Cargo packaging might be one of the most critical—and overlooked—aspects of logistics. Improperly packaged or crated goods can be damaged in transit, causing delays, increased costs, and a poor customer experience.
While your freight insurance might cover some damage, claims take time and effort to file. In the meantime, you’re out of pocket, your customer won’t receive what they ordered, and you’ll still have to deal with the damaged goods on some level, causing a ripple effect of complications that you’d probably prefer to avoid.
Recent reports tell us that about 11% of cargo coming into D.C.s are damaged and that 65% of damage claims are due to improperly packaged goods. While the tendency is to blame the logistics provider, the problem usually lies with the packaging. In-transit damage costs U.S. companies millions of dollars annually, and that’s not even considering indirect costs, like returns, replacements, disposal, and the time it takes to inspect damaged items and file claim forms.
Improving your cargo packaging helps reduce costs and mitigate loss and will save you a lot of time and aggravation in the process.
Simple Steps to Improve Logistics Efficiency in 2022-2023
Four Ways to Improve Your Cargo Packaging
Here are four considerations to help you improve your cargo packaging.
Choosing the right packaging materials is critical. Your decision should be based on the type of goods you are shipping, how fragile they are, the size of the package, and what risks the cargo will be exposed to in transit. Some of these concerns are directly connected to the transportation mode you choose and how the goods are handled.
Many shippers look for the cheapest option, but that’s not always the best value. You must weigh the cost of the packaging vs. the need to protect the goods and choose appropriately. For example, sturdier packaging might be bulkier, larger, and cost you more, but if it ensures the safety of valuable or fragile goods, it could be worthwhile.
2. Available Space
Capacity is at a premium these days. To optimize available space while protecting from damage, you must ensure breakable goods are wrapped well to prevent breakage, fill gaps with cushioning materials to avoid shifting and impact, and palletize packages properly to maintain balance in transit. In best practice, place heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on top. Perishable goods require moisture-wicking materials to prevent mold and spoilage.
Palletizing makes it easier to handle and transport goods. Be sure you’re using the right-sized pallet, and don’t overload. Wrap palletized goods tightly and cushion any gaps, so items do not shift in transit. Plastic pallets are lighter and might reduce costs.
4. Consider the Transportation Method
Each transportation method has unique challenges, but proper packaging will reduce damage caused by movement and vibration. Airfreight, for example, has some specific concerns around atmospheric pressure. Pressure and temperature changes can result in condensation, so you must consider this when choosing your packaging strategy.
At DTS World Cargo, we apply our cargo packaging expertise to ensure your cargo is as safe as possible, reducing the potential for damage and loss. Let us take care of these four points so you can focus on what you do best.