Items damaged in transit not only lead to a loss in revenue, products reaching customers damaged or broken means you risk losing repeat business due to unhappy customers. More than that, goods damaged in transit create a domino effect of extra expense along the whole supply chain. This means there will be extra costs associated with sending out replacement goods, and the return and disposal of the damaged item.
Choosing the correct packaging
Packaging supplier Rajapack recently published a series of expert guides on how to package more unusual items. The key takeaway is to use the right quantity and type of void fill material, especially if you’re sending fragile items. It can be tempting to try and save time and money by using as little as possible, but this will only result in damaged goods and unhappy customers. Using too much void fill can sometimes have a negative effect on your costs and could mean you buy a box that’s too big for your item. The purpose of void fill is to suspend your products in the centre of the box, therefore keeping them away from the external packaging which is more likely to sustain knocks and bumps in transit.
Fragile goods, like bottles of wine, are especially prone to being damaged in transit if the correct packaging isn’t used to ship them. Rajapack spoke to Yapp Wines, a UK based importer and distributor of high-quality wines, and no stranger to the importance of suitable protective packaging. Shipping wine in quantities ranging from single bottles up to cases of 15, and quantities as large as 15,000 bottles across 25 cases, requires a variety of different packaging solutions. Yapp Wines have spent over 50 years working closely with packaging suppliers, and this has paid off. In December 2016, they fulfilled over 2,000 orders and the reported rate of breakage was less than 1 percent. This impressive figure proves the time and money invested in good quality protective packaging is worth it.
How do you get it right?
No matter what you need to ship, it’s important to ensure you work with your packaging supplier. They can advise you on the most suitable solution for your goods. These recommendations will take into consideration the distances the items are likely to travel - will your company mostly be shipping overseas? Do you need to send perishable goods? They will also consider any temperature changes your package is likely to be exposed to, and recommend suitable packaging to handle these changes. The packaging company may also be able to offer package performance testing to ensure the appropriate packaging has been selected. This may include creating a bespoke solution for your particular product.
There are companies who try to save money when it comes to packaging, and they learn quickly – and expensively - from their mistakes. It’s worth investing the time and resource into finding the perfect protective packaging, especially for fragile items. If you are seeing a large number of breakages during transit, speak to your packaging supplier and work with them to find a better solution for your goods. This will not only save you money in the long run, it will ensure you are maintaining a good relationship with your customers which will lead to repeat custom and help to grow your business.
Every year businesses lose money due to poorly packaged items. Whether the company is an online retailer that ships products directly to customers, or a high street brand, sending goods to their retail premises, the importance of protective packaging is clear.