Shipping Supply Options for Small Businesses

Lendvo Shipping Supplies

For small retailers and businesses, plans for mailing or shipping products are often considered last in the grand scheme of providing quality goods to customers. With the focus on the products themselves, shipping is sometimes overlooked until right before the products must go out the door, and then packaging can become a nightmare if the shipping businesses are unprepared.

Depending on the products being mailed, the packaging must be protective, durable and easy to ship. These requirements are not met simply by finding an empty box big enough to shove the product into. Instead, using the right type of shipping supplies for each product is necessary to facilitate a smooth delivery.

Business can use outsourcing for shipping fulfillment, a process often most useful to larger companies that are sending thousands of packages. For smaller businesses, making a plan for gathering shipping supplies and ensuring a safe delivery is easy by working with some of the top suppliers of shipping materials.

Uline

Uline is a family-owned business started by Dick and Liz Uihlein in their basement in 1980. Since those humble beginnings, Uline has expanded to become the leading distributor of packaging, shipping and industrial supplies in North America. The business now offers more than 600 catalog pages of products, all designed to provide top-notch shipping options to individuals and businesses. Uline is one of the best shipping suppliers based on this selection, its pricing and positive customer reviews.

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Products and Pricing

The sheer range of available boxes, filling materials and other options at Uline is astounding. The company offers jewelry and apparel boxes, shopping bags and traditional shipping boxes. It also has one of the largest selections of polyurethane and polyethylene foam, customizable tissue paper and packing peanuts.

Although Uline does feature some more expensive boxes, labels and other products, it ships them to its customers at the best rates, evening the field when it comes to their products. In addition, Uline provides custom products with purchasing business’ brand names printed directly on the labels, retail bags, shipping tape and tissue papers.

This is a sampling of the products and costs that Uline offers:
6”x10” Bubble Mailer
$0.16
10”x10”x10” Small Box
$0.55
24”x24”x24” Large Box
$3.37
20 cu ft Packing Peanuts
$27
1’x175’ Roll of Bubble Wrap
$15
Shipping cost for an order of 50 large boxes
$61 and one-day delivery

Customer Service

Uline’s website is extremely professional-looking and easy to navigate. One of the best features is the option to “search by dimension” to find the right type of box for shipping. With an input of the needed dimensions, the website finds all boxes of that size and of all weights and types.

Uline stands out from other companies because it offers 24/7 customer service via telephone, email and live chat, a service that many shipping suppliers do not even attempt to provide. The company also accepts returns that occur within 30 days of the purchase. It is these offerings that keep Uline’s customer service reviews so high.

PackagingSupplies.com

PackagingSupplies.com, a division of Cleveland Packaging, Inc. since 1998, offers wholesale prices on its quality shipping supplies. With distribution centers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and several other cities nationwide, PackingSupplies.com is committed to bringing complete satisfaction to its customers with its selection of over 5,000 packaging supply options.

Products and Pricing

All of the basic shipping supplies can be found at PackagingSupplies.com: boxes and mailers of all sizes, filling materials and taping and labeling supplies. PackagingSupplies.com says that it wants customer service to be its top priority, so it provides a variety of different options. However, custom sizes and custom-printed items are not available. Samples are available for items that are unusual and less popular.

Whereas many of the boxes cost less than its competitors, the shipping for most of these items is reasonable overall but significantly higher than Uline. This difference nearly negates the lesser prices for the overall products.

This is a sampling of the products and costs that PackingSupplies.com offers:
6”x10” Bubble Mailer
$0.14
10”x10”x10” Small Box
$0.53
24”x24”x24” Large Box
$2.78
20 cu ft Packing Peanuts
$46
1’x175’ Roll of Bubble Wrap
$10
Shipping cost for an order of 50 large boxes
$80 and delivery in 2 to 5 days

Customer Service

The company’s customer service and sales office, in its original city of Cleveland, provides the utmost care and service to all of its customers, often ensuring that the items will ship the same day as online purchase. Refunds are accepted within 30 days of the original purchase.

PackagingSupplies.com also meets or beats competitors’ prices on the exact same items offered for lower prices somewhere else. This pricing is guaranteed.

Although there are thousands of items available, the company is open to procuring more products if a customer does not see what he or she needs. In fact, PackagingSupplies.com will help customers find the products that they need, even if those products must be purchased through rival companies. Customer service is available via telephone and email communication from Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

ShippingSupply.com

The sales focus behind ShippingSupply.com is that every customer is important, no matter how large an order is or how frequently a customer orders, ShippingSupply.com values the business and buys their products in bulk to save customers money. The company recognizes that the products it sells are a reflection of its values, and it strives to provide the best options at the best prices.

Products and Pricing

ShippingSupply.com is stocked with products from well-known supply companies such as Minigrip, 3M, Storopack and Sealed Air. From these prestigious shipping supply companies, ShippingSupply.com offers over 10,000 products that can be purchased at great prices for the most savings.

The company does provide custom labels that allow purchasing businesses to add their brand names to the products.

Shipping prices for products purchased from ShippingSupply.com are average for most small boxes and basic bubble mailers, but larger boxes, filling materials and other packaging items typically ship at higher-than-average costs. For example, the overall cost for ground shipping on an order of 50 large boxes is an incredible $530, compared to just $61 at Uline.

This is a sampling of the products and costs that ShippingSupply.com offers:
6”x10” Bubble Mailer
$0.14
10”x10”x10” Small Box
$0.60
24”x24”x24” Large Box
$3.36
20 cu ft Packing Peanuts
$35
1’x175’ Roll of Bubble Wrap
$16
Shipping cost for an order of 50 large boxes
$530 and delivery in 2 to 5 days

Customer Service

Like Uline, the website for ShippingSupply.com allows potential customers to search is database of products by dimension and by features. This makes navigating and locating the right products easier and faster than many other shipping supply websites.

All items purchased through ShippingSupply.com are shipped within 24 hours of purchase and comes with a 100 percent guarantee of customer satisfaction. If a customer is not completely satisfied, he or she may return the order within 10 days for a full refund or replacement.

Customers can contact ShippingSupply.com by telephone, email and live chat to ask questions or to learn more about specific products. The hours of service for telephone calls and live chats are from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. However, the online form submission is always available.

eSupplyStore.com

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, eSupplyStore.com sells products designed to provide successful delivery at great prices. Because the company offers shipping supplies at wholesale prices, eSupplyStore.com strives to make take as little from its customers’ wallets as possible.

Products and Pricing

The shipping supplies from eSupplyStore.com run the gamut from basic cardboard shipping boxes to insulated foam shipping containers meant to keep temperature-sensitive materials safe during shipping. The corrugated and shipboard boxes, as well as packing tubes in assorted sizes, are intended to get products to their destinations safely and efficiently. There are over 600 different dimension varieties, so nearly every need can be met with its inventory.

The insulated coolers, a unique product for this shipping supply company, are covered in a protective cardboard sleeve with explicit labels such as “rush,” “perishable” and “this side up” to protect the important contents.

eSupplyStore.com also stocks protective packaging for audiovisual materials, another specialty not available from all shipping supply companies. In addition to basic mailers for CDs and DVDs, eSupplyStore.com also offers boxes for collectible vinyl records and audio or video cassettes.

Although the basic pricing from eSupplyStore.com is already at a wholesale price, the company can offer additional discounts for high-volume orders. These product costs are on the lower end for similar products; however, shipping from eSupplyStore.com is exceptionally higher than Uline and several other shipping suppliers.

This is a sampling of the products and costs that eSupplyStore.com offers:
6”x10” Bubble Mailer
$0.13
10”x10”x10” Small Box
$0.58
24”x24”x24” Large Box
$3.10
20 cu ft Packing Peanuts
$30
1’x175’ Roll of Bubble Wrap
$8
Shipping cost for an order of 50 large boxes
$115 and delivery in 2 to 5 days

Customer Service

Orders are shipped within the same business day as online orders as long as those orders occur before 2:00 P.M. Central Time Monday through Friday. If orders are after this time, or on the weekend or a holiday, the orders will be shipped on the next business day. Following an order, eSupplyStore.com sends an email detailing how the package can be tracked and giving an estimated arrival date and time.

Returns are accepted by eSupplyStore.com for a full refund if they are sent within 30 days for the purchase. The company must first be contacted for a return authorization number in order for the refund to occur.

Customer service telephone lines are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

The Linton Company

The Linton Company is a shipping supply business based out of Meridian, Georgia, although it ships to the 48 contiguous states. The company bases its service on a family-oriented business model, ensuring that each customer who calls will receive kindness and assistance.

Products and Pricing

There are a wide variety of mailers and shipping products available from The Linton Company. There are plenty of padded mailers and bubble mailers available, as well as self-adhesive mailers. Boxes of various sizes are also obtainable, but some of the sizes do not exactly match those of The Linton Company’s competitors. For example, the large box provided by the others on this list (24”x24”x24”) is not available.

Likewise, The Linton Company does not feature packing peanuts on its site as a filling material. A role of bubble wrap is available for purchase, but it is much smaller than many of the competitors’ products. However, The Linton Company does have a variety of Ziplock ties, twist ties and poly tubing for storage and shipping.

Where The Linton Company stands apart is in its selection of labels, tags and other paper products. Customizable labels, thermal transfer labels and wide variety of tags are all part of the inventory. There is also a group of ring binders, notebooks and varieties of specialty papers and inks available for purchase.

The Linton Company does ship some items by ground freight at no cost to the customer, but most items and all specialty items are shipped air freight with the shipping costs passed on to the customers. The supplier does offer some international shipping when customers call The Linton Company directly to make arrangements.

Sales tax is automatically added to all Georgia orders.

This is a sampling of the products and costs that The Linton Company offers:
6”x10” Bubble Mailer
$0.16
10”x10”x10” Small Box
$15.35 (corrugated)
24”x24”x24” Large Box
not available
20 cu ft Packing Peanuts
not available
1’x175’ Roll of Bubble Wrap
$192
Shipping cost for an order of 50 large boxes
$200 approximately, but rates change by location and are assessed individually

Customer Service

The Linton Company claims that all orders will be inspected for accuracy prior to their shipment, ensuring that its customers remain as satisfied as possible. However, customers with an order issue can return the items for a replacement or refund if The Linton Company is contacted within 45 days of the shipment. A Return Authorization Number must be provided by The Linton Company and printed on the return in order for it to be accepted. The customer assumes the cost of returning the order, plus a 25 percent restocking fee.

There are no specifically listed hours for customer service, but The Linton Company does offer a telephone number for service with the guarantee that someone nice will be manning the phones a lot.

Store Supply Warehouse

Store Supply Warehouse was founded by Robert Balk and Harry Leschen in 1994. Originally designed as a wholesaler of store supplies for small businesses and retailers, the company has expanded over the years. In 2005, Store Supply Warehouse was purchased by its general manager, Matt Wohlstadter and Sage Capital, LLC. This move allowed the company to grow even more, and Store Supply Warehouse now offers more than 3,000 different products.

Products and Pricing

The typical shipping supply items are available from Store Supply Warehouse, including boxes of varying sizes and filling materials. In addition to these typical shipping supplies, this company provides a great many other products for its customers, including jewelry displays and clothing racks, mannequins and security and surveillance equipment. However, there are still many options for packaging and labeling, including cutom labels for individual businesses.

While the pricing for the bubble mailers is comparable to many of the other shipping supply companies, there is no pricing for the small and large boxes because those sizes do not exist at Store Supply Warehouse.

Because Store Supply Warehouse is a store supply company first, many of the shipping products are on a smaller scale than the competitors. For example, the largest shipping box available at Store Supply Warehouse is 12”x6”x6”. This is significantly smaller than the large boxes available from Uline and other shipping supply companies.

This is a sampling of the products and costs that Store Supply Warehouse offers:
6”x10” Bubble Mailer
$0.16
10”x10”x10” Small Box
not available
24”x24”x24” Large Box
not available
20 cu ft Packing Peanuts
not available
1’x175’ Roll of Bubble Wrap
$25
Shipping cost for an order of 50 large boxes
$205 and often one-day delivery

Customer Service

Customers can purchase products from the Store Supply Warehouse’s 100-page catalog or from its website. Both items are updated four times a year to include the most recent products and pricing information. The company guarantees that all the items shown in the catalogs are stocked in its warehouse facilities and available for shipment.

All orders are shipped the same day if ordered before 3:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. The shipments are made from the facilities in Pennsylvania, Georgia, St. Louis, Shreveport and Reno.

The philosophy of Store Supply Warehouse is to keep the customer’s needs and desires in mind at all times. To this end, the company does not use automated answering machines for customer calls, and it has a no-hassle return policy. Store Supply Warehouse does not require a customer to make a minimum purchase in order to receive the best care and service.

Compass Packaging

Established in 2003, Compass Packaging began with only five employees to eventually become the establishment it is today. Expanding from basic brown-box packaging to the many colors and options available today for shipping supplies, Compass Packaging is located in northeast Ohio. The facility in Mantua provides quality products and timely services to all of its customers. Although Compass Packaging does provide complete packaging and shipping services to customers, it also sells shipping supplies to individuals and small businesses. It is this dual endeavor that makes it suited to providing the best products.

Products and Pricing

Compass Packaging provides customers with options from trusted brands like Sealed Air, Rubbermaid and 3M, among many other possibilities. There are more than 18,000 product options available online, including 1,300 different box sizes in stock at all times.

From bubble mailers to cool shield mailers, Compass Packaging offers one of the largest varieties of envelopes and mailers among these shipping supply companies. Likewise, the selection of boxes, including white boxes and corrugated bins, is extensive. There are telescoping boxes, weather-resistant boxes and even foam shippers, all of a variety of sizes.

Compass Packaging also offers poly bags, mailing tubes and other packaging materials, such as tape and stretching films. There are several quantities of packing peanuts for purchase, as well as newsprint and tissue for fill. Compass Packaging also offers laser labels, magnetic labels and other types of mailing labels for all types of shipping needs.

Shipping charges seem to be average for similar products, but Compass Packaging attempts to send their products in the most economical ways possible, usually by UPS. The actual costs depend on the items purchased and the customer’s location; oversize products will be shipped using Common Carrier.

This is a sampling of the products and costs that Compass Packaging offers:
6”x10” Bubble Mailer
$0.16
10”x10”x10” Small Box
$0.68
24”x24”x24” Large Box
$5.89
20 cu ft Packing Peanuts
$41
1’x175’ Roll of Bubble Wrap
$68
Shipping cost for an order of 50 large boxes
$150 but shipping charges vary by item and location

Customer Service

Through its vision statement, Compass Packaging strives to be the single source and best option for its customers by providing fast and reliable service. There is no product or expense minimum. Most items can be shipped the same day as an order that is placed before 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

Items may be returned within 30 days of the purchase and in full units of their original packaging to be resold. Compass Packaging will not accept any partial units and will not provide credit for returns. Official return instructions can be sent pending a request from the customer directly to Compass Packaging.

Compass Packaging can be reached via telephone call, email or online submission during regular business hours.