The best way is to design a packaging system to reduce the possibility of damage. Want proof?
Not long ago, a company came to Nelson Company with a costly shipping problem. Using the 6 steps outlined below, we lowered their product damage from 25% to 0%. The result was a packaging redesign that lead to a savings of over $1 million for the company!
Here is my list of the six ways to best protect your product during shipping.
- Use the best available design software and manufacturing practices for pallets and packaging
- Test your design using standard test procedures, like ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) or ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials).
- Design the unit load as a system, not the pallet and packaging separately.
- After lab testing, run some pilot field trials internally.
- Run field trials with partner customers. Redesign if necessary based on lab and field trial results.
- Document the process for future reference.
Packaging experts go through years of schooling to become certified to design and protect your product during the shipping process. Their technical knowledge and experience can help find savings others in your field might not have considered.
As Director of the Center for Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech for 10 years, I was in charge of the research laboratory that tested the common (and sometimes head-scratching) question of how to better protect a product. At the Nelson Company, I lead our technical team as the Technical Director, continuing my research on the best way to protect your product during shipping.