The Best Ways to Avoid Common Types of Packaging Damage
Ordering packages directly from online retailers is becoming increasingly popular among consumers and businesses. It’s easier than ever to purchase essential products that arrive quickly without waiting more than a few days or even stepping outside.
However, package damage is common in the shipping and logistics industry. No business wants to ship products to customers only for them to find a damaged package. It can look bad for the company and prompt customers to shop elsewhere. How can shipping companies avoid the most common types of packaging damage to ensure customers receive products in one piece? Here’s how to ensure products reach their destinations safely.
Why It’s Important to Avoid Packaging Damage in Business
In the growing world of e-commerce, companies must understand that package damage is an inevitable part of doing business. No enterprise wants to suffer losses from damaged packages, but it can and does happen.
Damaged packages are often out of a shipper’s control, but they must do their best to prevent problems for a few reasons.
First, customers receiving a damaged package may take their business elsewhere or leave poor reviews on popular sites. This can harm a company’s reputation and make it challenging to garner new customers and keep existing ones.
The cost of replacing damaged products can also be high, and it’s best to avoid paying these extra expenses if possible. No company wants to double their shipping costs if they can prevent it. These factors can significantly impact a company’s financial and market performance.
Commonly Damaged Items in Shipping and Types of Packaging Damage
Some items are fragile by nature, making them more susceptible to damage than other products. Extra care should be taken with these products to ensure they arrive in one piece. Here are some of the most commonly damaged items in shipping:
- Musical instruments
These types of items are easily breakable, so it’s understandable that companies should take extra precautions to ensure they arrive safely and in good condition.
The common types of packaging damage include rips, dents and puncture marks. Some packages can handle this damage, while others may not. Some boxes are stronger than others, making them good choices for particularly fragile items.
How to Avoid Packaging Damage
Companies and shippers should prevent package damage to avoid sending customers replacement items. They can use several strategies to protect their products in transit to their final destination.
Pick the Right Sized Box
The size of the box or mailer used to ship a product plays a major role in how safe it is while in transit. For example, a small item in a big box with a ton of extra space will move from side to side while on a plane, truck or delivery van. It could be damaged from too much moving around.
Instead, small items should be shipped in a box suitable for their size. A mailer should only be slightly larger than the product being shipped. Be sure to use the right box type, whether folding carton, corrugated, full overlap or rigid.
Wrap Items With Packing Materials
Another suggestion while shipping items to help prevent potential damage is wrapping fragile items carefully with bubble wrap. Anything in the parcel susceptible to breakage should be wrapped individually to reduce the risk of jostling around and breaking during transit.
Packaging supplies like bubble wrap, foam sheets and air pillows can reduce potential damage. Some organizations even use custom packaging solutions to protect their goods during shipment.
Disassemble Items Before Shipping
Depending on the fragility of the items shipped, it might make more sense for shipping companies to disassemble them first. Individually wrapping each product component can help protect it compared to mailing it fully assembled.
This method is commonly used for items like furniture, decorations and glassware. It can help protect each piece of the product from damage.
Clearly Label Boxes as “Fragile”
A common cause of package damage during shipping is when workers loading and unloading parcels are not careful. Occasionally, they will drop or toss boxes to be more efficient. Shippers should affix clear “fragile” stickers on all sides of the box.
Labeling fragile boxes with a sticker will help let workers know the package should be handled with care. This can protect the items inside and reduce the likelihood of damage before reaching their destination.
Collect Damage Data
Companies can use new tech to track damaged packages. They can gain better supply chain visibility by using machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
These technologies may not prevent damaged packages entirely, but they collect data regarding damage and help companies find innovative solutions to protect items while in transit.
Track Packages and Use Insurance
Tracking packages and purchasing shipping insurance is another way companies can protect themselves and their products when in transit to customers.
Many e-commerce brands leverage tracking solutions and will offer customers the option to buy package insurance to cover the cost of reshipping a new item. Products do get damaged, and insurance exists for this very reason.
Test Packages With Trial Runs
Companies should conduct run trials for their shipments in addition to using the right boxes and packaging materials. They can ship various items to see if they reach their destination in good condition. This could be helpful if a company starts using a new carrier or begins shipping through the mail system. It will know what changes should be made in the process or if a different shipping company should be employed.
Protect Packages to Maintain Profitability
Ultimately, damaged packages are unavoidable for any e-commerce or shipping company. It’s a part of doing business in today’s fast-paced, competitive market, and accidents happen.
Not all issues can be avoided, but companies should do what they can to prevent packages from becoming damaged. It can help the business maintain a good reputation with customers and keep costs down. Consider using the tips above to protect packages while they make their journey and help them arrive in good condition.
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