Carrier services losses are often attributed to freight damages along the supply chain. Shippers can take actions to reduce product damages and returns. The following are some damage prevention tactics:
Using the Pallet
- Use the right pallet – Make sure that you use a pallet that is most appropriate for your type of freight. Choose from different pallet types such as wood, plastic, and corrugate. Be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each pallet type in terms of cost, durability, weight, re-usability, and compliance.
- Stack and stabilize – Make sure that the pallets are stacked correctly and are stable. Use the proper method of stacking based on content and weight. Heavy and solid items stay at the bottom of the stack.
- Use stretch wrap – One way to further stabilize a pallet is the use of stretch wrap. Common types include blown stretch wrap or cast stretch wrap.
Securing the Freight
- Who will secure the load? – Do not make any assumption. Check with the carrier as to who has the responsibility of securing the freight. If you are the one loading, it is your responsibility to secure the load. If it is the carrier, make it clear that the responsibility is theirs.
- Pre-check – Check the container or trailer before loading. Make sure that there are no obstacles or items that damage your load. Sharp objects are not the friends of boxed liquid products.
- Straps – Use straps on flat beds or vans to make sure that the load will not be moving around. Check the working load limit to determine the strength of the straps.
- Edge and tarp protectors – The freight is secured to prevent damage, but there are instances when it actually causes damages. Strapping boxes too tight might crush the edges, resulting in damages to the box and the contents as well. Put a tarp cover and edge protectors on delicate items before using straps to secure them.
- Friction mats – They reduce the risk of freight sliding around especially when plastic pallets are used.
- Dunnage bags – They are inflatable bags that are placed on vacant spaces as fillers to prevent the pallets from tipping or moving.