As a manufacturing unit, you will be required to source your packaging and shipping supplies on an ongoing basis. Those of you who have already gone through this process would know how challenging a process this could get. One is likely to come across a series of challenges and bottlenecks during the sourcing process. Until the packaging and shipping supplies are delivered to you, nothing is guaranteed. This is just one side of the story and the other side being the ordeal of actually shipping the products and reaching them safely to the customers.
The price of shipping wood crates and cardboard boxes rises and falls. These fluctuations are unpredictable. When you are budgeting you will be able to provide only so much of space for such variations in the prices. If there is a huge gulf between the budgeted amount and the actual price hike, sourcing your shipping supplies and packaging supplies will get increasingly difficult for the manufacturer.
In order to minimize such challenges, you need to establish a long-term association with your custom wood crates suppliers and cardboard box suppliers. They are likely to be better informed when it comes to possible price hikes. When you have a friendly relationship with your suppliers and a long-term association, they would be willing to share this piece of insider information so that you could source your shipping and packaging supplies before the expected price hikes.
Another bottleneck that you are likely to face when sourcing your custom packaging supplies and shipping supplies is to be seen in the delays in the delivery of your orders. You should remember that your packaging supplies company is supplying not only to companies in your niche but a wide range of other niche industries. This makes them busy round the year because the peak sales season is different for different industries. This keeps your packaging supplies company busy round the year. You need to therefore work closely with your supplier to understand their turnaround times and avoid seasons such as holiday season while placing your order because prior to the holiday season is when these suppliers operate way beyond their comfortable supply limit. Similarly, you should also avoid the time before the back to school season. Proper timing is essential to avoid delivery delays.
In either of these situations, you cannot blame the supplier, your suppliers will be responding to the ground reality. It is up to you to plan and get all the help you could in sourcing the packaging supplies at the right time. When you are a new business that is yet to establish strong ties with these suppliers, things might prove to be challenging but over a period your suppliers will start valuing your business with them and would be willing to help you source all your packaging and shipping supplies at the most competitive prices and also deliver them in a timely fashion. Until then you need to be patiently on the lookout for the best suppliers in the industry.