While more and more businesses operate on a global scale these days, dealing with cargo is an inevitable part of the value chain. Everyone from startups to SMEs to conglomerates, use some type of cargo service to get their products from point A to point B.
When thinking about cargo, you may find yourself asking whether or not your goods end up at the client’s doorstep in a good condition? And the first step to making sure they do is packaging.
Many companies tend to underestimate the importance of packaging and overlook them very easily. But, pack it wrong, it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
3 common mistakes to watch our for when packing for shipments
1. Re-using old boxes
You have an upcoming order that requires you to send out 100 boxes of your goods. While looking for cardboard boxes, you see a lot of old boxes that are still in good condition. Should you use them again? Because why not? It is economical since you save costs, and you’re saving the environment too. But this exactly where the problem lies.
More often, the old boxes would have been worn out from its previous use, making it more likely to get damaged now. They also have labels and stickers from the previous shipment that you may be hard to remove, this will confuse the cargo movers, and as a result, your packages may end up at the wrong doorstep. And in the process of compensating for the loss or claiming damages, you end up spending more than you saved by reusing old boxes.
2. Using the wrong sized box
What’s odd about the pictures above? It is the size of the box! It is quite important to make sure that you choose the right sized boxes for your goods. Choosing an oversized box can incur additional charges due to the larger space it occupies. Or, if partly empty boxes are stacked on top of another, they may get damaged heavily.
Let’s say you are packing multiple things of different sizes weighing different amounts. Should you place the lighter but larger ones in the bottom first and then heavier and smaller ones on the top? Or the vice versa? It is super crucial that you think through this because, if not, your packages will get squished, torn and may look like the pictures below. And insurance companies may not let you claim the damage costs because it was on you to ensure you packed well in the first place.
3. Over taping the boxes
Speaking of filling up the boxes, the next step is taping. Many of us may be guilty of taping the boxes like this picture on the right. But little did you know, these often get rejected by the movers as it does not follow their sealing instructions. Many freight forwarders or cargo movers have specific instructions on how to seal the boxes, the type of tape to be used, and the minimum width of the tape.
(Bonus) 4. Weighing boxes beyond its limits
Lastly, packing the boxes beyond its limits. On average, a standard-sized cardboard box should not weigh more than 50 pounds. A lot of the companies often overlook this and rather just focus on the overall total weight of the entire shipment. Unfortunately, that not how cargo companies roll. They usually have set limits for each box size, and if you don’t abide by it, you’d be risking the damages at your own chance.
So, how do you ensure to pack your goods in a safe manner?
1. Follow the packing instructions (Box size, type of material, type of tape)
A lot of the carriers post general guidelines about how to pack your boxes, it includes details from the box size, the type of tape, specific instructions on how to pack perishables or other categories of products.
But before you look into box sizes, box quality plays a crucial role too. Common types of boxes in the cargo industry are corrugated boxes and paperboard boxes. Corrugated boxes are capable of withstanding a lot of weight, and enduring long transits, whereas paperboard boxes are great for printing logo or ideal for pharmaceuticals, dairy or certain categories of goods. So, make sure to choose the right type of box that best suits your business’s needs. Once chosen the type, you can stock up on the standard sizes of those boxes.
2. Tape the Boxes using the “H” method
A lot of the cargo and freight forwarders follow this ‘H’ taping method to deal with the boxes. You tape the sides and once across both ends. This method provides a strong support structure for the boxes whilst minimizing the amount of tape to be used.
3.Label the boxes well and clear
All the labels or packing slips should be stuck in the same direction and on the same side of the box.
Use the largest surface to stick the shipping label.
Avoid sticking the labels on the corners of the boxes or wrapping them to the box. Follow these simple directions, you can be sure that your packages get delivered at the right place.
The packaging is extremely crucial. Think through it well, it will not only save you lots of money but also determines how your cargo carriers may charge you. Guesstimating shipping charges is something companies struggle with since it can take up multiple days for a carrier to get back to you on a quote.
A good tip is to use online services such as ours, bookairfreight.com, we give you instant quotes for your shipments and offer good insurance coverage, reducing your time from days to seconds and saving you at least 20% on the costs.
Give it a try now and get an instant door to door quote for your next shipment at www.bookairfreight.com.