3 Tips from experts about how to reduce damage to product in your warehouse

We talk a lot about how to help reduce freight damage claims when preparing your shipments for transit, but often, protecting product while it's being stored in your facility is overlooked. To that end, we've asked some experts for a few tips on reducing damage to product at your warehouse, and wanted to share these few tips with you.

Tip 1: Know your pallets. Check your pallets for broken or faulty planks or stringers, nails, or missing support blocks. Shoddy pallets can break with a load, and cause it, or pieces of it, to fall. They can also cause loading and unloading problems; for example, loose stringers can get hung up on the pallet racks, which can cause loads to fall.

Tip 2: Load & wrap your pallets right. Cartons are at risk from the time you load them into pallets until the moment they’re de-palletized at the receiving end – whether that’s one of your facilities, a customers’, or at some third party. The load must be stacked in a cubed, uniform, and stable manner. Pallet wrapping must be effective, whether executed by hand or by the use of an automated stretch wrapper.

Tip 3: Lighten up your operation. Upgraded lighting not only saves energy, it helps prevent product damage. One of the great advantages (and there are many) to upgrading your lighting system is that good lighting helps avert errors in packing, picking, put away, and product handling. Your people can see what they’re doing better, but they also feel and perform better in clear, natural lighting.

Order pickers, packers, or material handlers will drop totes or cartons or components. Forklifts will bump rack uprights. Machinery will malfunction. People will be off their game and haphazardly wrap or stack pallets. What you can do is eliminate larger categories of damage. You can create a situation where overall rates of product damage trend in the right direction and where your customers are minimally impacted.