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How To Avoid Common Pitfalls Of Shipping Internationally

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How To Avoid Common Pitfalls Of Shipping Internationally
This article covers:
Importance of Secure Packaging in Kenyan E-commerce
Common Packing Mistakes and Solutions
Importance of Choosing the Right Logistics Partner

In the Kenyan e-commerce and product delivery landscape, ensuring items reach customers in pristine condition is paramount to maintaining a positive reputation and fostering customer loyalty. 

According to Kenyan monthly trade data in 2021, exports were valued at a total of $6.7 million. Kenya’s strategic location in East Africa makes it a key hub for regional trade, with significant volumes of goods passing through its airports, ports, and many other shipment centers yearly. With so many goods, items, and packages being sent and received on such a grand and regular scale, the importance of secure packaging to ensure seamless transit cannot be overemphasized. 

Oftentimes, the process of packaging and shipping can be fraught with mistakes that lead to damaged goods, delays, and dissatisfied customers.

 

Common Packing Mistakes:

To avoid these pitfalls, it’s pivotal to implement effective strategies that will streamline your packing process. By recognizing and sidestepping some common packing errors, you can take your shipping operations to new heights of efficiency and customer satisfaction. 

 

Not Choosing the Right Box:

Choosing a box that is too light or too large can not only be risky for your items but also cause you to incur additional shipping costs. It’s important to select a box that is appropriately sized for the shipped items. By doing this, you’d ensure enough room for cushioning materials without excess space that could lead to shifting during transit. 

Overpacking, or using oversized boxes for small items can feel like a good idea to protect your goods, but it’s counterproductive and doesn’t offer your goods the protection you believe it would. Also, failing to securely seal your package with sturdy packing tape can lead to the box opening during transit. 

Wrong Labeling:

Every year, millions of packages get lost in transit due to wrong labeling. Neglecting, to properly label your package with the right address, tracking number, and any necessary handling instructions can cause delays, misrouting, and getting lost. This is a mistake you can avoid by listing out the names of each item you have in your package, their size and quantity, and other relevant details. It seems obvious, but don’t forget to remove old shipping labels or tracking numbers on your boxes, since this could cause confusion or worse, lead to misdelivery. 

It’s equally important to detail if your items are fragile, so the courier handling your box manages it with the utmost care. Items such as glassware and ceramics, mirrors, and frameworks, are understandably delicate. Kenya’s fast-rising tech scene has led to an increase in the shipment of laptops and electronics. The laptop market in Kenya alone is estimated to grow by 8.7% by 2025. These and other technological products can become susceptible to breakage if not properly packaged and cushioned.

Failure to Use the Right Cushion:

Including the right cushion, like bubble wrap, in your boxes, can prevent your items from getting broken or damaged during transit. Using items like newspapers for cushioning understandably could pose as a good idea, especially cost-wise. However newspapers do not provide adequate protection against impacts during transit, and they can leave ink residue on items. Additionally, when you consider climate conditions such as humidity, there might be better cushioning options than newspapers. 

Lack of Corner Protectors:

The kitchenware market in Kenya is quite significant, estimated to grow by 7.44% within the next four years. This means that in the coming years, there will be thousands of kitchenware making their way in transit to sellers and then to many buyers. Utensils, cutleries, and other items with sharp edges, like mirrors, should be protected with corner guards. By doing this, you’d be preventing damage to the surrounding items and to the box itself, and ensuring that your customers receive their goods in the best condition.

Wrong Weight and Dimensions:

This ties back to choosing the right box for your goods and items, and detailing necessary handling instructions. It’s also important during documentation to correctly state the weight of your package. Incorrect details can result in inaccurate shipping costs and potential delays if your package needs to be repackaged. 

Follow Packing Guidelines and Stay Informed:

Keeping to shipping regulations is crucial in facilitating successful packaging and delivery. Shipping hazardous materials or items prohibited by carriers can result in a myriad of complications. It’s best to adhere to packaging guidelines provided by shipping carriers to ensure your package meets their requirements, size, weight, and labeling. 

 

Finally, Get The Right Shipping Support.

Mistakes can often occur in the process of packaging goods and items for delivery. But by planning your packing process, choosing high-quality boxes, tapes, and cushioning materials, and with proper handling documentation, you can easily get ahead of many common packing mistakes. 

The right logistics partner for your goods also proves crucial for efficiency and long-term success. DHL not only offers easy and accessible shipment solutions for your business, but will be with you every step away from packing to shipment and delivery, providing smooth international shipping support through comprehensive preparation, and certified international specialists. For more information and assistance, get in touch with a customer service representative today.