How to Minimize Freight Damages
Damaged freight is, unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges facing shippers today. It can add pressure to your daily operations and costs you time and money, plus the damage that it can create in your relationships with your customers can be difficult to repair. It’s important for shippers to realize, however, that no matter how much we try to prevent it, freight damages can and will eventually happen. When they do, you should have a comprehensive plan in place for handling the situation so you can minimize the collateral damage that results. In addition, there are also steps you can take before your shipment leaves your facility to help to minimize the risk of freight damages during transit. By being prepared and being proactive instead of reactive, you can minimize freight damages and put your business in a better position to succeed! Here are some tips to keep in mind.
It should be clear that the materials and the methods you use to package your freight can have a big influence on whether it arrives at its destination in one piece. It’s definitely not a place where you can afford to save a few dollars by purchasing lesser quality materials – spending a little more money now on quality packaging will save you a lot more money later on. Check to make sure your packing materials and methods are suited to the kind of freight you are sending, as well as how it will be transported. Use cushioning such as packing peanuts or bubble wrap if necessary, and make sure your package doesn’t exceed any weight limitations. Wondering if your freight is properly protected? Just imagine it being handled with very little care – while transportation companies do their best, you can never be too cautious!
Going beyond the individual package, the pallets you use for your packages can also have a major impact on whether you may be at risk of freight damages. Check all of your pallets and ensure that they are not damaged themselves – your pallets need to be structurally sound in order to handle the weight of your shipments. Make sure that the weight of your shipment is evenly distributed on the pallet and secure it properly. When stacking product on a pallet, use best practices – place heavier packages on the bottom of the pallet for balance and ensure you don’t have anything hanging over the edges.
Labeling and Paperwork
No one enjoys the paperwork and labeling involved with shipping, but taking care of this important step with care might save you a world of pain later! Ensure that all labels are clear, informative, and plainly visible. If your shipment is being transported through a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, it may need to be transferred between trucks or facilities during transit. Without proper labeling, you may be placing your shipment at a heightened risk of being lost somewhere along the way. The bill of lading (BOL) is another key part of shipping your freight that you should fill out completely. You can write in special handling instructions for your freight if it is needed – so if, for example, your load is non-stackable, you should write it in on the BOL to protect it!
Choose a Service Suitable for Your Needs
Though it may be less expensive up-front to use an LTL service for your shipment, consider carefully how that might impact your packages. LTL shipping utilizes several transfers between trucks and facility terminals and each transfer increases the risk that something may go wrong. If your shipment is fragile, consider consolidating it into a full truckload (FTL) shipment or utilizing a dedicated partial option. It will certainly cost a little more up-front but can save you in the long run from the collateral damage that can result from freight damages and puts your freight in a better position to reach its intended destination in one piece.
AFP Global Logistics can work with you to help you find the best service for your fragile goods at a great price. Contact us today!
AFP Global Logistics
For any and all of your freight shipping and warehouse storage needs nationwide, look no further than AFP Global Logistics. We provide a full range of shipping and logistics services, and our 25 years in the business have given us the tools we need to create customized logistics solutions that are tailored to the needs of each client we serve. We have what it takes to provide the superior shipping and logistics solutions that your business needs to thrive. For more information or to start designing your own logistic solutions today, get in touch with AFP Global Logistics at 410.590.1234 (toll-free 800.274.1237), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our quick and easy contact form here!