When products are shipped from one location to another, it only makes sense that they should arrive at their destination unscathed. Shipping damages can really cut into profits, and if the same mistakes are made over a period time, they can become a substantial cost.
But what about the environmental impact of poorly-secured loads?
Photo: One Day's Damage at a Distribution Center
A well stretch-wrapped pallet of goods that arrives looking as good as when it left the facility, without any shipping damage, reflects well on everyone in the supply chain. And it effectively brings those goods to the homes of consumers who want them.
But when things go wrong, damaged products don't just include extra shipping costs at the corporate level. The worst-case scenario comes true when damaged products are deemed unusable or unsuitable, and cannot be sold. In many instances, these goods are sent directly to a community landfill, a process that goes largely unseen by the public. Damaged products are often simply buried because this might be the cheapest option in terms of dealing with shipping damage, but it's needlessly wasteful.
There's the cost of shipping and disposal, the cost of fuel for transport, plus the cost of originally manufacturing all the goods, and the raw materials used to make the products in the first place. It may not seem like much to dispose of a single pallet's worth of damaged goods, but consider that this goes on every day, all over the country. Those costs add up quickly.
In other circumstances, damaged products are reclaimed if they are still deemed usable. Substantial shipping losses still show up in the numbers at the home office though, as the company uses labor, fuel, materials, and other resources to remove and repackage the items, and then transport them to a reclamation center. Additionally, the order for the damaged products has to be made again. So efforts are duplicated and additional raw materials are used just to actually sell what had already been made once before.
All of that re-work costs money, for sure. And consumers will no doubt feel it in their wallets. But the effects on the environment are not as obvious. When poor stretch wrapping causes shipping damage, that uses extra fuel, electricity, and extra materials and resources to fix the problem. Dumping damaged products at the landfill seems like it has a more direct impact on the environment, but all of these extra measures take their toll as well.
To avoid this, it's important that shipping departments are properly using their stretch wrappers, achieving the proper containment force, and maintaining that containment force which reduces Shipping Damage. By reducing this loss, it's possible to help reduce the environmental and financial costs of reclaiming otherwise still usable products.
A major source to reduce shipping damage is to have the right amount of containment force on your loads. Don't Guess! We have containment force recommendations to help you. Download it now.
For more information on reducing shipping damages, or to learn more about how Lantech works to eliminate shipping damage, you can visit our website or call us at (502) 815-9109.
This post was published on May 6, 2013 and updated on February 8, 2019.