SIOC — or “Ships In Own Container” — is a way of packaging products for e-commerce and shipping purposes. SIOC packaging is when a manufacturer ships their product in its original container as opposed to placing it in an additional box before sending it to the customer.
Amazon has been pioneering SIOC packaging in the e-commerce industry, but many other businesses are also catching on. This shipping method allows products to be shipped without the need for additional packaging materials, which can help reduce shipping costs, lower environmental impact, and ultimately increase efficiencies in the supply chain.
In this guide, we’re going over how SIOC packaging works, the benefits it can offer your e-commerce business, and how to get started with this packaging process.
How Does SIOC Packaging Work?
With the SIOC method, the product itself becomes the outermost layer of the packaging, which means there is no need for additional packaging materials like boxes, envelopes, or bubble wrap. SIOC packaging works by allowing customers to ship products in their own containers as opposed to requiring an over-box from Amazon or another additional product package.
Amazon was the pioneer when it came to SIOC packaging, and many e-commerce retailers on Amazon have adopted this packaging design. However, SIOC packaging has also caught on outside of Amazon.
Independent e-commerce business owners have begun to recognize the numerous benefits of adopting the SIOC model, even if they don’t distribute or send out products via Amazon.
You can use two ways to go about adapting this packaging approach. Your business can use SIOC independently or, if you’re partnered with Amazon, you can become SIOC-certified through Amazon to get approval for this type of packaging.
To get approved for SIOC packaging with Amazon, you’ll need to meet several e-commerce packaging guidelines for design and testing protocols. Once your unique packaging is tested, you’ll be able to obtain an ISTA 6 certification, which is required by Amazon.
Example of Shipping in an Original Container Packaging
Many items can be shipped in their original container. Toothpaste is an example of an item that is already in a six-sided box and does not require an additional package before shipping. Depending on your product, however, you’ll need to understand if your specific parcel delivery will be able to pass package testing to allow for SIOC shipping.
What Is SIOC Certified?
SIOC certification is an Amazon second-tier certification that is awarded to companies that have demonstrated their ability to meet the high standards required for SIOC shipping and packaging guidelines. This certification allows e-commerce retailers to ship a product in its original packaging provided it meets the criteria for weight, dimension, and compression testing.
To receive SIOC certification, companies must undergo testing and evaluation to ensure that their products can withstand the rigors of direct shipment and parcel delivery without additional boxing.
Product packaging will need to meet certain weight, size, and delivery requirements. Testing labs will typically involve safety measures, impact testing, shock testing, and compression testing. Once your product box is tested, you’ll be able to obtain an ISTA 6 certification.
Benefits of SIOC Packaging
SIOC packaging can have many advantages for your business. Take a look at some of the most notable benefits of this e-commerce packaging method.
SIOC packaging can save businesses money by eliminating the need for external packaging materials, including cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing materials. By reducing the amount of packaging required, businesses may be able to save by lowering their shipping costs.
Research points to trends where consumers are pivoting toward companies that implement sustainable practices where possible. One area of improvement for many brands surrounds packaging. All too often, modern-day packaging materials are highly wasteful. This is why 71% of consumers are actively choosing products due to the sustainability factor of the product packaging
SIOC packaging is an environmentally friendly packaging option as it’s made from recycled materials and can be easily recycled again after use. This practice helps reduce waste and conserve natural resources, making it an ideal packaging option for businesses that want to minimize their environmental impact.
By using SIOC packaging, you eliminate the Amazon-branded box and replace it with your own customized product packaging. Your brand’s unique packaging will be at the forefront of the delivery experience. You’ll be able to create a positive first impression for customers and increase customer loyalty.
It also makes the package easier to open with less waste to dispose of for the customer. Plus, many eco-conscious consumers are likely to appreciate the efforts your business is making to reduce waste.
With SIOC packaging, you’re replacing a generic box with your own brand’s product packaging — offering a great opportunity to get creative. When you work with Print Bind Ship, you’ll be able to tailor your packaging according to your product and brand’s message.
Product packaging designs can be modified to accommodate different shapes, sizes, and weights, providing flexibility to cater to different product specifications. This option can go a long way in enhancing branding and product appeal and ultimately leading to increased sales.
Possible Profit Margin Expansion
Earning the SIOC packaging certificate and revamping packaging is an up-front cost in the beginning, but over time the reduction in packaging materials and the growth in brand recognition may help expand your profit margins.
How Can Businesses Utilize SIOC Packaging?
SIOC packaging is commonly done by Amazon, but if your business doesn’t ship with Amazon, you can use a third-party logistics (3PL) company — such as Print Bind Ship — to provide cost-effective, brand-focused and sustainable packaging options that meet SIOC standards.
Print Bind Ship offers cost-effective, brand-focused, and sustainable packaging options that meet the rigors of SIOC packaging guidelines. We can help businesses of all sizes box their products effectively and efficiently, while also reducing their environmental impact.
By partnering with Print Bind Ship, businesses can ensure that products arrive at their destinations without damage while creating a positive impact on the environment. Plus — did we mention designing and printing custom product packaging for businesses is one of our specialties? That’s right, we work with business owners to create custom mailers and boxes to help your brand stand out.
How to Adopt SIOC Packaging if You’re Not on Amazon?
You don’t necessarily need to sell on Amazon or go through its specific certification program to harness the benefits of SIOC packaging. Here’s a breakdown of how to get started.
And remember — at Print Bind Ship, we specialize in everything to do with printing, e-commerce fulfillment, product packaging, and shipping. Reach out to us for a personalized approach.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the steps to adopt SIOC packaging.
Select the Right Packaging Materials
It is essential to choose the right materials and packaging structure that can withstand the demands of shipping. The packaging materials should be strong enough to prevent damage during transportation and cost-effective to keep the overall packaging cost low.
Ensure a Sturdy Packaging Design
The packaging design should fit the product snugly without leaving space to prevent movement within the packaging. Movement of the product can cause damage during shipping, so fill voids and use extra cushioning materials like bubble wrap or airbags for added protection. Conducting a drop test is an excellent way to test the packaging before shipping to ensure the product remains safe during transit.
Product protection is paramount when it comes to SIOC packaging. Print Bind Ship can provide the necessary materials and expertise to ensure that products are well-protected during transit. From using appropriate cushioning and protective inserts to offering secure packaging materials, they can help e-commerce businesses minimize product damage and returns, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
Implement Quality Control
Use a quality control process to maintain consistent packaging standards. This way, defects in packaging can be identified and corrected so the product arrives safely and uniformly to customers. You’ll be able to ensure that every SIOC packaging adheres to the same standard, regardless of who does the packaging.
At Print Bind Ship, we maintain quality control in-house and can help you understand and meet the test standards that need to be fulfilled for your business. As a leading fulfillment center, we offer solutions that can be a game-changer for e-commerce businesses looking for an easy way to offer SIOC packaging.
Switch to SIOC Packaging and Grow Your Profits
Switching to SIOC packaging can have a significant impact on your business’s profitability and brand perception. You could access various benefits – from enhancing customer experience to improving your bottom line.
By investing in a 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) service like Print Bind Ship, you can ensure that you are fully prepared to ship your products in SIOC packaging. These services can provide you with valuable expertise, resources, and support to seamlessly implement SIOC packaging into your shipping process.
In short, making the switch to SIOC packaging could be a win-win situation for your business. Get in touch for a free quote and to learn how to make it happen!
SIOC packaging can be made with various materials such as cardboard, plastic or foam. The materials used will depend on the product being shipped and its specific requirements.
Yes, SIOC packaging is designed to be sustainable and eco-friendly. It helps reduce waste by using minimal packaging materials while ensuring that products are protected during transportation.
The advantage of SIOC packaging is that it is cost-effective, sustainable and efficient. It minimizes packaging materials, reduces shipping costs and is easy to assemble.
Traditional packaging usually involves using excess materials, such as boxes enclosing boxes that then enclose additional boxes. With SIOC packaging, a single box is used to protectively store the products, which reduces waste and shipping costs.
SIOC packaging is suitable for most products, but it’s important to ensure that the product’s weight, size and fragility are taken into account during the design and production process.