I have a small business selling custom glass whiteboards. They're beautiful, but unfortunately large and difficult to ship without proper packing. I ordered boxes and bubble wrap online and for a while this worked, but for the sizes I had it was extremely difficult to avoid the large package surcharge. MY initial costs, just for a rough idea were $17 a box, 4 feet x 3 feet x 10 inches, $5 in bubble wrap, 45 minutes of my time to package one large board, and $150-$250 shipping in the US.
I knew I could reduce costs by going with custom cardboard boxes, but I was hesitant and had an extremely difficult time finding a local manufacturer who could help me with packing at a reasonable price. Fast forward a few weeks on and off searching and around 30 unanswered emails later, I had found a local manufacturer to help. New costs: $1.9 a box, $7 in custom made foam, 25 minutes to pack a product for shipping, shipping under that large-package surcharge bringing my costs down to $50-100.
Custom packing was a game changer for me. I thought the order quantity was going to need to be huge but I was able to start with an order of 10 units, slightly higher prices but not by much, the numbers I'm showing here are for quantities of 100. Many manufactures are eager to fulfill those small orders, they're just hard to find.
After going through this painful process and realizing how easy it should be, I built a free tool for connecting with local packing manufacturers and requesting quotes quickly, its all about saving time, www.quobiz.com I'm a little biased since I created it, but I've saved days worth of time using this tool. I hope it can be a time saver for others as well. Also if you have any questions or feedback let me know!