No one likes to open or receive damaged packages. And that’s the reason shipping damages account for a 0.5% deduction in the gross sales of your business. Moreover, shipping damage faces around $1 billion loss every year.
However, you do not have to be part of it and prevent damage by taking important recusancy. Hence, we have come up with this blog where you will get an insight into the cause behind the losses and how to prevent shipping damage.
Table of Content
What Are the Top Causes of Shipping Damage?
Let’s first understand what is shipping damage before we discuss what are the reasons for the shipping damage.
What is shipping damage?
It is the damage that occurs when the truck is out delivering a batch of goods to the fulfillment center or the consumers. The damaged products are responsible for hampering customers’ experience and eventually the reputation of your business.
So, when someone places an order from an eCommerce website or expects a personal courier, they always expect to receive the product in good condition. Damage-free delivery is one of the unique selling propositions to promote online shopping.
Therefore, late and damaged deliveries hamper customer satisfaction. As a result, the parties involved in such a complaint will experience a loss or will earn a bad review themselves.
Shipping damage is one of the most costly damages in the delivery business and needs proper attention from business owners. Knowing the causes of such damaging incidents will eventually help you take the right step toward preventing shipping damage.
The causes behind products getting damaged during the shipping process are:
1. Too much space in the box
If the product about to be shipped is packed in a bigger box with extra space, it is obvious that the order to move around in the box while it is shipped. And if the packaging is improper with a lack of padding, the order will be damaged before it reaches the final destination.
2. Poor label packing
The items marked as fragile are packed with cushioning materials such as bubble wrap to prevent shipping damage. But this should not be the case! Many products are not fragile but can still experience shipping damage claims during transit.
3. Weather consideration
When the packages are placed in a moist area of the truck container, and the packing materials are not resistant to such an intensity of wetness, the product will be damaged. Moisture mostly damages perishable food items, electronic goods, and paper products.
4. Infestations damage
Food deliveries often experience hidden damage due to infestations of rodents and insects. It is mostly a problem with the freight shipment through the seas. Such infestations can damage food packages and contaminate them to make them unusable. It contributes to an expensive replacement or return costs.
5. Fragile handling
The shipment being transported from origin to destination will go through several fulfillment centers and control over delivery vehicles if the distance is too far away. In this supply chain process, a package will be handled by many people.
A single mishandling circumstance can damage the product. Even the products tagged as ‘Fragile Items’ experience such mishandling situations. Damage shipping insurances are available for improper handling of damages, but they make your customer unhappy with customer services.
6. Unsafe driving
The routes need to be free from traffic and safe for transiting heavy trucks and shipping costly damaged goods. Manual route planning often leads the drivers to poor roads with potholes, and traffic disturbs the containers or truck trailers.
This way, the packages tend to move a lot within the container and eventually experience damage.
10 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Shipping Damage
You are now aware of the causes that result in damaged product deliveries. So, here are ten specific ways you can prevent shipping damage.
1. Use proper box packaging materials
Product packaging might be the cheapest part of a supply chain but is the most important to save a company from losses due to shipping damage. You cannot cut many inevitable costs from the transportation or storage section. Therefore, people try to cut down on packaging costs or shipping costs.
Do not make this mistake, as it will cost you a heavy loss in the long run. While shipping multiple items in trucks, the drivers stack up the packages above one another. Therefore, the proper packaging needs to be strong enough to bear the weight of the parcels placed above it.
The usual cardboard packaging supplies boxes made of corrugated paper are not suitable for handling such stacking weights. Pick double-layered cardboard boxes or other alternatives that can bear the weight of other boxes when stacked.
2. Pick the right size of the box
It is fine to have a box that is slightly larger than the product or order. But being too big will cause the order to wobble around every time the vehicle takes a sharp turn. Moreover, the wobbling of items within the bigger box can cause weight shifting in the box. As a result, the box might fall off or bring down the entire stack.
Therefore, make sure the box size is not much larger than the product box. Pack it tight with original packaging, and cushioning material all over the empty spaces that you find.
3. Wrap items properly
There is a dilemma that only fragile items need wrapping and cushioning. But almost all items that get shipped should be wrapped properly to prevent shipping damage. You never know what happens to an item at different fulfillment centers.
Therefore, it is not right for you to assess if the product needs bubble wrap protection or not. Instead, you should consider wrapping all the products to eliminate the chances of having a damaged product due to inappropriate or no cushioning.
4. Identify the fragile orders
A logistics company’s job is to mark a red tag on the shipping label that says “Fragile.” It should be for glass, electronics, and pharmaceutical items. At the commencement of the transit, the delivery driver should be instructed that they are carrying both fragile material and usual damaged items like pallets in the batch.
It is to ensure that the driver places such fragile products package at safe corners of the container. The “Fragile Item” tag will help this package’s handlers realize the precautions they must follow to prevent shipping damages.
5. Pack the truck proficiently
One of the best ways to prevent shipping damages is to pack the trucks properly by distributing the weight evenly. The stack of fragile packages can be kept at the bulkhead area of the truck, which is at the end of the container, closest to the engine.
In this way, the fragile boxes will not be able to move anywhere except from side to side, which won’t incur much damage to the packages. In the next placement lines over the truck, you can pack all of the other goods. Remember not to add too many fragile goods, breakable items, or flawless items in one shipment.
Keep the heavy items or larger items boxes stacked at the bottom while the lighter ones are on the top. You should follow this logical packing order to prevent shipping damages.
Keep the heaviest boxes in the last line near the back axle. It will help you distribute the weight evenly during the shipping process.
This way, the sensitive cargo damage will be minimized as the balanced weight across the vehicle will prevent the boxes from moving too much due to sharp turns and hill climbs.
6. Add tilt/shock/impact indicators to the packages
Tilt/shock/impact indicators are visual indication devices placed on the shipment items packages to determine if the goods have been tilted or experienced any shock or impact, which altered the actual position in which they were packed.
It is the best way to determine the possibility of shipping damage before it reaches its destination. Hence, the damaged goods can be returned from the fulfillment center where they got identified, and a new product will be sent to the customer.
7. Collect and review data on damage statistics
If your delivery process is experiencing consistent losses or careless transit damage due to shipping damages, you must collect that data and record every specific piece of information about it. You must report the type of damage and cause behind it.
Analyze the loopholes that caused the damage and find ways to rectify it. Later, you can implement those tried and tested ways to prevent freight process and irreparable damage in the future due to similar causes.
8. Run trials to check safe packaging
Are you unsure about packaging or think there are chances of package damage? We have a solution for that. And that is, you need to run a trial before delivering it to the customers. Many times, especially when the courier or packaging company is new, they are confused about consistent packaging.
In such a situation, you can run one or more trials to see how the package is delivered. By doing this, you will also find out the mistakes, and you can rectify them in the other orders. Moreover, you will get a clear idea about the custom packaging materials.
9. Keep communication clear
If you think there is a risk of damage, keep clear communication with the shipping company. Moreover, by contact, you can guide them about the package and track the order.
However, it is possible with a reliable shipping company whom you can trust. Also, with communication, the chances of damage prevention decrease.
10 Track packaging
Another efficient way to prevent shipping damage is by keeping track of packaging. If you feel the box or package is too fragile, you can track them and ensure that it delivers safely to the customer.
Also, there’s another situation where you have to face damage circumstances and to make sure that you do not make the same mistake, you start tracking them. You can use route planning software to track delivery driver activity. Even you can make transit smoother by scheduling routes with route planning software.
Follow the Most Efficient Routes on Upper to Ship Packages
Traffic and abrupt stops on the road for your delivery trucks can be reasons for the delay. But it can be minimized or stopped with the use of the Upper Route Planner. It is an automated route planning and scheduling software that helps you determine the smoothest possible for reaching the last-mile delivery.
With Upper, you do not have to consume hours planning the manual route, you can optimize routes and dispatch delivery drivers in a few clicks. Also, you can select vehicle types and determine the speed of the commutes for trucks and bigger vehicles without many abrupt stops.
So, get Upper Route Planner and take the first initiative toward preventing shipping damage.
Find Best Routes for Shipping packages
Get relief from manual route planning by acquiring the Upper Route Planner. From optimizing routes to dispatching drivers, all you need is a reliable route planner like Upper.Switch to Upper
The seller abided by the consumer protection law to ship an ordered product to the customer in the condition which is promised to the customer. In case of any possible damage to boxes during the courier process, the sellers will be held responsible as they have chosen the delivery business or are offering their delivery.
Even though the fault is not directly of the seller for potential damage to the products, they are still the ones who will bear the high-quality product replacement, high value items, and re-delivery costs.
The replacement cost of a damaged product for an eCommerce company is around 17 times more than what it originally cost for shipping the same for the first time. It means that the financial eCommerce shipping damages to retaining a customer expectations are higher than what you originally paid to fulfill the primary order. Therefore, it is important to prevent shipping damages.
By taking the following precautions you can prevent shipping damage or box damage:
- Not let extra space come in
- Choose the right size box
- Wrap every item in the box properly
- Keep fragile boxes labeled and different
It doesn’t matter if you are shipping your goods, taking courier orders, or are a third-party delivery carrier for some eCommerce business, you must emphasize how you conduct your delivery services and operations.
So, next time ensure that you pick the correct box size, load the packages, properly placed them in the truck, and ship them through safe routes to the destination. However, as far as the shipping process is concerned, Use Upper Route Planner to wrap up a delivery schedule in less time.
Get a better insight into Upper Route Planner with its 7-Day FREE trial and explore its benefits.