When you’re trying to run a business, you need to keep overhead as low as possible.
Shipping damage can be a huge source of lost revenue for businesses, and as more companies take their retail storefronts online, it’s becoming a bigger problem. But you don’t need to let it be a problem for your company.
Shock and impact recorders give you the raw data you need to make better decisions about your shipping and packaging strategies.
These small, affordable, and easy-to-use devices can be affixed to the outside of a package, pallet, or shipping container, or even placed on the inside with the contents.
The recorders also collect data on any shocks, jolts, or impacts your contents experience while they move through the supply chain. They can also alert you to the possibility of damage due to vibration stress, humidity, moisture, or temperature extremes along the route.
Whether you want to collect data on your shipment at the end of the journey or receive it in real-time as the products move through the supply chain, there’s an impact recorder to meet your needs.
You Know What Your Shipments Are Up Against
The trouble with shipping items is that supply chain professionals aren’t always as careful with containers, pallets, and packages as they should be.
The further you get down the supply chain, the worse the problem is. We’ve all seen those videos of UPS and FedEx drivers punting packages over tall fences or flinging them at customers’ doors without even stepping away from the truck. And even an accidental drop can do serious damage to a delicate item — a fall from just three feet (about waist height) generates around 113 Gs of impact shock, enough force to crack a screen or scramble the delicate internal components of an electronic device.
You don’t just have to worry about your shipments getting dropped or thrown, either. Many items can’t withstand temperature extremes, and moisture or humidity will wreak havoc on a lot of stuff, too.
Shipments that spend a lot of time en route can experience vibration stress from traveling. Potholes, road construction, and traffic accidents can all do damage to your shipments.
You Can’t Always See the Damage.
Sometimes, the damage to your contents is obvious. You might be able to see that the exterior packaging is damaged, and when you open it, you might find that the contents are clearly broken, too. But the damage isn’t always so obvious.
Electronics and appliances can easily sustain internal damage that can’t be spotted just by inspecting the items with the naked eye. You have to test them somehow to see if they’re broken.
But how will you know which contents require further inspection?
You can’t rely on visible signs of damage to the packaging to alert you that a shipment has undergone potentially damaging stress. Some kinds of stress, like vibration stress, can rattle your contents enough to damage them without doing any visible damage to the packing materials.
That’s why most impact recorders give a visible signal, such as turning red, to signal to logistics professionals that the contents need to be inspected for signs of shipping damage.
When impact recorders are in use, you’ll know exactly which packages, pallets, and containers need to be opened and more carefully inspected, and which ones you can trust to be okay.
Damage signals are easy for employees to interpret, too, and you can get more details about the cause of damage by collecting the data from the RFID and GPS tags.
Of course, people are more likely to behave better when they know they’re being watched, so putting RFID impact recorders on the outside of your containers can, in and of itself, be enough to reduce shipping damage.
Handlers will be more careful with your products, knowing that you’re monitoring how they’re handled. And some impact recorders even send back data in real-time, so you can get alerts if your shipment is delayed, getting too hot or cold, or sustaining damage due to vibration or impact stresses.
While impact data on all levels can help you narrow down the causes of shipping damage (bumpy roads, careless handlers, bad packaging, etc.), real-time data can give you the tools to intervene and mitigate the damage while it’s happening.
Your business can’t afford to cover the costs of shipping damage — so why not take steps to mitigate it?
You may not be able to prevent every instance of damage. However, you can still have a lot of control over what happens to your products during shipping — enough to protect your business from unnecessary overhead costs and help it continue to grow.