How to Protect Your Product in Freight Transit

To the logistics team, getting products in their best state from point A to point B is an uphill task. But to the outside world, it’s quite a simple task – just packaging and choosing a freight carrier. Not quite, though! 

It’s a process that requires time and thought. And here are seven tips to help you protect in freight transit. 

Let’s delve right in! 

1.  Choose the Right Freight Carrier 

While two freight companies may look the same, the quality of services they offer may differ significantly. In addition, the things that really matter may not be as obvious and go beyond the price and the information on the website. 

That said, to get the right freight carrier, consider the following elements. 

  • Your budget 
  • Timeline sensitivity 
  • Quality metrics you abide by 
  • Proven track records about safety and delivery times 
  • Services offered and what you are looking for 
  • Environmental sustainability 
  • Safety ratings 
  • Implications of needing multiple carriers 

If it’s your first time working with the carrier, do not make the decision in haste. Instead, look beyond the obvious, do your due diligence and ask the right questions. Remember, the right carrier is invaluable to everyone involved. 

2.  Get the internal Packaging Right 

Any packaging between the product and its container is designed to prevent damage while on transit. The right internal packaging will:

  • Occupy extra space in the container 
  • Provide cushioning when elements such as heat, moisture, and humidity change
  • Absorb shock and vibrations associated with road irregularities 

Different products will require different internal packaging. For unevenly shaped or fragile products, bubble wrap offers a lightweight, flexible, and reusable wrapping option to absorb shock.

A foam wrap does a better job than a bubble wrap for temperature-sensitive products or when you want to reduce bulk or stack items. 

3.  Choose the Right External Packaging 

External packaging is the primary barrier against external elements and thus should be carefully selected. In addition, the right containers prevent damage by maximizing compression. This means the packaging should be firmly done to ensure proper handling and prevent shifting while on transit. 

How can you achieve this? 

  • Choose pressure-sensitive and water-resistant tape 
  • Choose rightly sized pallets and avoid interlocking them
  • Protect your pallet 
  • Secure your freight 

As you take your time to package your product correctly, you’ll be saving time, money, and your business’s reputation. So, do it with diligence and care! 

4.  Intermodal, Truckload, or Less than Load Shipping?

Not sure which shipment to use? Let us make the right decision. 

Use truckload shipping when you want fewer handling points, and you are working with a sensitive timeline. For instance, when you want a product handled by one driver from arrival to destination. 

Intermodal shipping is best when you are not dealing with a sensitive deadline, and you also want to cover large distances. But remember, changing transport modes increases the transit length intermodal remains among the most efficient and economical shipping methods. 

Less than load shipping is ideal when handling shipping that’s less than full load. You will save money, but the product will be handled three to four times, and the transit time may be longer. Nevertheless, for non-fragile products without deadline sensitivity, this is an awesome option. 

5.  Check Signs of Poor Packaging 

One way of preventing damage is identifying sources of potential mishaps and mitigating the problem before it arises.

You can do this by checking the condition of your packaging materials to ensure no signs of tear, wear, or damage. Also, avoid using packaging materials of inferior quality that are showing signs of deterioration. 

Other things to check out include correctly stored containers, proper stacking, labeling instructions are adhered to, and the right equipment are used. 

6.  Correct Labeling 

Even carefully packaged products require the right label to get to their destinations in their best state. Therefore, ensure the labels are concise yet thorough to avoid confusion. 

A good label has:  

  • Weight details 
  • Type of content 
  • Address of next destination 
  • No legible old labels 
  • Uses shrink wrap 
  • Not placed on the opening 
  • Has precautionary instructions for fragile products 
  • May use tags when necessary 

When you label your products wrongly, you are increasing the chances of wrong handling. 

7.  Insure your Freight 

While you might have used high-quality packaging materials, contracted a reliable freight company, done labeling correctly, and ensured no compromises, things can still happen! 

Products on transit can disappear in the thin air, or serious damages can occur. That’s why you need an extra layer of protection – insurance. This will prevent serious financial losses as you repair what can be repaired and maintain your brand’s reputation. 

Again, take your time to read insurance policies before choosing the right provider for your products. 

New eBook to Help You With Safe Shipping

These seven tips provide a good place to start when protecting your product in freight transit. However, you may need more information to understand the intricacies and all required details for safe shipping. Download our eBook to learn more!