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7 must-have supplies to run a shipping service

7 must-have supplies to run a shipping service

Have you decided to start a shipping service business? If yes, you must know that its success comes down to good preparation and planning. The transit time could range from a few hours to days, and a lot could go wrong during this time, including damage to the package. Therefore, it is good to know about these seven shipping supplies in the inventory to make local and international shipping for your clients a seamless experience.

Refrigerant gel packs
Your shipping business might need to ship items that require constant refrigeration in a temperature-cooled environment. And while you could use dry ice, it is difficult to work with. A better alternative today is refrigerant gel packs to keep the items at the right temperature and carry out a safe delivery. These packs are also reusable and recyclable, making it a sustainable and cost-effective alternative.

Printer paper
While most things have gone digital today, there are still uses for printer paper in shipping. Its benefits include creating customer invoices, making packing lists, and printing barcodes. So keep a couple of bundles of printing paper handy. You never know when you need to print something important.

Corrugated boxes
Most small businesses use corrugated boxes for eCommerce shipping. These boxes provide sturdy packaging for fragile items. If your supply company is shipping internationally, remember to stock up on various-sized boxes. Since each product that needs to be shipped may vary in size, using an appropriately-sized box may help save on shipping costs.

Bubble wrap
Bubble wrap is one of the best cushioning materials used by most eCommerce shipping merchants. The wrap offers an extra layer of protection and helps keep fragile products safe during transit. But remember not to fill the boxes with too much bubble wrap as it could increase the weight of the packages and spike the shipping costs.

Packaging tape
If you run a shipping business, packaging tape is a must-have supply. Strong tape plays a crucial role in keeping boxes and other packaging materials sealed tight. But remember that each roll could run out quickly on a busy day, so stock up in bulk to avoid inconvenience.

Plastic wrap
Not all shipping items are large. Some items might include gift baskets, flora bouquets, or other delicate items. For such products, it is best to use a versatile packaging material such as plastic wrap. The wrap is also tamper-proof, which could help give the product an added layer of security during transit.

You might come across a situation where there are gaps in the packages. Vermiculite can help fill these voids and protect packages from unforeseen issues during transit. The shipping supply can also be absorbent, which ensures moisture control when the package is shipped to its destination.
Maintaining an inventory of these shipping supplies may ensure that a customer’s items are packed and moved in the best way possible without shipping-related damages and losses. You could also keep other supplies in the inventory, such as shipping paper, shipping labels, packing list envelopes, and biodegradable air pillows.

Apart from having these essentials handy, there are two other factors that you should consider for the business.

Hiring a supply chain manager
One of the first steps in starting the shipping business is to create supply chain jobs such as that of a supply chain manager. The job usually requires them to have strong software and computer skills, be able to think outside the box, and have excellent communication skills. The supply change manager should also be able to improve the supply chain, cut costs, reduce errors, and increase efficiencies.

Picking a logistic management software
Another tip that you should bear in mind is to pick a logistic management software. There are various types of software, including:

  • Inventory management software
  • Freight billing software
  • Transportation management software
  • Customer Relationship Management Software
  • Distribution management software
  • Warehouse Management System

Such software helps improve business efficiency by streamlining delivery, storage, and shipping processes. Logistics software may also offer real-time data on inventory. The data helps ensure that customers are aware of their products’ whereabouts. There are a couple of tips to keep in mind when picking such software for your shipping supply company.

  • Pick software offering high visibility by using better tracking and automation system.
  • Choose a tool that can support multitasking operations so that your shipping business can execute multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Several feature-rich logistics management software in the market come with a cluttered interface that makes them difficult to use. So look for options with a user-friendly interface. Such software may require minimal training for your staff to get accustomed to and reduce time to complete tasks.
  • Ensure that the vendor has a good track record for after-sales services, such as customer support, to assist with faults in the software. You could also read through customer reviews about the vendor, which could help you make a more informed decision.