Damage prevention strategies for the supply chain

Even the smartest shippers and manufacturers encounter damaged products from time to time. After all every step of the supply chain is a potential source of product damage. From package design to manufacturing to shipping, companies must know their products could be at risk if they are not handled or packaged properly.

While common occurrences, these damages, claims and losses can dramatically increase your overhead costs, such as transportation and packaging expenses. They also could cause friction between you, your shipping providers, retailers and potential customers down the line. Despite these risks, there are ways manufactures can protect their products from the time they leave the facility to when a consumer opens up their shipment. Here are three damage prevention strategies you can use for your supply chain:

"Conduct quality assurance checks."

1. Pay attention to the packaging
How you package your products can make or break your damage prevention strategy. As a good rule of thumb, Inbound Logistics explained you should never exceed the containers top gross weight, as this could cause packages to fall apart or burst open during the shipping process. You should also leave enough room in every container for cushioning material to provide a buffer on all sides of your products.

Before your team loads packages on the truck for shipping, conduct quality assurance checks to ensure all containers are in good conditions with no rips, punctures, tears or dents. If you recently launched a new product, consider sending out several test shipments before launching a widespread rollout. This way, you will know potential packages or product weaknesses and can address them sooner, rather than later.

2. Use high-quality shipping labels
Applying high-quality shipping labels is a crucial step in the supply chain process. First, you should leverage thermal transfer barcode labels to track your products throughout the entire supply chain with ease. If you need to recall certain products or watch out for signs of damage, these labels are the right choice. Next, you'll want to apply shipping labels, such as This End Up or Handle with Care, to your fragile shipments. This way, everyone from the manufacturing facility to the retail warehouse will be aware that they should take care when moving your products.

"Apply shipping labels to your fragile shipments."

3. Account for unexpected variables
As many protections you put in place to mitigate the risk for damage, you will still encounter unexpected variables throughout the supply chain. These surprising elements could be winter road conditions that cause crashes, poor warehouse environments or improperly followed loading or handling requirements. Other factors could be the number, shape and size of the shipments, along with various weather conditions.

Though you cannot control when it rains, you can draft up a comprehensive prevention strategy to outline what your crew members should do in this event. Keeping your products in tact from beginning to end involves careful planning, diligent upkeep and transparency throughout the entire supply chain process. After all, you don't want to lose countless dollars or upset valued customers every year because you can't cut down on your damaged packages numbers. 

At Stranco, we understand that you peace of mind when shipping your products throughout the entire supply chain process. This is why we offer a wide selection of the most widely used shipping labels, including This End Up, Do Not Stack and Fragile. We also offer a range of blank or pre-printed thermal transfer barcode labels for all your labeling applications. Contact our customer service department for more information and pricing.

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