The holiday season will likely see the highest ever order volumes and larger shipments going out on a daily basis. In the midst of all the activity (from leaving the warehouse, passing through different hands, and finally reaching the customer’s doorstep) there is also a good chance that a package can get damaged.
Ratings provider StellaService reported that 1 in 10 ecommerce packages arrived damaged. And it turns out, some of the biggest and oldest carriers are the ones who have a high damage rate. UPS delivered the highest percentage of damaged packages at 11 percent, followed by USPS at 10 percent, and FedEx with a seven percent.
As a retailer, you may not be able to see what goes on once a package leaves your warehouse, but you can do your part to ensure that your package remains intact, no matter how the carrier handles it.
Here are two rules to follow when packing your shipments:
Know Your Product Well
It is pretty obvious that a coffee mug is more likely to be damaged than a t-shirt. Apparel will need to be protected against liquids and dirt, while electronics need more durable packaging that will cushion the product and protect against scratches. Fragile items can often bump against each other (ever received cracked wine glasses?) or against the package itself, so make sure that there is lots of padding between the products and the outer box to prevent items from shifting a lot during transit.
What Will Your Package Face In Transit?
In order to pack and protect a shipment well, you need to know what your package may have to endure on its journey to the customer. Some boxes may be sorted and thrown into large bins, others may be put through a chute or conveyor belt. They may have to face some wind, rain, and snow or slide around on the wet/dirty floor of a van or truck. Pack your items in boxes that can withstand a three-foot drop at minimum. Plastic wrap can keep the surface of a box safe from rain and dampness, so consider that too!
No matter what your orders will endure, it’s your brand on the line when it gets to the customer’s door – not your carrier’s. So make sure you prepare your packages for the worst, whether their journey is ending across town or across the globe.