Reduce Your Packaging Costs: 30 Strategies

Explore 30 strategies that have saved companies hundreds of millions of dollars — with real-world examples from IKEA, Walmart, P&G, Dell, Glossier, and more.

These strategies cover a range of approaches that aim to provide a broad perspective on optimization opportunities layered within your packaging choices.

Often, the most impactful cost reductions are ones you’ve never considered before. We hope this guide opens your eyes to a few new ideas.

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Strategies and case studies included in this guide:

Packaging design

  • Use fewer components

  • Ship less air

  • Reduce material thickness

  • Reduce product volume

  • Ready-to-ship SKUs

  • Modular packaging 

  • Optimize for dimensional weight shipping

  • Faster fulfillment

  • Use stock packaging or semi-custom packaging

  • Reduce print coverage and colors

Logistics and storage

  • Use local factories to reduce freight costs

  • Manufacture and ship by the truckload

  • Reduce air freight

  • Reduce tertiary packaging

  • Reduce volume in storage and transit

  • Avoid stock-outs

    Customer experience

    • Offer a low packaging option to your customers

    • Balance defective shipments and replacement costs

    • Invest in reusable or refillable packaging

    • Save customer service time by reducing inquiries

    Sourcing and supplier management

    • Know what you’re paying for

    • Choose factories with the right equipment

    • Rethink your RFP process

    • Streamline vendor management and purchasing 

    • Structure your packaging specs

    • Consolidate CM and 3PL purchasing

    • Invest in packaging engineering


    • Standardize quality using AQL

    • Set up backup factories and load balancing

    • Plan alternative packaging