When’s the last time you shipped an item and it arrived dented, scratched, or otherwise damaged? It’s not a common occurrence, but it’s frustrating when it does happen. However, it can be more than irritating when that damage happens to a large product or piece of equipment. Shipping damage to a large or heavy item can have serious financial consequences.
Do you operate in an industry like power generation, mining, steel, or heavy machinery that regularly ships valuable or large items? If so, you likely understand the challenge with packaging and shipping these products.
8 Packaging and Shipping Tips for Valuable Items
The good news is that there are steps you can take to package and protect large items while they are in-transit. Below is an 8-step process you can follow to make sure your packages arrive at their destination in perfect quality.
You can implement these steps in-house. Or, you can partner with a third-party packaging company to manage your shipping process. Either way, it’s worth the investment to make sure your large item is packaged properly before it’s in transit.
- Carefully clean the item. A layer of dust, dirt or other loose material can obscure existing damage, but it also makes it more difficult to fully secure the item when it is packaged.
- Get an appraisal. If you’re unsure about the value of your goods, you may want to get a professional opinion about its worth before you ship it. This can be very valuable if you want to insure the item or if there’s a dispute about damage or valuation after the item arrives at its destination.
- Conduct an inspection and assess the item’s condition. It’s important to conduct an inspection of the item before packaging. If there is any damage to the item, make a determination of whether that damage should be repaired before packaging. Also look for issues that could make the item more vulnerable to damage while in transit. For instance, perhaps there are parts that are missing or loose. Maybe there are bolts that need to be tightened. Make an assessment of the item’s condition and try to get it as safe as possible before you begin the packaging process.
- Take detailed measurements. It’s important to know the accurate length, width, height and weight of any piece you’re shipping. Those measurements will be needed when you select a box or crate.
- Select a box or crate in which to package your item. This is the point where many people turn to a specialty crating and packaging company for assistance. This is especially true for items that are bulky or oddly-shaped and are difficult to secure within a traditional container. An experienced, knowledgeable packaging company like Deufol can develop a custom packaging, blocking and bracing strategy that holds the item securely within a tailor-made crate.
- Securely package the item. At first glance, packaging may seem simple. You put the item in a box and surround it with packaging peanuts, right? Not quite, especially when it comes to large, expensive items that would be costly to repair or replace. This is when it can be helpful to work with an export packaging company who can provide you with insight and assistance. For example, they could design a custom package that maximizes protection and quality during transport. They could use specialized cushioning to absorb the forces generated when containers are handled and transported, design a special crate that reduces movement and minimizes damage risk, suggest anti-static packaging that can help protect electrical items, or vapor barrier if needed for ocean transport or shipping to locations with high humidity, and heat shrink wrapping which is a good way to protect certain types of items.
- Explore insurance options. A custom package design can reduce risk and minimize the threat of damage. But it can’t eliminate every risk in the transport process. There are some risks that are beyond control, like weather or road conditions or even the behavior of other drivers. Insurance can be a helpful tool to minimize the cost of potential damage. Again, an export packaging company can help you determine whether insurance is needed, how much is appropriate, and what risks you should insure.
- Hand off your container to the shipping company. The final step is to hand your container off to the shipping company. Be sure to explain to the shipping company that your package requires special handling and extra care due to its value, fragility and more. Of course, if you work with a packaging partner, they will handle this step for you and ensure that the shipping process minimizes the risk of damage.
What to Look for in an Outside Packaging Partner
A partnership with an experienced and skilled crating and packaging company can make the difference between success and failure when it comes to shipping a large or valuable item. However, there are many companies that claim to be experienced and skilled in this area. How can you be sure that a packaging company is right for your needs and goals?
Experience is helpful, but it needs to be the right type of experience. No two packaging projects are the same. Interview potential packaging companies to learn if they’ve worked with companies in your industry or if they’ve handled projects similar to yours.
You also may want to ask about their infrastructure. Many packaging companies that claim to be skilled and experienced are actually pretty small operations. Deufol, on the other hand, has hundreds of employees in more than 90 locations all over the globe. We’re able to use our vast reach and technological resources to safely guide your package through every step of its journey.
We also have an extensive team of knowledgeable and insightful engineers who develop and implement custom solutions for each project. Every packaging solution we develop is unique to that project’s needs and goals.
At Deufol we have worked with companies in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aviation, military, heavy machinery and more. We have also managed shipping projects to countries around the world, and have a trusted global network of connections that we collaborate with to get shipments into and out of countries - including through customs - efficiently and without delay.
Protect Your Investment by Partnering With a Specialty Packaging Company
Some businesses choose an in-house strategy for packaging and crating, often under the assumption that working with a packaging company will be too complicated or costly. The result is that when a shipment is damaged or lost, they learn the hard way that the associated costs are much higher in the long run.
At Deufol, we serve as your “project manager” on any packaging project. We design and implement the packaging strategy. We manage any issues that arise. We monitor your shipment while it is in transit. That means you can focus on other tasks, confident that your package and item is under good care.
It all starts with a conversation. Let’s connect today and discuss your packaging needs. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your project and any risks or challenges that you may face. Contact us today!