Being in the distribution industry, we are able to recognize more than most, in regards to the presentation of packages, when we receive inbound shipments. We get a wide variety of packages, and sometimes they come in looking pristine with the right amount of material needed to ensure the damage free arrival.
After watching the video, check out some suggestions we would give the shipper if they were our customer and were interested in improving their outbound shipments.
Issue #1 – Box damage
The box that was delivered had burst damage upon arrival. This damage not only affects the contents of the box, it can also do extensive damage to your company’s brand image with your client.
Solution – Whether it be using a corrugated box with a higher ECT rating (edge crush test) rating or having a larger box with cushioning around the product, a solution could have been found to alleviate this issue.
The following factors should be taken into account when determining what corrugated carton is the best for this application:
- Cost calculations including the percentage of damaged shipments.
- The overall cost due to damage and soft costs, for example, the company’s image.
Issue #2 – Over taping
One of the biggest issues we run across is over taping. An employee thinks he or she is doing a good job by using numerous pieces of tape to enclose the box. Extra tape use negatively affects the bottom line. This box was taped on the top and the bottom at least 3 times. Take the 4 extra pieces of tape times the number of boxes shipped, and you can see how money just leaks out the door.
Solution – Better training can be a solution to the problem related to over taping. With cases like this, we assume that the employee has not had extensive training on how to properly apply tape to a corrugated carton. The possibility that the company isn’t purchasing the proper materials should also be taken into consideration. By purchasing a wider tape, only one pass with a tape gun would be necessary. This change would not only save costs but also lead to a better throughput (numbers of boxes shipped).
Issue #3 – Bubble wrap used as void fill
The 1/2 inch bubble wrap used as a void fill could have been reused from some of this company’s inbound shipments. However, it’s likely that wasn’t the case because the other box in this shipment was packaged the same way. Bubble wrap is intended to be used to cushion the contents of a package. The contents of this box didn’t need to be cushioned. In this application, the bubble wrap adds expense.
Solution – A better education. Better education from this company’s packaging supplies distributor would have led them to a void fill solution such as Ranpak. Whether it be a cost analysis or pack analysis, the use case for a bubble doesn’t exist for the contents being shipped. Ultimately, the customer can choose which product they want to use, and that could be the case here.
Issue #4 – Oversized carton
One thing a good number of companies miss necessary dimensions needed for boxes. In this case, the depth was nearly double what was needed for the product being shipped. More than likely, this company purchases large boxes to fit a tall item that the company ships regularly and then uses them for the rest of its products. This also caused the need for extra, un-needed void fill.
Solution – Multi-depth cartons. Purchasing cartons that can be used for various size shipments would cut down on this company’s void fill expenses by a large margin. The uniform nature of the shipments allows them to use multi-depth cartons or cut the large cartons to size.
Change one option, see huge savings
With just this one box, there are numerous options for improvement. Altering just one of these issues could result in large savings for a company that ships a high volume of packages, like this one. If any of your company’s outbound shipments leave looking like the one in the video, it’s time to contact FlexPAC for your free needs analysis to see how we can improve your packages and your bottom line.