How To Reduce Product Damage And Save

How to reduce product damage

During transportation, your products’ packaging can be put through its paces. Rough handling, multiple courier trucks and the number of pallets on board those trucks are some of the factors that can affect how your product is presented to your customer. One of the most common outcomes of such conditions is product damage. This can have a significant impact on your bottom line — and just as importantly, on your hard earned reputation.

To help you save time and money, Signet has highlighted some common situations that can cause product damage and what improvements can be made to reduce those risks in the future.

A section of your pallet has fallen over or some of the boxes have slipped off during transit

So, how does this happen?

Depending on the courier truck, there may not be enough pallets to counteract the truck’s movements. If there are only one or two pallets on board, then there are no other items for them to lean on or to help keep them upright.

How your pallet wrap is applied can also contribute to a pallet’s instability. A few ways that it can be applied incorrectly include:

  • Not applying enough around the base of your pallet and the first row of goods. 
  • Not having enough overlap as you are moving up the pallet with the film — this can leave sections of your pallet unwrapped and unprotected, so products can easily slip off and become damaged.

What can you do to improve your pallet’s stability?

Correctly applying your pallet wrap is critical. Whether wrapping by hand or machine, follow the simple tips below:

  • Do multiple revolutions around the base of your pallet and the first row of goods to reduce the chance of movement.
  • When moving the pallet wrap up the pallet, ensure that each layer has enough overlap so there are no gaps or unwrapped areas. Each layer should have around a 50 per cent overlap with the next or 2 – 3 layers of film.

Your cardboard boxes have opened and their contents have come out

So, how does this happen?

Products can get knocked, pushed, slid or put onto several courier trucks before being delivered. Using the wrong packaging supplies, supplies that aren’t of the right quality or not preparing your box properly are three ways that damage can occur if your products are subject to rough transport or handling conditions.

For example, recycled cardboard boxes have shorter fibres than non-recycled cardboard. This means that the tape you apply to one may not be as effective on the other, as the surface of recycled cardboard may not be as easy for the tape to stick to. In this instance, a higher performing adhesive is required for a secure stick.

What can you do to make sure that your products are secure?

  • Ensure that your chosen packaging supplies are up to the task. While most packaging tapes may look the same, the adhesives they use can perform very differently on different types of cardboard. If you use multiple types of cardboard boxes, such as waxy, prime or recycled, you may need to use different packaging tapes.
  • If you use cardboard boxes, clean the surface before applying your packing tape. On busy days, this rule is easily forgotten; however, dust and dirt can reduce the adhesive’s “stickiness”, causing the tape to lift and your products to fall out.

Product damage isn’t just about the dollars and cents, it’s about your customers’ experience when they receive their purchase and open up the box or bag. While you can’t control a courier truck’s movements or how your product is handled (unless you can personally deliver all of your packages), you can control how well it is wrapped, sealed and ultimately, protected.

To see how Signet can help you improve other areas of your business, view Signet’s blog here.