Over the years, shippers who have used UPS and FedEx may have experienced a time when one or more of their products would have an ongoing problem getting damaged in transit. Often, carriers are quick to refuse claims based on what they decide to be insufficient packaging. There is a good line between what the carrier considers to be insufficient and what the sender considers to be sufficient. Damage can be a huge profit assassin. Not only is there the extra internal cost of a shipment, customers trust for the carrier can suffer. Although the situation can be handled well by the sender, a damaged product can only be the reason why an additional purchase is not made.
By denying claims, carriers have forced carriers to improve how their products are packaged. Is the cost effective for the sender? Shippers have needed to improve the quality of the packaging or finally stop sending the problematic products. A method provider has used is trial and error. This can be an expensive learning curve. Often, shippers will pack the product to a point where the cost of the packaging may sometimes exceed the cost of the product. The result is a lot of wasted money spent by a sender who tries to fix a packaging problem on his own.
My wife recently bought a mixer and arrived via UPS in a corrugated cardboard with a 175 pound certificate printed on the bottom. If you do not know what I am talking about, just pick up a carton you see and look at the bottom of the printed certificate. The certificate tells you if the box is single wall or double wall. There is a newer standard called Edge Crush. This refers to the stacking strength of the carton. This certificate also contains the dimensions (L + W + H) on the box and the maximum weight that the box will hold. A 20-pound blender in a 175-pound burst-labeled single-wall container is a good start to protect the contents inside. Please note that these ratings only apply to a new carton. Each carton previously used for shipping is now suspected of its ability to safely transport the contents again.
Before opening the box, I performed the chess test and listened to sounds. No sound means everything was packed as it should be from the distributor. Opened the box we discovered that the mixer was in the manufacturers shelf. This is the carton used to place the mixer on the shelf of a store. Open the shelf package, the package was packaged to prevent movement and protect the components inside.
Why am I in such detail? The manufacturer packaged the product to a standard that they thought would be sufficient for palletized or container transport. The dealer / dealer we bought the mixer knew from experience, the factory-packaged carton would not survive the trip in a small package environment. The mixer was packed in a carton designed to withstand the robust journey through a small package carriers sorting and distribution facility.
How do shipping providers learn how to package their packages properly? Left to try and wrong, some shippers would be out of business very quickly. Different products have different packaging requirements. Fortunately, operators offer a service to help shippers improve their packaging.
FedEx Design Services will create a new package design, including technical drawings and a prototype package in as little as 15 days. They also announce that they will do this at no cost. (FedEx does not provide this service for hazardous materials) Other services include a test lab where they will submit a drip, impact, compression and vibration test package to evaluate their ability to survive the FedEx air and ground transport environment. More information about FedEx Design Services is available at the link below.