It doesn’t matter whether you’re shipping something large or small, the potential for it being damaged remains approximately the same. The problem revolves around the fact that your item will be handled by an array of different people.
The first step is your picking department, then the packing. There will be a courier collection that takes the parcel to a depot, it will be unloaded and reloaded onto a different truck.
This will then take it to another depot where it will be transferred to another truck for final delivery. That means your important parcel is passing through a lot of different hands on the way; it only takes one of them to be careless and your product is dropped and damaged. Hence the reason it is important to know the intricacies of what is FOB shipping, as FOB (Free On Board) stipulates who is responsible if goods are damaged or lost during the shipping process.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Instigate A Checking Procedure
You should trust your staff but it doesn’t hurt to take them accountable for their actions. Start by making sure every one of your team has received training in picking and packing items. They should sign to show they have received the training.
You can then create a simple stamp for each staff member that shows they packed a specific item. To ensure the stamp is used there will need to be a checkbox that is signed by someone else; potentially the person organizing the courier.
This will allow you to work out which packer has the most damaged parcels and if there is an issue; resulting in extra training.
Of course, it is also important to ensure that every parcel is well wrapped. Ideally, the box for your equipment should be a perfect fit. If this is not possible all the gaps should be filled with packing material, such as foam. This will reduce the risk of movement inside the box and even offer some protection against impact with other items o the floor.
Don’t forget all boxes should have a mark to show which way up they should be stacked and the maximum number of boxes in a stack.
Use Impact Indicators
Assuming the equipment is now well protected you can proceed to seal the box and adding impact indicators.
These are simple gadgets that attach to the box but will react if the box is tilted past a certain angle, dropped, bashed, or even subject to temperatures outside of a certain range.
There are two benefits to this system:
Any member of the delivery team will be able to see that the parcel has an impact indicator. This will encourage them to take good care of the parcel, potentially preventing any issue before it happens.
The customer is able to see the impact indicator instantly and can refuse the parcel if the indicator shows it has been subject to conditions outside of the defined range.
The customer verification is an essential part of the process. They should refuse any parcel that the impact indicator shows have been damaged. This will confirm the delivery company is at fault, allowing you to quickly send a replacement.
They can also confirm packer details if required.