Product damage during transport is common. Many businesses accept this as a normal part of their overall logistics operations.
Various factors can cause product damage during transit. Poor roads, for instance, can cause accidents that can damage fleet trucks along with the products inside the vehicle. The ideal solution for this is to wait for the appropriate government agency to repair the road, which involves fixing the cracks and applying joint sealants and other industrial products to address and help prevent road deterioration.
Inadequate product packaging can also result in damage. Packing the goods too loosely or too tightly can break the products during transport.
Although damaged products are a huge headache for both business owners and customers, entrepreneurs can take steps to minimize shipping damage. Here are a few best practices that you can implement when having your products transported to your intended destinations:
1. Improve Staff Training
You can cut down the likelihood of shipping damaged products when you effectively train warehouse workers and truck drivers.
Enroll warehouse personnel in a training program that will give them a better idea of how to process, handle, pack and ship pallets and products correctly. The time and money you invest in this training will undoubtedly cut down product damage during transport.
As for fleet drivers, advise them to take extra care when they hit the road. Train them to slow down in response to changes on the road, including poor visibility or inclement weather. This way, they can stay safe on the road and prevent accidents that can damage products inside the truck container.
2. Stack Products Properly
When shipping goods, warehouse staff should stack them in a stable and uniform manner. They can accomplish this by hand or using a reliable strechwrapper machine.
As much as possible, refrain from shipping products that hang out over the edge of the pallet. When this happens, it could reduce the overall box strength.
Poor or improper stacking can increase product damage, so make sure that your team follows the right stacking techniques.
3. Palletize Your Shipments
Palletizing is an effective way to add protection to your goods during the transportation process. This method helps keep the boxes of products packed closely together. This can cut down the likelihood of boxes shifting during shipment.
Another benefit of palletizing is that this enables you to unload and load delivery trucks more quickly. This will help you save time and allow you to fit the right number of products in a vehicle instead of underloading or overloading it, which can quickly result in excessive product damage.
4. Use Plastic Pallets
Another way to help minimize product damage during transit is to replace wooden pallets with plastic ones. Plastic is a versatile, resistant and durable material. The use of this pallet option provides better endurance and greater security when moving and handling the merchandise. This allows you to transport and deliver your products in an excellent state.
5. Fill the Empty Space in the Package
Use dunnage, which is waste material used to secure and load cargo, to occupy any remaining space between the box and the product. Ideally, your goal should be to fill all the empty spaces, so that nothing can move around during transit. This is especially important for products like electronics where even a minor bump or scratch could prevent the device from functioning properly.
6. Label the Box as “Fragile”
You want to make sure that package handlers move the product carefully during shipping. Accomplish this by affixing a “Fragile” shipping label on the box. You could also have your warehouse staff place two stickers on the top and side of the box. This way, package handlers won’t miss the label and handle the product appropriately during transport.
7. Select the Appropriate Box Size for the Product
The wrong type of box can negatively affect all your efforts to minimize product damage. Some containers simply will not hold if you stack your pallets.
Here is a costly example: let’s say a purchasing manager for a consumer packaged goods company changed packaging vendors to cut down on expenses. The new boxes, unfortunately, can only accommodate one pallet high. What’s more, package handlers often have to ship these boxes in a double stack form. Given the limitations of the new boxes, the products shipped suffer from damage, costing the consumer packaged goods company thousands of dollars.
So make sure that the packaging for your products can handle the demands for shipping.
These suggestions will help you cut down incidences of product damage during transit. If you’ve noticed a high percentage of package damage during delivery, consider teaming up with an order fulfillment company to improve your operations and avoid upsetting customers.