Cutting Container Costs: Bulk Bags, Used Pallets and Other Bins for Warehouses on a Budget

Warehouse interior

The warehousing industry has never been more competitive than it is today. More companies are getting into the e-commerce business and warehousing costs keep going up and up. If you’re looking to lower your warehousing costs, one of the first places to start is your containers. While they may not seem expensive, buying new containers can cut into your operating budget. Learn how to reduce your container costs by changing the way you store and transport your goods. 

Bulk Storage Bags

When it comes to storing hundreds of pounds of dry goods, including grains, industrial materials and even food, bulk bags are a low-cost storage solution. They’re typically made with 100 percent virgin polypropylene and can hold anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds of bulk materials. 

When you’re storing such large quantities of a single item, buying separate containers may not be realistic. That’s why so many companies invest in bulk bags or FIBC bags. You’ll likely need a forklift or crane when filling and unloading your bags, but it’s by far the cheapest way to store or transport large quantities. 

large warehouse

Plastic Pallets

Pallets are essential when you’re loading and unloading your containers. They’re typically attached to the bottom of your container, so you can easily move the container with a forklift. Plastic pallets tend to be more cost-effective than wood pallets. Plastic pallets can be used more than once, so you don’t have to keep buying new pallets. 

Wood pallets tend to break, cause splinters and will need to be stamped and approved if you’re sending them to another country. You can also buy used plastic pallets to save even more money. They’re made with reliable plastic that can withstand the test of time. 

Used Storage Containers

When it comes to saving money, you can always choose used containers instead of new containers. There may not be a lot of benefit to buying new containers, especially if they’re just sitting on the shelf, so you might as well save some money and invest in used containers. From plastic totes to industrial storage bins and IBCs, these kinds of containers tend to last for years on end, so you don’t have to worry about these containers falling apart on you. Make sure you buy used containers from a reliable reseller with a good reputation in your industry. Spend some time inspecting and cleaning these containers before putting them to work in your warehouse.  

Other Ways to Reduce Warehouse Costs:

Keep Your Facility Organized

If you’re still looking to save money, make sure you keep your warehouse organized. Come up with a reliable system of tracking, organizing and labeling the products and supplies in your facility; otherwise, some of your assets may go missing or get damaged. Keeping your facility organized also improves efficiency throughout the workplace. Your workers won’t have to spend as much time looking for the things they need. There’s also less room for error when everything is in the right place. Use organizer bins and other containers to maintain a sense of order in your facility. 

Consider Cross-Docking

Another option to consider is what’s known as cross-docking. This means sending products straight from the supplier to your customers, so you don’t have to store them at your facility, which only adds to your warehousing and transportation expenses. While you may not do this for every product you sell, cutting out the middleman can help you reduce your expenses over the long-term. Talk to some of your suppliers to see if they’d be interested in shipping their goods right to the customer. 

Blue plastic containers on roller conveyors

Invest in the Latest Technology 

Considering labor costs account for around 65 percent of most warehouse facilities’ operating budgets, investing in automation can help you reduce your labor costs over time. While equipment such as automatic pickers and stockers, package fulfillment equipment and the IoT can be a major investment for your business, these tools will help you achieve your warehousing goals. They reduce your dependency on manual labor, so you don’t have to worry about hiring, training and retaining staff members. These machines also improve picking accuracy, speed up the order fulfillment process and they can work 24/7 without forcing your employees to work overtime. 

Start Reducing Your Warehousing Expenses Today

From automation to used containers, there are so many ways to reduce your warehousing expenses. Avoid paying too much for containers and rethink your business model to reduce your overhead without changing the nature of your products or services.