The world’s supply chain hinges on the safe transport of gear, equipment, and supplies. People around the world depend goods that are often transported long distances. It goes beyond running a business. Instead, creating an atmosphere of accountability and quality control is the cornerstone of optimizing your logistics. Preventing damage and delays are a big part of that. Unfortunately, impacts happen sometimes. It’s just a side effect of shipping cargo across long distances and varied terrain.
How Impacts Happen
Throughout the shipping process, impacts and damage can occur at any time. Some of the most common causes of impacts are in the packaging itself. Poorly stacked pallets, along with less-than-durable boxes or crates could lead to some big problems. Sometimes the damage happens in the warehouse. Perhaps a forklift rams into the crate causing an impact. Or maybe it gets dropped as it’s being loaded onto a truck. Sometimes other crates or containers might fall or knock into it. All of these things cause impacts, which in turn can potentially damage the contents of the cargo. Too much overhang or underhand when loading items might cause them to hit something. Then, of course, there’s what happens when it’s actually on the road. Bumps in the road, poor driving, natural disasters, uneven roads, and more could cause impact or vibrational damage. So, there’s a lot that goes into this process and using tools to help prevent impacts—or monitor for them at the very least—can help supply chain managers determine the best way to pack, ship, and transport their goods to minimize potential damage.
The Hidden Costs Of Impact Damage
Impacts aren’t just a hassle; they can cause damage, delays, and additional expenses for anyone. Statistically, one in every ten shipments gets damaged en route to its destination. And sometimes the damage isn’t even visible! Concealed damage and case damage cause more than mere monetary damage. There is the cost and time associated with restocking items, losing loyal customers, a damaged reputation, needing to repair containers or trucks, and even just dealing with the administration can get a little out of hand. Impact recorders are vital for their ability to give you a clear, visual indication that an impact occurred at some point during your cargo’s journey.
Understanding Impact Time
Part of getting the most out of using tools such as impact recorders is understanding when along the journey the impact occurred. This is important for a few reasons. To begin with, it gives you an idea of where things began to go wrong. If you can pinpoint the exact moment to impact occurred, you can devise a strategy to prevent it from happening the next time. Secondly, timestamps provide keen insight into what might have been happening at the time of the impact. Again, this goes a long way to help him develop prevention strategies. Finally, it can help you decide if you should take a total cost approach to your logistics or if there’s another solution that can help you thrive.
Understanding Impact Severity
Impact recorders and indicators measure the G-forces that act upon cargo when it experiences turbulence and mishandling, whether mild or severe. Knowing the severity of the impact can also inform your recovery strategy. Are the items damaged to the point of requiring replacement? Is there hidden/concealed damage? How badly was it impacted? Will the data help determine what happened, identify a cause, and help avoid future hazards? This becomes an invaluable tool in your efforts to support accountability, sustainability, and efficiency whenever you’re shipping cargo.
The best and most proactive method of preventing damage is to use effective monitoring procedures. The addition of an Impact Indicator to your logistics routine can save you a headache later on. These clever little devices are affixed to cargo and can detect impact when they happen in real time.
Impact indicators constantly monitor the shock when it occurs. When this happens, it assesses any other factors such as vibrations or environmental concerns that may have affected the cargo. This helps identify if the cargo container, the warehouse, the truck, or any other space in between contributed in any way to the impact event. Impact recorders and indicators will record direction, amplitude, force, and time period of an impact, ultimately giving you the best monitoring available for your supply chain needs.