Shipthrifty Case Study For Send Santa To The Troops - Box Swap & Process Change September 15, 2019

This case study is about the Send Santa To The Troops event put on annually by the Yellow Ribbon Guard in Bay City, Michigan.

Our expertise, knowledge, and tools helped the Yellow Ribbon Guard save over $5000.00 in shipping costs, cut their packing time in half, and kept them from writing over 1000 customs forms by hand while still using pallets to transport their packages to the post office.

Our tools automatically include our base discounts, and 99% of the time, our knowledge allows us to save organizations even more as outlined in this case study.

The Challenge: Save Money, Time, and Gain Efficiency

Melissa and Travis were doubtful there was a way to save on shipping costs and quite frankly thought our service was too good to be true. For us to gain their trust, we went to watch their event in 2018. In 2019 they agreed to give us a try. Even after getting to know us, they were still nervous about changing things up because they had been doing their shipping the same way for 15 years. They had the process down.

When we first showed Melissa how our tools create the labels, her jaw dropped. She could not believe how quickly Shipthirfty created the labels and had never seen anything like it before. The first label was set up in seconds - far less time than it takes to do a single customs form. Then she saw the copy functionality that allows for modification and editing as needed. 

In the past, the Yellow Ribbon Guard would start writing customs forms in September for the November event. This year they did not have to write one.

Our Expertise: Finding the Best Solution

We did some analysis on the boxes they used in the past and found a similar box size to use for this event. This change kept the transportation method they've used for years and still offered significant savings.

The Solution: Using and Ordering Different Boxes.Melissa and Travis hoped to save money and simplify their processes. They created a free account on, and we helped by ordering different boxes to be sent to them.

Added Benefits: By using our turn-key shipping tools, addresses were able to be uploaded to their account as they came in. The order was created the day before the event that included box details and customs information since we had all the information ahead of time. 

We were still able to add addresses on the day of the event, including last-minute submission because of the flexibility of the Shipthrifty shipping tools.

Timeline: Boxes were ordered about three weeks before the event to be sure they arrived on time. The pallet order and pick up were set up a week in advance. Most addresses were in the system the day before the event, and we had the labels printed before the event started.

Impact of Change: They Yellow Ribbon Guard saw immediate savings on shipping costs, the time it took to pack the care packages, and the benefits of eliminating the handwritten customs forms. Our expertise cut their shipping costs by $5000.00.

Impact of Change: They Yellow Ribbon Guard saw immediate savings on shipping costs, the time it took to pack the care packages, and the benefits of eliminating the handwritten customs forms. Our expertise cut their shipping costs by $5000.00. 

Since the labels and customs forms were created online, they eliminated the handwritten documents. Eliminating this step saved volunteer time that previously spanned a 3-month time frame. 

They also drastically reduced the time spent packing the care packages. In previous years they had a tag team process where one person packed the box while the other added the customs information to the form. This year everyone was able to fill a care package.


Shipthrifty and our expertise accomplished the objectives of saving money and simplifying the Send Santa To The Troops Event. The savings below are from a single event: 

Cost Savings $5000.00

Time Savings - Over 40 Hours

The Yellow Ribbon Guard also gained the ability to set everything up ahead of time for the shipping labels which reduced stress, added coordination and eliminated pressure on the day of packing event. The Shipthrifty tools allowed them to copy shipments and customs forms, edit fields on the fly, and even swap out addresses easily reducing data entry time. 

Future Benefits: The Yellow Ribbon Guard will continue to see the time and cost savings each time they use The savings allow them to be able to keep the event going and support our deployed service members.

Travis and Melissa’s Words About Working With Us:


We have been trying to come up with a way to thank and adequately express our extreme appreciation for Shipthrifty. It would be easier to give you the numbers and let them speak for themselves.

We sent 1028 care packages, which totaled $14,000. In comparison to 1095 that we sent last year (2018) that cost us over $19,000

We saved $5000 compared to last year. That was because we changed our shipping process through and They not only saved us money on shipping, but using their processes allowed us to pack those care packages in nearly half the time. We were done packing those care packages in 4 hours. That is just insane in itself

Travis George and Melissa Alex,

Yellow Ribbon Guard and Send Santa To The Troops

Through our work with organizations across the U.S., we have found ways for everyone to save time and money. We share individualized advice based on your needs and objectives leveraged from our experiences and inside knowledge no matter who you ship to.