A streamlined packaging and shipping process is necessary in today’s world. It’s vital not only to stay ahead of the competition, but also to appeal to customers. More businesses are realizing this as consumers demand secure, sustainable packaging. Below are two methods to improve packaging before a product ever hits the shipping truck.
Generally, damage to cargo and finished products is most likely to occur during shipping. Whether it’s due to carelessness or collision, this portion of the process is especially perilous. To make matters worse, what happens during shipping is typically out of a company’s control — even though they carry the responsibility for the cargo’s safe arrival.
Nowadays, if a product arrives damaged or broken, most consumers (80%) report they will return it. The costs for shipping and replacement then fall to the company. Such returns cut into profits and could ultimately affect the bottom line. For these reasons and more, ample foresight is needed in the packaging design and preparation process.
One important aspect of this is secondary packaging. Working as a barrier and physical protection for the product, secondary packaging comes in a variety of forms, including cartons, trays, shrink wrap, Styrofoam and more. For example, a product inside its primary packaging can be placed into a folding carton made of paperboard before finally being situated in the shipping case, or tertiary packaging.
Secondary packaging may take up a little or a lot of space, depending on the optimization of the tertiary packing process. In fact, a survey found that 20% of each box or container shipped is made up of area not taken up by the actual product. Having a robust secondary packaging solution in place can make great strides in preventing damage during shipping. Another beneficial aspect of secondary packaging is that it can be used to display required regulatory information, expiration dates, lot numbers and other essential text.
The second way to improve packaging is with clear labeling. This crucial packaging factor cannot be overlooked or underfunded. First, ensure the top surface of the tertiary packaging is as flat as possible to make labeling simpler and more secure.
Next, include any important information about the item’s handling where everyone can see. Having an unmistakable “fragile” note or instructions for special handling could help ensure the items receive the extra care needed. It’s recommended to use durable paper for label printing. This way the bill of lading and other information is clearly communicated.
Reducing shipping damage can be achieved through various methods. A great place to start is modernizing the materials used and the processes involved with shipping. When the right practices are in place, companies can breathe easier once it’s out of their hands.
For more ways to improve shipping practices, please see the accompanying resource.
Infographic provided by MSI Express