Damaged loads are a hidden crime. They’re like a dirty little secret. They’re hard to admit to and are often swept under the rug or treated as an occasional nuisance.
But damaged loads are much more than a nuisance. They’re a serious drain on the supply chain. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) calculates that the value of the damage caused by inadequate package design and performance is in the neighborhood of $2 billion annually for the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industries.
That’s a huge number.
Most loads shipped today reach their destinations in reasonable condition. But from a stretch wrapping perspective, their risk of failing or being damaged along the way is increasing at an alarming rate.
There are two big reasons why.
Most loads are poorly or improperly stretched wrapped. It’s amazing how many loads are wrapped without regard to fundamental stretch wrapping principles or handicapped by old or inadequate stretch wrapping technology. In many cases, high (and unacceptable) risk of failure is actually built into loads as they’re manufactured.
Also, loads are becoming increasingly difficult to wrap properly. Manufacturers are redesigning primary packages and reducing their material content to make them eco-friendly. This frequently results in more fragile packages that are ill-suited to the stresses of shipping and handling.
Here are a few things you can do right now to overcome your loads showing up at their destinations looking like our photos in this blog post.
- Know …
- The minimum amount of containment force the load requires.
- How many revolutions of stretch film must be applied to the load.
- The number of ounces the film on the load should weigh.
- Make sure …
- The minimum containment force is applied everywhere on the load.
- The load is bonded to the pallet.
- There are no dragging, leading or trailing film tails.
- Check …
- That you’re actually doing what you think you’re doing. Do this at least once a shift.
2. Make sure your stretch wrappers are operating properly. Perform periodic maintenance or have your supplier do it for you. The benefits are enormous.
The job of stretch wrapping has always been to get the load from its original location to its destination in the condition it was sent. This involves more than just making a load shiny and shipping it. The value of doing it right the first time is worth the effort. It’s truly worth doing well.
Check out our 10-Step Process for Damage Reduction Through More Effective Stretch Wrapping. Our process will show you:
- How to reduce your shipping damage by 50 percent.
- The key elements of a stretch wrapping standard.
- How to manage containment force – stretch wrapping’s most critical component.
Looking for other ways to improve? Learn 5 action steps that every shipping manager and plant manager should know to make loading docks run faster and safer. Download your FREE copy of The Lean Loading Dock.
This post was published on January 8, 2015 and updated on October 8, 2019.
January 8, 2015