Making sure that freight remains undamaged and in pristine, original condition is the most essential operating target of palletised delivery work. If cargo is lost or damaged, it can lead to large future costs due to missed deadlines and sometimes even staff insurance claims. That is why pallet transport companies with the best reputations protect their freight in these five key ways, keeping customers and internal business mechanisms happy.
When packaging goods, it is important to make sure that the weight is at the bottom and that the goods are wrapped correctly. Items that could move during the transport process should be banded, and sharp goods should have metal banding. Most items should be shrink-wrapped with well-chosen materials. Clever packaging is the first step towards efficient delivery work and should never be neglected.
Using high-quality and durable pallets is necessary in an industry where goods are handled ten times on average between loading and final delivery. Pallets should be Grade A quality, leaving only one inch between the lats. Before loading, haulage companies should check the strength and structural integrity of each pallet and look for any visible signs of wear. A choice must also be made between wooden and plastic pallets: wood is often used for large goods and building materials whereas plastic is used for foods and liquids.
Trained forklift drivers are “SAS” logistics operatives – they are SPEEDY, ACCURATE and SAFE. Working with skilled drivers is more expensive, but they are worth it down the line when costs are lowered because of fewer damaged items. Take care of your forklift drivers and they will take care of you.
Checking for quality at different points throughout the transportation process is a key way of ensuring quality at the end. With this method, your business can easily pinpoint the stage at which damage to freight is occurring and can therefore isolate and solve haulage issues in a more concentrated and efficient manner. When checking goods at different points, operators should look for accurate labelling, use of correct pallets, use of right packaging and matching goods and stacking information.
Sometimes damage is unavoidable during delivery work. The key is to maintain a commitment to damage reduction and the processes outlined above, which lead to lower risks. This includes keeping staff motivated and committed to high-quality work, because if staff members don’t care, it will show further down the line. Companies with sound processes and positive attitudes deal best with operational problems and setbacks.
A Combined Approach
By following these five steps in unison, delivery work becomes more efficient in the long term and less stressful for workers. Correct practices, when implemented across the entire business, will lead to higher profits in the long run without passing costs on to customers.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.