Grow your international business with DHL Express Reach 220 territories across the world

Apply for a business account

Most Popular


Add Discover to your home screen

For the latest insights from Global business

Add now
No thanks
How To Prevent Shipping Damage

Logistics advice · 5 Mins Read

How To Prevent Shipping Damage

As your e-commerce or import/export business picks up, so do the frequency of your shipments. With greater demand and a higher level of consumer loyalty, one can expect an increased amount of manufacturing and delivery. While your business gains traction amongst your target demographic, your customers’ expectations in the quality of your product and delivery options will also increase simultaneously.

However, damaged freight can quickly cause you and your business to lose your positive brand image, even if unintentional. While some forms of damage during shipping can be unavoidable, most of the damage possibly caused during shipping can be prepared for in a variety of methods. This article aims to inform business owners on the types of damage caused during shipping, the implications caused by freight damage, prevention tips and solutions like procuring better freight insurance to help mitigate damages.

How can damage during shipping occur?

There are numerous ways in which damaged freight can occur and we present a few here for your reference. 

1. Unsuitable packaging size and material

During the transportation of your item, there will be instances whereby your delivery driver has to make sudden breaks. These situations could lead to damaged freight when the package box is significantly larger than the item and there is insufficient cushioning material within the packaging.

In both cases, there is excess space between the item and the box. This causes your packaged goods to move within the box and hit against their walls. While such impact might not be damaging for some items, for more fragile goods, the harsh contact could potentially disfigure or even break the item in transit. 

2. Weather damage

Bad or extreme weather could affect the structural integrity of your goods. Plastic items could melt due to the heat and brittle paper goods may get wet and tear if water seeps into ill-packaged shipments that are dealt carelessly by logistics companies. 

The implications of damaged freight

Additionally, there are a few implications to damaged goods during shipping that could negatively impact your company’s developments in the future. 

1. Less environmentally friendly

As businesses strive to have less of a negative impact on the environment, damaged goods could take your company away from that goal. Damaged products entail using more natural resources to reproduce those items. In addition, deliveries to return involving return logistics as well as delivering new products to customers will lead to higher emissions of carbon dioxide, hence a larger carbon footprint for your company going forward.

2. Harming brand reputation

In addition to this, failed and defective shipments can lead to a lowered brand impression on your consumers, directly resulting in a loss in brand loyalty. This can jeopardise business-customer relationships in the long run, potentially reducing sales numbers for your company. 

Furthermore, customers who received defective or broken products could leave negative reviews and feedback on your online platform, which may chase away potential buyers to commit to a different company instead of yours. 

3. Higher costs in resources

Damage during shipping would also require more time, labour, and money to reproduce those products, taking you and your limited resources away from growing your business.  You will also find yourself having to divide your attention between the future and rectifying mistakes, which can put a strain on your team.

How to prevent shipping damage for my business?

Image showing discover app on a mobile screen

Subscribe to the Discover newsletter

  • Fortnightly insights, tips and free assets
  • We never share your data
  • Shape a global audience for your business
  • Unsubscribe any time
Image showing discover app on a mobile screen

In 2022, e-commerce and delivery options are bountiful, and as such, the right delivery option and methods should be used to ensure the highest yield of goods from your shipments. Although not all damages are preventable, and it may still occur even with multiple contingencies in place, here are a few useful tips and tricks to limit the number and impact of damaged goods in your shipments. 

1. Right containers and pallets

We recommend investing in choosing the right containers and pallets for the type of products you intend to ship. Your containers should be large enough to fit all your goods but not too large, as extra space would not be beneficial for the goods within. 

Especially in the case of items with an irregular shape, it is essential to use enough cushioning material like packing foam, bubble wrap or packing paper to ensure your item fits snugly inside an appropriately sized box so that the shock of any sudden impact can be reduced to the minimum. 

Additionally, the pallets that your goods sit on should always be larger than the footprint of the items it holds. Time and effort must also be put into stacking your shipments appropriately to ensure a solid structure during freight.

2. Quality and durable packaging

Investing in sturdy and water-resistant packaging for your items will protect them from collisions and extreme weather conditions; this can be used in tandem with enough cushioning to dull the impact of your goods against hard surfaces.

3. Right labelling

The correct labels should be used to mark different types of products, such as fragile goods or breakable items, so that your delivery partner knows which packages to be more careful with. Making sure that you do not make packing mistakes like reusing old packaging and labels is pertinent, as such errors may confuse your delivery partner during the last-mile transit of the product.

4. Suitable shipment insurance

Lastly, and arguably the most important factor to take note of when shipping your goods, is procuring appropriate shipment insurance for your items. Ensuring that your goods have freight shipping insurance is a key part of any import or export business as it protects your products and your business from incurring additional costs. Freight insurance will put your mind at ease during the shipping process and allow you to focus on other matters pertaining to your business. 

Choose DHL Express as your third-party logistics provider 

As the world's leading company in logistics and shipping, DHL Express wants to help you protect your goods from any damages during transit. While demand grows for faster delivery options such as same-day and on-demand deliveries, your shipments are passed down a large supply chain through the hands of many. In this process, human error is natural and it will occur from time to time. However, this frequency will increase significantly if you do not affiliate yourself with a proven logistics partner.

This is where our experience in the industry can help you. With our expertise, we can aid you in navigating the harshest of customs regulations and the tightest of shipping schedules. Our diverse services come with a variety of specifications that can be tailor-made to any type of delivery you need, such as the strict requirements when it comes to international liquid shipping. Our trained delivery personnel are also trained to read and understand the exact contents of your shipments, to ensure there is no improper handling of your goods at all times.

DHL Express shipment insurance

DHL Express also offers international shipping insurance that fully covers the invoice value of your shipment should anything happen in transit. When you opt in for shipping insurance, you will have to indicate the value of your shipment as the cost of insuring it will only be SG$15 or 3% (Outbound)/ 1% (Inbound) of the insured value, whichever is higher.

Shipment insurance alternatives

However, if you choose not to purchase insurance for international shipping, you can still submit an insurance claim to us as we also offer standard liability that will cover a percentage of your shipment in any unfortunate circumstances of losses or damages. Extended liability for documents are also available at a flat rate of SG$7, which will allow you the guarantee of its delivery. This is also a more convenient option as no declaration of insured value is required for you to be eligible for this service. 

Ultimately, no matter which shipment protection option you choose, at DHL Express, we take responsibility for any mishaps during transit, and we want to feel as safe as possible when hiring us as your logistics partner. Trust in our insurance and extended liability policies.

Serious about taking your brand global?

Reach 220 territories across the world

  • Easy Shipping
  • Preferential Business Rates
  • Exclusive Tools
  • Trusted Network
Apply for a business account

Similar stories

Similar stories