A packing station is a workspace where you pack and label your items for shipping.
Having an efficient packing station is necessary for successful order fulfillment. Dedicating a spot in your home or business for shipping can also streamline your fulfillment process, eliminating any chances of wrong labeling, breakage, or misplacing shipments.
The ideal packing station is clean and clutter-free. It should have a packaging table, shelves to store packing materials within reach, and places to hang and store tools.
What to consider for your packing station setup:
- Think about the requirements of your business, order fulfillment, and shipping. Ensure your packing station caters to these requirements.
- Once you know the ins and outs of your fulfillment process, aim to optimize it.
- Have a dedicated space for all the required equipment, tools, and supplies in your packing station.
- Also think about future expansion and growth, and how that would affect the design of your station.
- If you're starting to feel overwhelmed with the amount of orders you need to process, consider an eFulfillment solution.
The components of an ideal packing station
What you sell and how you pack will define what you will need for your packing station.
- If possible, have a spacious counter or packaging table that is easily accessible from all sides so more than one person can use it simultaneously.
- For better efficiency, have easily accessible storage space from your station and workspace.
- Always have packing supplies (boxes, envelopes, wrapping sheets, filling material) and promotional materials (business cards, flyers, brochures) in stock.
Tips for designing a packing station, with small businesses in mind
- Find a dedicated space, whether that's a counter in your kitchen, or a large table in your garage. Be creative here - the sky's the limit!
- Install shelves on your walls and drawers beneath your working counters so you can keep boxes and other packaging materials in one place.
- Consider using some type of board (soft boards, pin or peg boards, black or whiteboards) for organizing your packing process and shipping schedule.
- Use paper roll dispensers or bins for keeping wrapping paper and bubble wrap rolls. Improvise to suit your space and budget.
- Keep all your pizzazz in one place – use wall-mounted caddy to organize ribbons, strings, name cards, or tags.
As long as you keep your shipping station clean, simple, and organized, you'll be on your way to mastering merchant self-fulfillment!
If you're following all of the above and are still struggling to keep up with all of your orders, it may be time to consider working with a third-party logistics provider. Our guide to warehousing and fulfillment can help you choose the right provider for your business.
How is your packing station set up? Got any other tips to improve a shipping station for small businesses? We'd love to hear about them in the comments!