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There is not a lot of good data available regarding damage to products during shipping. In 2005 the Food Marketing Institute estimated that there was nearly $20 billion dollars per year of grocery merchandise damage. At least one food company has stated that the majority of damage occurs during warehousing or cross-docking rather than during shipment.
The number one culprit identified was the forklift. Forks puncturing containers and improper crate stacking are the two most likely ways a forklift damages packages. Damage also occurs while opening the package or container. Improper uses of box cutters or pry bars during unpacking were identified as major causes of product damage.
Warehouse layout and employee training can play a large role in reducing product damage during storage, but package design needs to be addressed as well.
Packnet has custom engineered thousands of solutions that address many of these warehouse issues. Puncture resistant container walls, stackable construction, cushioned pallets and 4 way forklift access are just a few ways to make your container more “forklift” friendly. Proper pictorial stencil marking instructions assist with handling and play a role in damage prevention. Shock and handling monitors also contribute to damage reduction. Crow bars and box cutters can be completely eliminated by using slot-lock™ containers which do not require any hardware for containerizing a product.
Packnet’s expertise is in developing packaging solutions that consider all aspects of the products shipping, handling and storage.