You can’t afford to let shipping damage harm your relationships with customers. Unfortunately, you can’t always count on carriers to handle your package with care. Packages are going to be tossed around sometimes, and they’ll be subject to other impacts and stresses, too. You have to take preventing shipping damage into your own hands and do everything you can to keep your products safe throughout the shipping process.
When you take the right steps to protect your packages from shipping damage, you can keep your customers happy and keep your costs down. When items are packed right, even poor handling can’t damage them. You need to use the right cushioning inside your packages and always pack your shipments in brand-new boxes.
Don’t leave lots of room inside your shipping boxes for stuff to slide around. Use impact indicators to collect data on the shocks and vibrations your packages encounter during shipping. With the right packing materials and the right use of impact data, you can keep shipping damage to an absolute minimum.
Use the Right Cushioning in Your Packages
The most important thing you can do to protect your shipments in transit is to use the right cushioning material inside your packages. There are several types of cushioning material you can choose from, including packing peanuts, air-cushioning material like bubble wrap or air pillows, brown craft paper, and molded styrofoam or molded pulp packaging.
When cushioning items for shipping, pack your items into a box that leaves about three inches of space between the contents and the box. Fill this space with cushioning material so that the contents of the box don’t move around when you shake it. If you’re shipping something exceptionally fragile, you should double-box it, and place cushioning materials between the inner and outer box.
If you’re shipping something for which a purpose-built cushioning mold or shipping package exists, you should use those purpose-built materials. For example, if you’re shipping laptops, you should be using laptop shipping boxes. If you’re shipping bottles of liquid, you should use molded pulp bottle shipping trays.
Always Pack Your Shipments in Brand New Materials
Recycling packing materials is one thing, but you should never reuse old boxes or cushioning materials. These products aren’t meant to last for more than one use. Going through the shipping process can compromise the structural integrity of a cardboard box or cushioning mold. It will be more likely to be crushed if used a second time. Reusing cardboard boxes and other shipping materials puts your shipments at increased risk of damage. Always use brand new shipping materials and save the planet by putting your used materials into the recycling bin.
Collect Data on Your Shipments
Protecting your merchandise from shipping damage would be a lot easier if you knew exactly what kinds of impacts, vibrations, and other stresses your packages are facing on the road. That kind of data doesn’t need to be a mystery. You can use an impact indicator to find out what’s happening to your packages in transit.
Impact indicators record every shock, impact, and vibration that your packages encounter on the road. Some of them can even send you notifications in real time when your package encounters a shock, impact, or vibration. You can use these tools to gather data on what’s happening to your packages and perform impact tests, in which you send test packages through the shipping process to see how they hold up. Impact indicators can let you know when carriers are mishandling packages, but they can do more than that.
You can use the data gathered from impact sensors to determine, for example, which parts of the shipping route produce the most vibration stress. Then you can re-route your shipments so they don’t go through that part of the route anymore, and don’t sustain that vibration stress. You can perform impact tests with different carriers, to see which ones handle your packages most carefully. You can test different types of package cushioning to perfect your packaging strategy and reduce shipping damage and related costs even more.
You don’t have to sit back and let poor handling ruin your shipments. If you pack your shipments properly, and perform impact testing to determine the sources of shipping damage, you can prevent most shipping damage. That will keep your costs down and keep your customers happy, and allow you to focus on what you’re good at – creating the products that keep your customers coming back.