From Fragile to Secure: How Divider Systems Improve Shipping Reliability
Companies focus on customer experience. They work to deliver frictionless journeys that engage their customers. Yet few organizations look at what their merchandise experiences as it travels from source to destination. A difficult cargo experience can lead to a poor customer experience. Products can arrive dented, broken, or missing parts.
Damaged cargo may end up in a customer’s hands, leading to returns, refunds, and a friction-filled journey. Using divider systems can make the cargo experience more secure. Vertical lift dividers can keep items from moving while in transit and can work with automated storage and retrieval systems, making it easier to ship and store products. When made with heavy-duty plastic, these dividers reduce noise and do not contribute in a major way to the cargo weight, as metal dividers often do.
How Divider Systems Ensure a Positive Cargo Experience
Cargo is shipped by land, air, and sea. It can travel by train, truck, plane, or ship. Its journey can be uneventful or filled with obstacles. Just imagine what goods experience as they move around the globe. Take coffee beans as an example.
Protecting the Coffee Experience
Raw coffee beans are delivered to importers who roast and package the beans for transport. Both whole bean and ground coffee types are packed in pouches that are zip sealed and placed in boxes for transport. Many distributors ship coffee in temperature-controlled trucks to reduce potential damage from heat or moisture. Some companies store boxed coffee pouches in cold storage facilities to maintain coffee quality.
However, these precautions do not protect against in-transit damage. If boxes are not tightly packed, pouches can be jostled as trucks maneuver through traffic or make abrupt stops. Containerized shipping by train or ship creates added movement. The more movement, the greater the likelihood of a puncture or tear. Once the air reaches the roasted beans, the coffee quality declines. Suddenly, coffee that could last for months must be used in a week.
Customized divider systems can keep pouches in place. Stacking them allows shippers to place them in containers that can be sent around the world. When combined with automated processes, this means pouches can be stored, shipped, and picked using the same packaging. Not only are divider systems more efficient, they also ensure a better experience for customers.
Fighting Case Damage Odds
Manufacturers lose between 2% and 11% of their unit loads to case damage. This may not seem like much, but a case of Rolex watches could easily exceed $1 million. The likelihood of damage depends on the packaging as well as the location of the shipment in a container. Goods stored in the bottom tiers will receive the most compression damage.
Unless the product packaging is able to withstand significant pressure, goods can become damaged. With a divider system, containers have added support through a series of fasteners that improve the rigidity of the partitions. Protecting merchandise from compression reduces the odds of receiving damaged goods.
Placing items in a divider system provides individualized protection. Items do not shift during shipment, eliminating the scratches and abrasions that can occur when products shift during transit. For example, when merchandise is shipped via ocean vessels, cargo often shifts, especially on heavy seas. Keeping items in protected grids can reduce the chance of impact damage during transit.
Improving the Cargo Experience
If companies want customers to have an exceptional experience, they need to look at how their products are packaged and transported. Businesses can control how they package their goods, but they can’t control what happens while in transit.
When products leave factories, they are often trucked to a distribution center or a shipping hub. How safe that trip is depends on the driver, the weather, and the traffic. Merchandise can bounce repeatedly as the truck goes through construction, heavy traffic, or bad weather.
If the items are going to another country, they will be placed in containers where cranes swing them from the dock to the ship. Depending on the final destination, the container may be offloaded and transferred to a different ship, as some ports cannot accommodate large container vessels. Each transfer from dock to ship means another chance for damage to the contents.
Containers may be transferred to railways for inland distribution. This transfer process means moving the container from the ship to the dock, from the dock to the railyard, and then to the train car. The train could deliver a less-than-smooth experience when traveling over worn rails with constant jostling.
Unloading freight at a railyard means placing it in a local warehouse or leaving the container in an outdoor space until a truck picks it up. How many times the merchandise is moved depends on its final destination.
Shipping presents untold opportunities for cargo damage, especially if it is not well protected. For sensitive items such as coffee beans, the risk of financial loss is even higher. With Flexcon’s range of divider system products, companies can ensure that a good cargo experience will lead to an exceptional customer journey.