Hundreds of thousands of parcels are shipped every year. Some are personal items from one friend to another, then there are businesses sending goods to customers. Of course, businesses also send items to other businesses.
It’s enough to keep the logistics companies in business. But, hundreds of parcels are damaged and go missing every year. This leads to damage claims. In some cases people and businesses have insurance that will cover the damage, in other cases, there is no insurance, the sender usually bears the brunt of the cost.
This can seriously affect the bottom line for a business. It’s important to note that in many cases the insurance company won’t pay out until after they’ve investigated. This can take a long time and may still prove inconclusive.
This is fundamentally the issue with shipping. Every business or person in the chain will blame the one before them, or even after them but it’s difficult to prove anything. That leaves the sender liable unless they have insurance coverage that will reimburse them.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to show who is liable.
If you’re a business then you can talk to your insurance company about what procedures will satisfy them. It is likely to involve dedicated packing boxes. These will be purposefully designed for your products and minimize the opportunity for them to get damaged.
You’ll also want appropriate packing material and prove that your employees are trained fully. Back this up with plenty of signatures for training and each step of the packing process and the insurance company will be happy that you’re not sending out damaged goods. They can then use these procedures to argue that the shipping company is at fault. Either the shipping company or the shipping company’s insurers will need to reimburse the sender’s loss.
Another great idea is to introduce wireless temperature indicators on your parcels. These are stickers that have a circle in the middle. They are usually colored black and will change color if the temperature moves outside the designated range. The sender will then realize there has been an issue with the courier and can refuse the parcel, leaving the courier liable.
Of course, the courier has to sign for the parcel to confirm the indicator was okay when they accepted it.
This provides traceability and encourages the delivery service to take care of the parcels. As there are increasing numbers of fragile electronic items being sent through shipping companies, this is a wise step forward.
It’s also a good idea to raise awareness of the cost of shipping damages. This should be done with your employees and with the shipping company’s employees. Proper training can greatly reduce bad handling and lower the number of issues for both businesses. As this results in happy customers that’s a big positive for the supplier and the shipping firm.
The more open the process the easier it will be to assign liability and minimize it.