Essential Considerations For Shipping Fragile Items Safely

In today’s digital era, almost everything can be sold and shipped, allowing aspiring entrepreneurs to explore numerous money-making possibilities. However, if something holds in the e-commerce world, customers want every order brought to their door. The fact that businesses have received another task adds to the numerous activities and operations they must perform to keep their businesses afloat and thriving. It wasn’t long ago when the average enterprise would only be accountable for putting the products on the physical store’s shelves and creating a welcoming atmosphere that would keep customers engaged with their offerings for longer.

These days, a business’s bottom line dramatically depends on whether customers are enabled to have products shipped to them. Furthermore, standing out with such fierce competition and more and more businesses popping up can be challenging. As such, if your retail company specializes in shipping fragile products, it’s essential to review your business’s shipping strategy and mechanism continuously. An alarming 65% of product returns stem from defects and damages during shipping, which helps you understand the importance of safe transportation practices.

Having disappointed customers poorly review your business is the last thing you want. So, how can you pack fragile products and send them safely to secure your business’ profits?

Start with the critical element for proper delivery

Fragile items represent anything that can break, crack, shatter, or suffer scratches if not handled and packed with care. They can take various forms, from photos and picture frames to wristwatches and jewelry. Your business needs to ensure the unboxing experience is pleasant to avoid the high cost of return requests, such as refunding the payment and even suffering reputational damages that further hurt your business’ branding. All these challenges are minimized when you pack products safely.

Get your bubble wrap, labels, packing tape, airbags, and other essentials from reputable sources. Depending on what you specialize in, it’s also wise to use sturdy shipping boxes of suitable dimensions to ensure the item is delivered intact and to avoid all the hassle of returns due to damage, for which you bear responsibility.

Furthermore, the investment often coincides with product quality, so avoid focusing on the least expensive choices. While your purchase might be budget-friendly, it may jeopardize your items’ safety.

Prepare for extra expenditures

There’s no doubt that fragile items are costlier to pack. You need all the extra materials to ensure your items are secured and there’s no extra space left for them to move around in transit. Your employees might spend more time on packaging, and you may also need insurance, air shipping, or special handling.

However, a poor packaging strategy can cause even more money to fly out of your business’ budget. The revenue reduction happens because you will incur more costs in return shipping if you’re at fault for sending a damaged product. Plus, your customers’ dissatisfaction may translate to lousy ratings and reviews, which may ultimately scare other potential customers away, creating the impression that you can’t deliver items intact.

It would be wrong to assume that a mere replacement product can make every customer forget the disappointment and continue buying from your business or recommend it to others.

Consider weather conditions

While packaging contributes a lot to the unboxing experience, there is also one external factor that you can’t control, that has its say. Weather is a significant culprit behind many items that aren’t arriving intact at the customers’ doors, yet customers often tend to blame the handling process. While you can’t command the climate to behave appropriately so your packages won’t be exposed to precipitations, you’re definitely in the position of choosing a reputable shipping service to cater to your needs.

Besides the shipping company, you’ll also have to continuously stay updated on how the weather behaves. You may need to delay or even avoid sending fragile items under risky meteorological conditions that may impact your packaging’s integrity. And when these two options are not on the table, investing in plastic coverings may be your best alternative.

Get insurance

Many shippers stick with the freight insurance provided by the carrier services to avoid additional costs and hassles. Every transportation service provider provides limited freight liability, but the catch resides in the term “limited.” The amount you’re offered must reduce the financial damages you suffer if they mishandle your items, their integrity is impacted, and they don’t arrive intact at the customer’s door. However, more often than not, the amount received doesn’t fully cover the value of your shipment, all the more if it’s high.

Purchasing insurance gives you the comfort of knowing that you’ll be reimbursed for any losses, regardless of the conditions. Plus, it will save you the trouble of demonstrating that you’ve packed your items properly and that the carriers are at fault for damaging them.

Use fragile item labeling

Suppose you’re given a box that suggests nothing about what’s inside. In that case, you’ll likely not manage it with the same attention you would, knowing you have something valuable and expensive. The same approach is often taken by carriers, too, and they’re not blamable. They don’t intentionally mismanage shippers’ packages, but mishaps are prone to occur due to the high volume of items transported and the pressure to speed up.

Generally, items’ packaging must disclose whether they’re fragile or unbreakable. The more attention you draw to the fragility of your package, the more likely it is to be handled with increased precaution.

Closing thoughts 

E-commerce businesses have plenty on their plate, and the way their products are delivered ranks among the most important aspects. However, shipping fragile items doesn’t have to be such a huge stressor that it keeps entrepreneurs up at night thinking about how they’ll manage those returns. Safe packaging measures and materials, as well as insurance, can ensure the items arrive intact and undamaged. 

Destroyed items can’t be fixed, leaving a giant hole in the company’s pocket, but with the considerations above and other practices tailored to the enterprise’s needs, profits, reputation, and customer loyalty can be safeguarded.


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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