How to Protect Your Goods and Cargo During Shipping

Shipping anything a long distance is a potentially risky endeavor for anyone, but it can be especially damaging for a business in the event of something going wrong. Sometimes, a combination of accidents and mishandling can lead to catastrophe for your in-transit goods. Part of successfully managing risk along the supply chain is securing your inventory as it travels from one place to another. Damaged goods can impact a business, the customer, reputations, and the bottom line. Why take that risk? It’s better to implement a long-term solution to possible transit problems as part of your overall business plan. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

Learn about potential risks along your supply line

Due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, managing supply chain risks requires more proactive measures on the company’s part. External risks—like floods, natural disasters, and socio-political concerns—are often unavoidable, and managers have no true control over mitigating issues stemming from them. Internal risks, however, are much easier to manage. Delays, poorly packed shipments, improper temperature control, poor oversight, and staff issues are all common supply chain problems over which managers can assert some control. Protecting your packages and cargo during shipping is a significant part of that process. Reputational damage, cash flow, and sustainability are all common concerns along the supply chain in 2021, but damaged goods and inventory can make or break a business these days. Impacts and shocks aren’t the only issues causing damage along supply lines, but they’re probably the most likely to occur (and the most devastating in some cases) at the business’ level in the supply chain. 

Use an impact and shock recorder

Protecting your shipments should be a top priority. Impact and shock recorders are amazing tools for shipping any type of high-value cargo. High-precision equipment like electrical transformers or machinery can become badly damaged if transported improperly. Mishandling, negligence, and accidents happen more often than expected sometimes. An impact and shock recorder is a wise investment that creates more accountability and reduces damage considerably. With their tri-axial accelerometer technology, long battery life and programmable features, impact recorders are an inexpensive yet powerful tool in reducing supply chain issues. Monitoring shocks, vibrations, and other damage is key to preventing a quick response and prevention. Implementing an impact recorder with built-in data logger into your business is one of the best ways to fully secure your shipments and take full control of your entire shipping operation. Impact recorders measure the direction in which it occurred, the amplitude of the event, and the duration of the impact. Some units also allow temperature to be built-in to the system so users can monitor it in addition to impact events. Every device is different with a variety of accessories and useful features, so be sure to select the one that will work best to secure your shipments.

Take advantage of cellular and GPS integration for better insight

If you’re looking for a shipping solution with cloud capability and real-time insight, both GPS and cellular impact recorders are available. GPS units use satellites to monitor cargo as it travels. It can cover a wide area and allow users to receive real-time information about their shipments. If damage occurs or is reported by the device, users can take swift action along the supply chain. data from GPS/satellite monitoring is useful for creating a risk management plan as well as learning about the conditions that caused an impact in real-time. The most significant advantage a satellite has over cellular is if your cargo is traveling in remote areas where cell networks are not available, the satellite typically is still working and can continue providing insight. Cellular units take advantage of cell networks to perform many of the same functions as satellites. While they may have issues in remote areas, cellular units maintain information, even if the battery dies and transmit recorded data incredibly fast. It’s also low cost and Because most companies who operate such devices have their own VPN, there are no roaming charges for going into remote/ out-of-service areas. Users can also retrieve reports from the unit via USB, if there’s no need for real-time reporting. 

Optimize your packaging and shipping procedures

Impact recorders are a fantastic way to protect your cargo and shipments. However, it’s always wise to optimize your packaging procedures for maximum safety during transit. On top of successful delivery, cost/damage reduction, and happy customers, optimized packaging can increase interest in a business at the consumer level by about 30%. optimizing your packing procedures comes down to utilizing a pox or container that will hold the weight of the package and using enough packing materials to keep the cargo safe/avoid breakage. The cushioning material should have enough density to prevent cargo from shifting around while traveling. Finally, sealing and labelling everything carefully will ensure maximum safe transport. Don’t forget about an impact recorder, too, of course.

Ensure packages and freight are oriented correctly

It may seem like an obvious procedure, but orienting packages correctly as they travel is crucial to damage prevention. Not to be confused with the package orientation arrows required for hazardous goods, “orientation” in this case just means storing your cargo in a secured manner and direction so it won’t be jostled or fall while traveling. Improperly secured goods might tip over while in transit, causing impacts, shock, or breakage. Once the shipment is properly packed, have the team inspect it to ensure it will travel safely. While this is not a full-proof method, it can contribute positively to the safety of your shipment as it travels the supply chain.