Shipping freight in international trade is expensive, usually all the avenues of saving on shipping costs are vetted beforehand. However, there are many factors that can lead to an increase in your costs – one of them being cargo damage in transportation. In this article, we share a few tips on how you can ensure your cargo in not damaged in transit.
What Constitutes Shipping Cost?
There are multiple variables that constitute in building the cost of shipping – shipment weight, dimensions, origin, destination, mode of transport, packaging, etc. Our previous post can guide you on how to calculate the cost of shipping. There are also many ways in which you can save your cost of shipping like choosing to ship on non-peak days, planning your shipments in advance, considering multi-modal transport, minimizing the possibility of cargo damage, etc.
Tips to Reduce Cargo Damage
Shipping damage can be a threat to any shipments during transportation. More the product damage, more would be the ultimate shipping cost to the shipper. Ensuring optimal safety of cargo can help in saving shipping costs by at least 40% and in increasing efficiency in the entire supply chain.
Here are some of the top tips to reduce cargo damage to ensure cargo safety:
Packaging and Packing: Every shipment needs proper packaging. You should choose right packaging material, packing and the box itself depending on the type of your cargo and the mode of transport. It is important to choose right fillers for empty spaces in the box so that the contents of your cargo are intact, and do not slide, collide, slip inside the box. There are various padding material/fillers available such as bubble wraps, air bags, foam moulds, corrugated inserts, etc. choose the right one based on the contents.
In addition to packaging and packing, choosing the pallet that best fits your cargo dimensions is required. Pallets are available in wooden, plastic and metal materials, wooden being the most widely used one. They should be slightly bigger than your cargo size and structurally fit. Sealing the pallets once your cargo is loaded onto it is also recommended to prevent it from water, light and other environmental damages. This can majorly contribute to lowering your shipping cost and preventing cargo damage.
Container Filling: It is highly recommended you fill the containers carefully. Pallets and boxes need to be stacked correctly in the container. Place heavy goods at the bottom, others stacked on them in an overlapping cube pattern, so that the boxes and pallets are stacked correctly, with very less possibility of shifting when in transit.
Double stacking pallets can lead to damage as well, especially when the pallets stacked above are lightweight, fragile or delicate. The top of your cargo should be flat, leaving no boxes loose on top. We recommend strapping and wrapping these individual boxes properly to avoid any damage.
Do not leave empty spaces in the container. Empty space means more space your cargo will have to roll / move within the container – this increases the chances of damage to your cargo. Use the right box sizes to restrict movement and fill empty spaces with right kind of fillers.
Appropriate and Clear Labels:
Appropriate labeling on your shipment is important. Labels should be printed on resilient and durable paper and disclose content information, type and indicate how much weight can be placed on top of the cargo. A bill of lading contains all of this information and makes it easier for all the parties involved to ensure cargo is not damaged in transit. Avoiding damage to your freight can help in saving shipping costs a great deal; cargo once damaged is practically of no use, they can’t be sold nor can be reused, posing a threat to business revenues. Follow these tips for a successful shipping experience. For more information, drop us your questions and enquiries here.