Shipping is an indispensable part and process in supply chain. Without shipping, the supply chain is incomplete as products are made to be shipped from one location to the other. But unfortunately, cargo damage is very common during this very important aspect of the supply chain. Damage cargo can cost money, business relationships, time, efforts and reputation. Therefore it very important that manufacturers or transporters or logistics companies put things in place to ensure that cargo damage is reduced to the barest minimum during transportation.

Below are tips that can help reduce these damages;

1. Choose the appropriate shipping method:

Every product should have the best shipping method for it as suggested by the manufacturer. Shipping companies would only have to adjust to these shipping needs. For instance, it is expected that a product that requires temperature below freezing for it to remain healthy must be transported with a cooling van that can maintain that temperature, as anything less will damage the product.

2. Use the right packaging:

Packaging does a lot to maintain the integrity and wholeness of a product. For instance, a ceramic tile coming from Spain should be packed in both specialized cartons and pallets as well because of its fragility.  Knowing full well that tiles are easily breakable, shipping the goods without appropriate packaging is foolhardy and might cost the shipper and the customer a lot if the goods eventually gets damaged. For palletizing, don’t let the product packaging overhang the pallet.

 For heavy boxes, stack them like bricks, so the weight is more evenly distributed . Make sure the pallet is in good condition. Pallets can splinter, crack and ultimately fail, so invest in pallets that can withstand the travel. Wrap pallets well, so the packaging doesn’t shift and won’t come in contact with other pallets on the same journey.

3. Label appropriately:

The importance of labeling cannot be over-emphasized. Every product should be labeled in such a way that someone can look at it and easily decode that it needs special handling of some sort. If it’s fragile,  ‘Fragile – Handle with extreme care’ should be boldly written on the outermost packaging. If it’s an explosive, that should also be written boldly for easy identification.

Appropriate labeling advises the would be third party handlers even before they touch the goods. Labels also  help shippers make pallet-packing decisions during the shipping process. As the world has grown more interconnected, it is impossible to determine a product’s fragility or durability from the seller’s brand or name. Consequently, a label should indicate the content’s ability to withstand certain weight

4.  Suitable material handling equipment:

When handling goods during shipping, it is always advisable to handle the products with the suitable equipment. Products that require forklifts should handled with forklifts while those that require pallet trucks should be handled so. Using man power to do these instead of machines can cause damages.

5. Avoid empty spaces:

Having spaces in the packaging can lead to goods  rattling around inside boxes which  may cause breakages and shatter. Boxes can shift around in larger cartons, damaging both the goods inside and the boxes themselves. Use bubble wrap for fragile goods. Use brown paper or single-ply corrugated roll to cheaply fill space. If you have a lot of extra space, use air cushions.

6. Good Warehousing practice:

Ensure also that cross docks and warehouses have uncluttered clean aisles so man labor and equipments can maneuver easily. Improve your warehouse space availability, prevent goods damages and load /unload trucks faster using the right system.

7. Use Good-In-Transit Insurance:  :

Goods-In-Transit Insurance covers the goods of the insured against fire, theft or accidental damage while the goods are being loaded or unloaded, as well as, while the goods are in transit or whilst temporarily housed within the general course of transit.

If you require more advice or information on any of these, feel free to reach out to us via info@edasglobalsupplychain.com

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