. You can adjust the mil strength of your poly bag order to provide the strength and protection you need, without adding significant weight or expense to your packaging costs.

Order in Bulk

Save on your order and shipping costs by ordering in large quantities. If you’re not sure exactly what you need —  maybe you need packaging in various sizes or styles — consult your supplier. They should work with you to develop a proof and packaging plan that works for you.

Work with a Custom Poly Bag Supplier

Custom poly bag suppliers handle each order as a custom order. This means they’ll work with you to develop the ideal packaging solution for your product, whether you have special style needs, custom branding, or a tight deadline to meet. They can help you calculate the packaging costs for your order and make adjustments to meet your budget and expectations. 

If you’re looking for a custom packaging bid, talk to the team at A-Pac Manufacturing. We’re always willing to help you to get exactly what you need for a great value.