Have you heard? Amazon’s new policy, called “Ships in Own Container” (SIOC), kicks in July 31. That means vendors who ship via Amazon can expect to pay more if their items are heavy (over 20 pounds) or large (bigger than 18” x 14” x 8”) and require Amazon to provide a protective overbox for shipment.
The policy isn’t about trying to nickel and dime businesses to make an extra buck. Amazon has been making an effort to reduce waste – albeit with some mixed results.
Last year, Amazon.com Inc. reduced the number of shipments packed in cardboard boxes by replacing the boxes with lightweight plastic mailers. This saves space on the truck and plane and improves efficiency, and it also reduces cardboard consumption. But experts argue the plastic mailers aren’t recyclable in curbside recycling bins.
Amazon’s working on a solution. In the meantime, its SIOC policy, coupled with the Frustration-Free Packaging Program established in 2008, are making a positive difference.
Amazon has reduced cardboard packaging waste by 16 percent and eliminated the need for more than 305 million shipping boxes in 2017, according to an article in the LA Times. Globally, according to the article, Amazon reduced packaging waste by more than 20% in 2018.
That’s Amazon. What can you do?
What does the SIOC policy and Frustration-Free Packaging Program mean for you, a small- to medium-sized business owner who ships via Amazon, UPS, FedEx or snail mail?
For Amazon users, revisit your shipment packaging design and make sure the packaging fits the size of the item your shipping.
For everyone else, take a peek at Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging Program details and apply what you can to your own shipping practices, including:
Design your packaging to reduce, not create, waste. In other words, don’t ship a six-inch widget in a box fit for a kitchen sink. Fit your shipment package to the size of the item.
Select recyclable packaging materials. Keep items secure using materials that are both good for environment and strong enough to keep your items secure. Pre-crumbled packing paper, for example, is ecofriendly, affordable, and effective for keeping items protected. It’s also a MRBOXonline-customer favorite.