Here’s What You Need to Know about Protecting Valuable Cargo during Shipment


Shipping valuable or fragile items feels like a real gamble. You packaging up the stuff, send it off in the mail, and hope for the best, right? Well, while you may not be able to take absolute control over everything that happens to your packages during the shipping process, you can at least control some aspects of it.

For example, you have total control over how well you package your cargo for shipping. You can choose the route your cargo takes, and that can help you exercise some measure of control over how much stress your package faces as it travels to its destination. And you can choose which carrier you use to handle and deliver your items, allowing you to exert some influence over how the package is handled in transit.

The Right Packaging Makes All the Difference

Packing is your cargo’s first line of defense against the stresses and impacts of travel. All packages encounter some stress, whether it’s from falling over in the truck, being put at the bottom of a pile, being dropped once or twice, or simply being subject to the vibrations of the freight vehicle. The way you package your fragile cargo for shipping can do a lot to protect the contents of your package.

Start by choosing the right container for your cargo. A relatively heavy, but fragile, item, such as a laptop, should be shipping in double-walled corrugated cardboard, since this container is the most durable option. Choose a custom container, designed for the needs of your specific item, whenever possible. Many carriers offer custom shipping containers that include the right cushioning material, be it bubble wrap, foam, Styrofoam, air bags, packing peanuts, or something else. Make sure to use a brand new packing container for each shipment; as tempting as it may be to cut costs by reusing containers, the stresses of transit usually compromise the integrity of a shipping container.

Route Information Is Vital

If at all possible, research your shipping routes and gather information regarding the impact and vibration stresses your packages will undergo when traveling along a specific shipping route. How can you find this information? Invest in some impact sensors from a manufacturer like Shockwatch. These small devices can collect data on how many impacts a specific package has encountered and how much vibration stress it has been subject to in the course of transit. These devices can even tell the recipient whether or not the contents of a package have likely been damaged.

Your Cargo Deserves Proper Handling

You’ve carefully packaged your cargo for shipping and judiciously chosen a route, but you still want to minimize the potential for damage to your items, and the best way to do that is to choose a carrier that will treat your cargo with the care and respect it deserves. Even when packages are marked delicate, it’s all too easy for carrier employees to toss them carelessly onto a truck or chuck them onto the recipient’s front porch with little thought for how that treatment will ultimately affect the items inside.

That’s why it’s so important to choose a carrier that will prioritize handling your items with care. The more expensive your items, the more important it is to make sure they aren’t lost, damaged, or stolen en route. Choose a carrier that knows how to protect valuable items like jewelry, pharmaceuticals, live plants, precious metals, art, high-end electronics, and other high-value, delicate items. The right carrier will not only train their employees to treat shipments with care; they’ll also carry insurance that will replace your items in the case of theft, loss, or damage, so that you don’t have to worry about eating the cost of a particularly valuable shipment. Consider including RFID tags to protect against loss or theft, and to help recipients easily identify the contents of shipping containers.

There’s no reason why you need to lie awake at night worrying about the fate of your shipped merchandise – not when you take the proper precautions to make sure your items arrive safely and on time. With a little advance planning, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your delicate cargo is safe in transit, so you can cut costs without sacrificing service.

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Written by David Thacker

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