How To Minimize Freight Damage


Setting up a supply chain to get your product into the hands of customers is only part of your business’ equation. It also has to get there in one piece. Having top quality merchandise can be rendered moot if it can’t get to customers without damage. Safe shipping is as much a reflection of quality as the goods you’re selling.

Addressing potential pitfalls of shipping and distribution before your product hits the road can save you freight claim headaches in the future. You already know your cargo, so what are the best ways to protect it? Here are several tips on how to plan appropriately and keep potential freight damage low:

  • Packaging — If you receive shipments regularly, you’ve probably noticed, as a consumer, that some packaging is better than others for the items inside. It may seem obvious that just finding any box or crate that’s handy is not the best way to keep cargo safe during shipping. Depending on the contents, do the shipments need packaging with impact protection or water proofing? Is the size of the container adequate for the size, shape and weight of the contents? Are the contents and the packaging properly sealed with adhesive tape? Is the size of the packaging consistent among the shipments to allow for easy stacking in the warehouse and on the truck? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you select the right packing materials for your shipments.
  • Labelling — Make sure your packages are properly and consistently labelled to help identify how packages should be stored and stacked based on the contents inside. Is it fragile or durable? Is it top heavy? Is the packaging strong enough for added stacking weight? Can they be double stacked? In addition to simply being present, labels should also be clearly printed and easy to read.
  • Stacking — If items are packaged securely, the next step is to make sure they’re stacked properly to prevent packages from falling and becoming damaged. Weight should be evenly distributed to prevent packages from being crushed. Packages should be placed in an alternating pattern to prevent the stack from leaning, and packages should ideally be grouped in rough cubes rather than in pyramids. Those in the warehouse should also be cognizant of keeping packages containing liquids below dry packages to keep excess damage to a minimum in the event of a spill.
  • Loading — Just like finding the right packaging, use strong wood or plastic pallets that are an appropriate size for stacking and loading. Don’t overload the weight on the pallet. Use plastic between the pallet and the stack, and make sure straps and shrink wrap are used on the stack to prevent movement while in transit but not so tight that packages in the stack are crushed.

Depending on your freight needs, it may be advantageous to utilize the expertise of a third-party logistics (3PL) company like NOTS Logistics to streamline your shipments.

Thinking about 3PL for your business? We are happy to meet with you to learn about your specific warehousing and shipping needs and determine if NOTS Logistics can help make a difference. For more information, contact us today at

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