January 21, 2020 | Industry Insights, Insights

Protecting Cargo and Preventing Loss

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Tips for Protecting and Preventing Cargo Loss

The Shipping Mistakes that are Costing Your Business

Recently, Roanoke VP of Client Development, Rick Bridges, sat down with Captain Glenn Walker to co-create an exclusive article in FORWARD Magazine. FORWARD Magazine is published quarterly and is exclusively for members of the Airfowarders Association. It focuses on delivering in-depth coverage of member news, regulatory information, and updates on the cargo industry.

The topic Rick Bridges and Captain Glenn Walker covered is relevant to any business that provides or relies on the efficient and safe transport of cargo shipments – preventing and minimizing freight losses.

The Biggest Causes of Freight Loss

According to the FORWARD Magazine article, many shippers are not doing their due diligence when it comes to packaging, documenting and labeling shipments. By taking additional steps throughout the initial packaging process, businesses can minimize the likelihood of their shipments getting lost or damaged in transport.

  • Packaging – Especially when it comes to high dollar value shipments, forwarders and shippers need to take adequate measures to ensure their shipments are well protected. That means understanding shipments will be handled numerous times throughout delivery and will be subject to the elements when being loaded. Securing packages to pallets, investing in quality packaging materials and bolstering the interior and exterior integrity of a shipment crate is crucial. Don’t skimp on quality.
  • Documentation and Labeling – Loss of labeling is one of the biggest reasons for misplaced or damaged air freight. Whether it’s a matter of the label falling off or being improperly placed, it could be the reason cargo is rejected out of the system. Bar codes are vital to the successful delivery of cargo shipments.

In order to give shipments the best chance to survive delivery, all crates should be properly labeled. This means including stacking and handling limitations, arrows indicating orientation and symbols if cargo can’t get wet. Communication is key when it comes to preventing cargo loss.

The Best Ways to Prevent Freight Loss

When it comes to protecting shipments and preventing freight loss, there are no real secrets. It’s a matter of doing everything possible to intercept problems and maintain an open line of communication among the shipper, forwarder and carrier.

There are a variety of useful tools businesses can use to keep an eye on shipments while in transport. Some of these tools include:

  • Damage indicators – Can be used inside and outside cargo shipments to monitor high roll or tip angles.
  • Shock indicators – Can be used to identify any vertical ‘g-forces’ applied to cargo.
  • Temperature and humidity loggers – Can be used to record environmental conditions of sensitive cargo.

To assist with cargo recovery, there are steps shippers can take to maintain efficiency. By taking multiple photos prior to crating, including paperwork within the crate, and taking additional photos after crating, shippers can minimize losses. Some carriers also have features on their website that allow businesses access to a timeline of any lost freight as well as additional support from customer service representatives.

In the event that a cargo shipment is lost, there are steps to take that include working with air freight terminals and a cargo surveyor to help recover shipments.

Read the full article in FORWARD Magazine and develop a detailed plan of action in the event that your shipments are lost in transit. Planning is a key component in protecting and preventing cargo loss.

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