How To Speed Up Your Order Packing, Sustainably

4 comments by Liv McLeod
How To Speed Up Your Packing, Sustainably
Running a eco-conscious business is a metric heck-tonne of work.
Whether you're just starting out, or your business is already in full swing... there's a lot to consider when you set up your packing station.
Trying to work efficiently in a disorganised warehouse is like trying to cook noodles in a sensory deprivation chamber. On 3 hours of sleep. With Ecolabels for eyes.
So the better you structure your space, and the more you automate the little stuff, the better.
When setting up our new warehouse, we did a ton of research into time-efficient sustainable packing strategies. To save you time, we've gathered the handiest tips and tricks right here. All of which we're currently using in our very own home.
When you're creating the ultimate ecommerce packaging station, you want speed. Just not at the expense of the planet.

Tip 1: Get Yourself A Thermal Printer

Seriously. We sell these in our online store, because they just rock.
If you've ever had to write out hundreds of postal addresses by hand, you'll know how time-consuming and carpal tunnel-y it can be.
With a thermal printer, you can print addresses straight from any major shipping integrator onto a sticky label. They print continuously, so you can sit back and let it do it's thing.
Once it's finished, all you need to do is slap on the label and send. Heaven!
While any thermal printer will increase your efficiency, not all of them are the most sustainable option. Some brands, like Dymo (but you didn't hear it from us), sell label printers that will only let you print with their proprietary stickers. Which aren't eco-friendly.
When purchasing your printer, make sure you're choosing one that will let you print with compostable labels, like these ones.
Doing so means you can up your labelling game, without losing out on the greenie factor.
TSC Thermal Printer

Tip 2: Automate Your Life

Investing in a shipping integrator will change your life.
Sure, they're not absolutely necessary for an ecommerce business. But having one really simplifies tasks like printing labels, sending your customers an automatic tracking number, and dispatch.
This is because some postal carriers don't have direct integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, or any of the other major ecommerce platforms. So without an integrator, you'd need to manually enter tracking details for customers, as well as copy and pasting tracking data into your own files. Every. Single. Time.
To save you time, we really recommend investing in a good shipping integrator, or choosing a carrier that naturally integrates with your chosen ecommerce platform. We've sussed out all the major carriers and integrators, and have a bunch of information on them here.

Tip 3: Place Your Packing Station With Intention

This one may seem a little obvious, but it made a huge difference to our picking efficiency when we tried it in our own warehouse.
Rather than carrying bulky items to your packing station, move your packing station to your bulky items. Invest in a foldable or wheeled table, and that way, you can easily move yourself right next to the heavy stuff.
Packing benchHG Warehouse BTS
Of course, you could carry the bulky items over every time you need to pack, but that's a back injury waiting to happen.
It also means that you're double-handling the products. In non-office-speak terms, this translates to doing double the workload, with double the chance of damaging the product.
Save your back! Move your table.

Tip 4: Organise For Efficiency

This one's for the fans of organisational efficiency. The cool guys. It's also a really easy fix, but it makes a world of difference.
When considering the placement of your heavier items, make sure you warehouse products that are typically sold together in the same place. You can also batch similar SKUs together, to make the whole pick and pack process a lot smoother.
For example, it makes a lot of sense for us if we place our Hex Wrap and our Hex Roller pallets next to each other.
That way, when we inevitably get an order for both, we can set up our table right next to 'em and get to it.

Tip 5: Use Packaging That Fits

Having packaging on hand that's correctly sized to the products you sell is essential in an eco-friendly warehouse.
Not only will it save you on having to pay extra for bulky shipping costs and filler, but customers will appreciate you a lot more.
'Cos there's nothing more annoying than receiving a small product in a massive postal box that takes up all the available real estate in your recycling bin.
Not to mention the major paper waste, and all the carbon burned to freight it!
We save any boxes we receive, and use them again for packaging any items that don't fit any of the standard-sized boxes we already stock. It means we always have a variety of boxes on hand, and that we're getting the most out of our own orders.
We're also never wasting time scouring the warehouse for a box to pack your orders in. Three big ticks here: sustainability, time management, and cost saving.
Trusty worker Daniel
Our packing legend Daniel, posing with our handy box pile. 

The Wrap Up

None of these tips require massive structural changes. But we can guarantee that if you implement them all, you'll see a massive uptick in warehouse productivity and order fulfilment.
We hope you can learn from our experiences and start packing speedy ASAP.
And as always, keeping the planet at the forefront of your process.
If you want to chat speedy sustainable warehouse processes, get in touch or leave a comment. Happy packing! 


  • greaseproof paper sheets Australia

    A well-designed and thoughtfully crafted package can create a positive first impression, influencing the customer’s perception of the product and the brand.

  • Twizzle Designs

    A very practical blog – thanks for sharing these tips. Your boxes also come in a good range of sizes which makes things easier!

  • Liv

    Thanks Georgia! Hope they help to win back some time!

  • Georgia

    These tips are gold!

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