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Most people get into business because they have a great idea and want to make money. If you work hard and make the right decisions, you can have the success you want. However, you might not realize that you are leaving money on the table through product losses that could be preventable. 

If you have a goal of 1% losses in your warehousing and shipping process, that might sound like a small number. However, if you ship out millions of dollars of products, then that 1% is actually a substantial amount you are letting go down the drain. While it’s true that there will inevitably be product loss, that doesn’t mean that your current level or the level you expect is acceptable. However, you can cut your product damage losses and put more money in your coffers by making just a few changes. Here’s how. 

Package Products Properly

Sometimes the cause of lost product starts right at your packaging facility. If your products are packed to look great on display, you need to provide extra packaging for shipping. Sometimes display packaging is flimsy and can end up getting crushed while in transit. The solution is to either design the display packaging differently so that it holds up to the rigors of transport or to put the products into different packaging to be shipped. 

Wrap and Secure Pallets

When you place something on a truck for shipping, there’s no guarantee that it will stay in the exact same spot the entire time. Trucks travel over long distances at high speeds. They may need to take sharp corners, evasive actions, or stop short. When that happens, pallets can shift and shake. If products are not tightly wrapped, a pallet can tip over inside the truck. This might not cause damage at the time or even during the rest of the trip since it might be resting against other products or the wall. However, when a forklift operator attempts to unload that pallet, it could fall out onto the concrete or inside the truck and be destroyed. Ensure that everything that leaves your warehouse is wrapped solidly and that nothing overhangs the pallet. 


Certain products, such as food or medications, require storage at a specific temperature. If there is an error, such as not closing a refrigerator door or not turning on the reefer for the transport vehicle, then you could lose a lot of product. Therefore, ensure that you have procedures and redundancies in place, so there is less chance of a mistake. You can also have alert systems set up on your coolers and freezers that will send you a text or an email if they reach a certain dangerous temperature. That way, you can be proactive and take steps to minimize the loss. 


Insurance might be the most crucial factor in protecting your products. While it doesn’t physically protect anything, it ensures that you will be compensated if something bad happens. Get business personal property insurance (BPP) to cover your product while it’s in your warehouse and in transit. If there is a negative incident, you can make a claim and get reimbursed. That way, while you may lose the product, you at least will not have to suffer the financial difficulties that could result. Losing inventory can cause massive delays and annoy your clients. If you know that you have coverage, you can move forward confidently and replace your product as quickly as possible. 


Security is a massive problem that you need to address in the places where you store your product. While theft is an issue, simple vandalism can cause damage that makes a product unsuitable for shipping. There are over a million break-ins at businesses every year. Ensure that you install timed locks on your doors to prevent errors if someone forgets to lock up at night. You can also install security cameras around your property and make them noticeable. That way, any would-be vandals or thieves will be deterred from attempting to cause problems. Ensure your building is well-lit, including on the outside, and keep track of who has the keys and who has access to which areas. 


If you don’t already have cleanliness standards in your workplace, you need to enact them immediately. If you don’t have standards, there is an increased chance that your product could be affected by dirt, grime, or other contaminants. Nobody wants to open up a package with the new shirt they ordered and see that it is dirty or stained. Plus, debris and messes on a warehouse floor are dangerous to workers and your product. If someone trips while carrying a box or accidentally slams something large into a pallet while trying to avoid a hazard, you could lose thousands of dollars in product. Make sure that your workplace is always clean and safe to keep your product and your staff protected. 

Reduce Human Touch

The fact is, every time a human comes into contact with a package or a product, there is a risk of a mistake. They could drop something, misread a label, store an item in the wrong place where it gets damaged, or any number of things. The less a human being handles your product, the better. Invest in automated equipment and software to track packages and keep them safely untouched. Automated machinery does not make mistakes and is often more efficient than human beings. Plus, workers can call in sick and get tired. This is not a concern with automated material handling equipment. 

You might be losing money, and you don’t even know it. Luckily, it does not take much to considerably improve your product handling to lessen your losses. Make sure that your entire team understands how important it is to prevent the loss and not accept any. If you aim to be perfect, even if you don’t quite get there, it will still be a vast improvement on not doing anything to prevent loss at all.