• 10-09-2021

How to Avoid Cargo Damage: Tips and Tricks

The importance of shipping in any supply chain cannot be overstated. However, it is also the process in which the most damage is likely to occur. Damage losses and claims raise your transportation costs while also jeopardising your connection with your shipping partners. To prevent freight damage, cargo companies in Dubai should keep a careful eye on claims and take proactive efforts to reduce damage events. In many circumstances, what occurs once the goods are loaded is beyond your control. Sudden motions, bumps, and twists and turns are all possible. If you don't take the necessary care, all of these might cause catastrophic damage to goods.

However, with enough planning and foresight, cargo damage during shipping can be minimised. Here are a few tips to avoid freight damage.

1. Have a plan

For any recurring activity, having a clear plan in place is always a smart practice, and freight packaging is no exception. First, assess your present packaging strategies to ensure they are as efficient as possible, taking into account the best impact protection and consolidation techniques. Next, think about how to get your goods out the door easily and securely, from packaging to stack loading to trailer loading.

Once you have these, you can create a freight plan that describes the specific processes to be followed, allowing warehouse staff to know exactly how things should be done in order to maximise production. Leading freight forwarders in Dubai can usually take care of all your cargo needs with minimal damage and proper planning.

2. Proper packaging

The first and most important stage in freight forwarding is the packaging. It's usually the lowest cost in your supply chain, but it can make a big difference. Saving money on packing can lead to higher costs in other areas, such as warehousing, shipping, and loss prevention.

It's critical to select the appropriate packing material and size. It should be large enough to accommodate the contents and provide additional shock absorption if necessary. You also want consistent wrapping throughout your company, so it's simple to load and stack on pallets. Never use packaging that has dents, holes, splits, or has been exposed to water. When a box is damaged, the contents are almost often ruined as well.

3. Label everything

Labelling all of your products clearly is a good approach to make sure you're loading your trailer correctly. To avoid misunderstanding, use as few labels as possible, and make sure they're colourful and simple to spot. The weight, the type of contents, and the hub or final destination location should all be labelled. Place labels on the top of the side flaps so they can be seen when stacked. The biggest and least delicate things should be placed towards the bottom. Light and fragile items will be less likely to be damaged if they are placed on a solid base. The packaging's bottom weight will also keep your pallet from sliding.

Make sure that any outdated labels are removed or covered. Labels should never be placed over a closure or glue. If any of the labels are damaged, a new label containing the address information should be placed inside each item. To guarantee appropriate stacking and loading, be exact, consistent, and comprehensive with your labelling.

4. Sufficient palletizing

Simplify your package dimensions and pair goods with the appropriate pallet size to avoid packaging that extends over the pallet's borders or vacant spaces between packages. To assure that each handling unit remains stable, use corner posts and stretchy film. Securing things on pallets requires a certain amount of wrapping and a certain degree of tension. Maintaining a stock of usable pallets necessitates a regular check and rotation of pallets. Stable strapping solutions for big and bulky products are required to reliably secure heavy loads. Whether done manually or using an automatic stretch wrapper, the goods must be stacked in a uniform and sturdy manner. If the contents of the boxes are solid and unyielding, stack them like bricks, with a load of each box carried in part by the weight of the boxes below. Avoid any goods that hang over the pallet's edge.

5. Good adhesives

One of the most common causes of damaged goods is improper package sealing. Use strong tape with a width of at least two inches to seal the package. Pressure-sensitive plastic, paper tape, or water-activated reinforced tape are all good options. These are sturdy and long-lasting and will withstand spills and water contact. Cargo companies in Dubai don't recommend using cellophane tape, masking tape, or twine because they are easily broken and ripped.

6. Better loading

The stacking should be even and steady. The weight on the pallets should be evenly distributed, and the altitude of the pallets should be consistent. The heaviest load should be piled on top of the lightest load.

When it comes to freight forwarding step-by-step documentation, defined methods, and procedures are critical. To protect items from shifting, limit double stacking boxes or pallets, use a cushion to prevent product damage from swings, and use suitable dunnage to fill up any voids.

7. Better handling

Employees are forced to mishandle shipments and cause product damage for a variety of reasons, including poor judgement, work ethic, a lack of training, and a high-pressure atmosphere to produce more. Employees must be properly trained in the safe operation of workplace equipment; for example, forklift operators must be aware of weight constraints when lifting heavy items. Maintain a solid training strategy for your personnel to ensure optimum production and minimal accidents and damage to items.

8. Choose the right containers

The warehouse is where proper shipping procedures begin. You can tell if a container will work for your shipment by looking at its dimensions. Make certain you acquire the right size and that it isn't damaged.

Pallets made of wood are the most prevalent, but others made of plastic, paper, wood composite, and metal are also available. Pallets that are misshapen, deformed, or appear physically unsafe can jeopardise your cargo. Inspection of warehouse goods on a regular basis might help you keep everything in circulation in good working order.

The size of the item or products you're transporting should be larger than the pallet's footprint. Your products will be at risk of harm if they hang over the sides, either from tipping or hitting with another object. a properly sized.

9. Warehouse management

The first step toward smarter freight forwarding is a sensible warehouse structure. Ensure that cross docks and warehouses have clear, uncluttered aisles so that manpower and equipment may move about freely. Using the right system, you may increase warehouse room availability, protect items from being damaged, and load and unload vehicles faster.

10. Right shipping method

Certain transportation methods are automatically ruled out for some commodities due to their fragility. For example, a truck with independent suspension or temperature control will provide a better ride than others.

It may be worthwhile to invest in a slower or more expensive delivery option if you're sending precious products. This option will result in fewer jostling and unexpected movements.

11. The right packing material

Space within boxes allows items to slide around – and, in the worst-case situation, smash with one another. Even if you don't keep a shipment in a box or crate, extra padding can protect it from damage if it is jostled, tipped, or moved suddenly.

12. Shift to 3PL

Packaging is considerably more critical if your organisation is sending LTL freight. This is due to the fact that LTL shipments are handled and loaded/unloaded more frequently than a standard A to B full-truckload operation.

A true collaboration with a 3PL should entail you in every way imaginable to make your shipping experience as simple and worry-free as possible. This involves examining your current packaging and providing sound suggestions on how to make it more damage-resistant. Because every time you touch anything, the chance of freight damage grows, it's worth looking at freight consolidation options with other small-volume shipments heading to the same region or distribution centre. Because they have visibility into freight across a large number of shippers, 3PLs are in a great position to advise you on this.