Shipping damage — is it just a fact of life in shipping and logistics, or can it be avoided? You may not be able to eliminate all shipping damage from your supply chain, but you can take control of the problem and improve it. You just need the right tool.
When you use impact recorders, you can find out what really happens to your freight in transit. Are they getting jolted or shaken because of a rough route? Are they being mishandled? With the data you glean from impact recorders, you can make crucial decisions about how to package your shipments, which routes and methods to use, and even which carriers to trust.
Know What Your Shipments Face
The biggest obstacle to reducing shipping damage in your supply chain is knowing nothing about the stresses shipments face as they move through that supply chain. When freight travels long distances by road, rail, sea, or air, it can encounter all kinds of conditions that could be damaging to the contents of your shipment.
For example, a shipment that travels long distances over bumpy roads or in a truck with bad shocks might get jostled around, sometimes quite badly, or experience excessive levels of vibrations in transit. Sustained vibrations or frequent jostling can damage shipments, but so can isolated incidents like the sudden impact of a package getting tossed over a tall fence by an impatient delivery person. Vibrations, impacts, accelerations, and pitches and rolls can all lead to varying levels of shipping damage. It can be hard to pinpoint where in the supply chain damage is occurring without the use of impact recorders.
Once you gather your impact recorder data, you’ll get a clearer picture of what’s happening to your shipments. Maybe they’re getting jostled a lot along a particular route, and you investigate a little and discover that that route is filled with potholes. Maybe you’re having problems with a particular carrier or last-mile carrier. Maybe the issue is one that can be solved with better packaging. When you know where shipping damage is occurring, you can figure out why, and once you know why, you can make changes to prevent it. When you change up packaging and shipping methods, you can use shock and impact recorders to confirm their effectiveness.
Spot Compromised Shipments Easily
One of the biggest hazards of shipping freight, especially fragile items, is that it’s not always easy to tell whether a shipment has been compromised without opening it up and examining it. Sometimes, as is often the case with complex and fragile equipment, damage may be internal and not readily apparent. Medications and other items that need to be kept at a constant temperature may not display damage from overheating or freezing, either.
When you use impact recorders, you can immediately see from looking at the outside of the packaging that the shipment has been dropped, jostled, vibrated, or (depending on which kind of sensor you choose) allowed to get too hot or cold during shipment. If you intercept a possibly damaged shipment in transit, you’ll know that you need to take immediate action to replace the damaged product. If the shipment does arrive at its destination, the recipient will know to examine it with extra care. Should you need to, you can even assess whether the level of stress the package was exposed to was significant enough to cause damage to the contents, without even opening the box.
Improve Handler Behavior
Shipping damage occurs due to a lot of reasons, but careless handling is definitely one of them. Most shock and impact recorders go on the outside of shipments, and they’re typically eye-catching enough that handlers can’t help notice them and be warned that someone is monitoring the safety of this package. Just the sight of a shock and impact recorder can be enough to instill some precious accountability into handlers who might otherwise slip up and become careless.
When you rely on sound shipping and logistics, minimizing shipping damage can do a lot to improve your bottom line. Impact recorders can help you easily collect the information you need to make the best decisions for your shipments. They’re easy to use, affordable, and capable of saving you a lot of money on shipping damage.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!