Damage to packages is unfortunately a common occurrence. From inferior packaging to negligent handling during shipping, there can be many reasons why your freight shipping becomes damaged. Whether you’re air freight shipping or transporting over sea or road, all types of freight forwarding can result in damaging your goods.
However, there are a few easy steps you can take to protect your shipments and ensure they arrive at their destination in pristine condition.
Find a reputable freight forwarder
The first step in preventing your shipments from getting damaged is to only use a reliable international shipping company . A reputable freight forwarder will take all the necessary steps to ensure your shipment is protected during the journey. They’ll know how to manage specialist packages and will handle all shipments with care and precision.
Choose the right container
When packing your shipment, it’s important to choose the right container. The material should be sturdy enough to protect the contents, whether you need a rigid container like corrugated boxes, or padded mailer bags for cushioned protection.
Your package should be able to withstand a four-foot drop – this is a common height from which packages are dropped during transportation. The material should also be strong enough to withstand changes in temperature and humidity, all whilst protecting the items inside.
Pack items with appropriate coverings
It’s not usually enough to only pack items into an external container and leave it at that. Most items will require extra coverings within the container, to protect them from impact damage. You can use foam coverings, brown paper, or bubble wrap to add an extra layer of protection to your items.
This is especially important for fragile items, which will be more at risk of breakages during the journey. Using extra coverings for your items can also protect them from minor damage, such as scratches and scrapes.
Fill any void space
When you’re wrapping your items in protective coverings, you should also aim to fill any empty space within the container. You’ll want to aim to have your items still in the container, so they’re not able to move around and potentially break or shatter. If you have multiple boxes within one container, you should also fill any empty space to prevent the boxes from moving around and damaging the items.
Depending on the risk of breakage and the amount of empty space you have, there are a few different options for what material to use. Bubble wrap is usually best for fragile items, or you can use single-ply corrugated roll to fill smaller spaces for cheap. Packaging peanuts are also a good option, or you can use air cushions.
Separate items that require specific handling
Sometimes you may need to pack multiple fragile items into one box. If this is the case, you should try to separate them as much as possible, either by using a divider or by putting a box within a box. If you have a fragile item that is being shipped with non-fragile items, you should ensure the fragile item is properly wrapped and covered.
If you’re shipping liquids, you should try to separate them from non-liquids. This will prevent any other items from being damaged should the liquid leak during transit. If you can’t fully separate the liquids, you should put them in a watertight plastic bag, so they won’t affect anything else in the shipment if it leaks.
Use quality adhesives
Once your shipment is properly packaged with the right materials, you should ensure the container is properly sealed. You should always use good-quality packing tape that’s at least two inches wide. You should always use tape that’s strong and durable and will hold up against any liquid spills. This will prevent your package from damage, as well as stopping your items from damaging any other shipments if they leak.
Label packages correctly
Labelling your packages properly will let the freight handlers know how they should treat your shipment. If your package contains a fragile item, make sure there is a clear ‘Fragile’ label. If your package needs to remain a certain way up, use a ‘This way up’ label.
Insure your packages
Whilst insuring your packages won’t protect them from damage, it will protect your bottom line if they do. Sometimes it is not possible to fully prevent damage from occurring, so at least insuring your shipments will mean you won’t lose out financially if the worst happens.
PBS International is an experienced international freight forwarder offering a complete range of specialised services to meet your shipping and logistics needs. Contact us for more information about our freight forwarding or get an international shipping quote today.