Sit back, relax, and let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, way back in the 1990s, there was a truck driver. He was on his normal route, delivering freight from a big distribution center to a store that would sell it to eager customers.
Now, on this particular day, just like any day, something happened. He docked his truck at the store and walked around to open the back doors of the trailer, just like any other day. The first door he opened was fine; everything was normal. But when he opened the second door, between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds of freight fell out of the trailer, injuring him significantly. In addition to head injuries and cognitive damage, he suffered extensive damage to his back, as well as numerous physical, mental, and emotional problems.
His medical expenses alone totaled $116,000, which, today, would total close to a quarter of a million dollars.
I doubt you're very relaxed now because this is exactly the type of thing you worry about, isn't it?
Well, that driver and his wife sued the owner of the distribution center, specifically claiming that the stretch wrap used to secure the cargo had been inadequate, allowing the freight to shift and move during the trip to the store. In addition, it was claimed, the distribution center should have used other readily available and economically feasible load restraints, such as safety straps, air bags or other dunnage.
The jury awarded the driver and his family over $2 million.
While incidents like this are rare, they are very expensive. And it's not just the costs of potential injuries that you have to worry about. What about the costs of in-transit damage to freight? According to research, " unsaleable losses" in the food and grocery distribution industry alone totaled $2.57 billion (almost 1% of total sales) in 2004. Almost 60% of these unsaleables could be attributed to damaged goods.
Load damage prevention can be organized into four areas: packaging and pallet building, handling practices, loading practices, and load configuration.
Damage can destroy companies. It can destroy relationships with customers. And, sadly, it can destroy lives.
We've become somewhat qualified as Damage Prevention Experts in our 40 years in the industry. And while I might not be, I know the right people to ask in this building to get the right answers. From there, since you can't ask the same people I have access to, I wrote out some articles to pass along that knowledge. If you love them, share them and tell all your friends. Because, whether they admit it or not, I bet they're freaking out about the same things.
- Cost of shipping damage not passing the sniff test? You can tell us how you really feel.
- Add it up: It's time to get wonky about logistics
- Why Operations and Purchasing Managers remain high on dunnage air bags
- Creating last customer relationships
- No shady magic required for delivering undamaged packages. Let us share our secrets.
We also created a full library of #PackagingKnowledge guides and we keep updating and adding to the list. These will help you learn about packaging supplies and how they all work together to create a harmonious, efficient work flow. #LetUsBeYourGuide
- The Definitive Strapping Guide
- The Ultimate Stretch Wrap Guide
- The Complete Foam-in-Place Packaging Guide
- The Packaging Pallet and Crate Guide
- The Total Tape Guide
- The Greatest General Automation Guide
- The Full Story on Service, Repair, and Packaging Tools
It's important to remember that packaging and trailer loading isn't just the last step of the process; it's the first step in logistics. And it is just as critical to the arrival of your packages as anything done on your facility floor.