Hughes Enterprises

Let’s Talk Innovation: How To Prevent Packaging Damage

Retailers and manufacturers invest the majority of their efforts into ensuring that their products result in consumer satisfaction and business growth. It’s not news that packaging damage hurts a company’s reputation and ultimately impacts the bottom line. This can start at hundreds of dollars and ultimately add up to millions of dollars for some companies.

Too much packaging damage is a red flag and requires careful auditing to determine the time of damage (i.e. at what point in the supply chain is the damage occurring) and the main cause of the damage. Our packaging experts are available to diagnose these issues and provide specific recommendations for your company.

If you haven’t experienced or evaluated your packaging damage rates, preventative measures are key. Studies show that companies spend up to 80% of their time reacting to problems instead of preparing, planning, and preventing. Here are 6 of our best recommendations for preventing packaging damage.

Stocking the right SKUs

Before a product lands on the packaging table it’s important to make sure that you have the right packaging products at your disposal. Stocking the right boxes, tape, and other protective packaging supplies ensures that you are always ready to safely ship or transport your products without delays or substitution materials.

Questions to ask:

  • How many different materials do I have available and are they optimized for my shipping needs?
  • How often (if ever) do I run out of packaging supplies, or have shipping delays because of insufficient stock?

Knowing How To Pack

Providing proper packing instructions prepared by a packaging expert is a factor here as well.  This is a common scenario in “ship-from-store” platforms where in-store staff are preparing packages for shipping. Whether you are packaging in a distribution center or a retail store, proper packaging instructions for your staff is going to prevent damage.

Questions to ask:

  • Are products being damaged because they are not being properly packaged?
  • Does your staff have the opportunity to access packaging instructions?
  • Are the instructions for packaging close to the packaging area?

Void-fill solutions

There are many options when it comes to protecting the products that are inside the box.  Our job is to help you find the right balance between the size of the carton and the proper protective materials.  Some of the options that we have include air bags, bubble wrap, foam packaging, and paper. No two scenarios are alike, so we find the most effective product combination by evaluating size, cost, versatility, and other special circumstances.

Questions to ask:

  • Am I under or over filling?
  • Am I using a fast and efficient fill method?
  • Am I filling my boxes with the most cost effective void fill solution?

Shrink Wrap Equipment to Prevent Damage

Organizations can cut shipping damage by at least 50% by ensuring that their products are safely secured during shipping. The protective film provided by shrink wrapping ensures the integrity of your product by creating a secure, air tight seal. Some options that we provide include side sealers, L-sealers, shrink tunnels, horizontal form fill, and seal machines.

Questions to ask:

  • Do I have the proper shrink wrapping equipment?
  • Is my shrink wrap providing the top level of protection?
  • Are my products being damaged because of exposure that could have been prevented with an airtight seal?

Foam Inserts

For products that are prone to damage from shock and vibration during transit foam packaging products are today’s best option of protection. By the time the “fragile” label is noticed on a box it is often too late, making product protection key. Foam inserts work great for electronics with many small, fragile components, as well as glass and fragile metals. This option is most effective because of it’s customization to form-fit around any product.

Questions to ask:

  • Do I ship products that are fragile or breakable?
  • Are my products being damaged during transit because they move around in the box?

Unitizing

Unitizing is a popular method of transporting goods where boxes and packages are combined into one larger stable unit load (such as a pallet) for ease of handling, storage, identification and transportation. Some benefits include reducing labor costs, decreasing load times, and securing products in the warehouse. At Hughes we provide strapping and palletizing options to create safe transport scenarios for our customers.

Questions to ask:

  • Do your employees have unnecessary stressors from unitizing deficiencies (such as manually moving and placing boxes)?
  • Could you benefit from a more organized distribution area, with like products unitized?
  • Are you using the right products for your unitizing needs?

What should you do next?

Did your answers to the questions above motivate you to create a strong system to prevent product damage? Contact a packaging specialist at Hughes today to stop losing money on preventable problems.

Contact a Hughes Enterprises Packaging Expert today!

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