A package can face multiple risks when dispatched to its destination during the distribution cycle. Vibrations, impacts, drops or bad environmental conditions are only some of the hazards that might compromise a load. Which is why, in order to protect your load, it is vital to know what distribution risks exist and how to avoid them.
What distribution risks are there?
Distribution risks vary depending on the causes that lead to them:
- Impacts. These are some of the most common risks, especially during transportation and storage through distribution companies, such as courier services.
During handling, packages may suffer impacts of all kinds and drops of more than 1 meter / 3 feet. These types of situations endanger the goods, which makes it important to take them into account.
- Compressions. During the distribution cycle, any product is subject to compression forces, whether during the storage or transportation phases.
For this reason, the packaging that protects the goods should be capable of withstanding high compression forces. In the case of corrugated cardboard fruit boxes, they can withstand compression forces of up to 1000kg (2,200lb.)
- Vibrations. Any means of transportation (whether land, sea or air) transfers vibrations to the load that it carries. These vibrations affect the integrity of the products contained in the packages, which may lead to breakage or deterioration.
To prevent this, packages must be optimized to act as a filter before these vibrations, preventing the product inside them from resonating with the external vibrations and getting altered.
- Accelerations. During road transportation, shifts in direction, roundabouts, curves, stops or sudden accelerations affect the goods being transported.
A poor packaging can cause a load to tilt more than normal, leading to damage to other loads when being expelled from the pallet. It can also destabilize the vehicle that transports them, leading to accidents.
- Environmental risks. Temperature and humidity affect the endurance of packages and containers. High temperatures, for example, particularly affect plastic packages, weakening them. This makes them unable to withstand the compression forces for which they were designed.
Likewise, corrugated cardboard is affected by relative humidity: more specifically, a humidity of 90% may decrease the resistance of this type of container by up to 75%.
All of these factors imply real distribution risks for the product during handling, which may end up compromising the cargo that is being transported.
How to prevent distribution risks
The first step toward preventing these issues is to know the risks of each distribution cycle and take them into account.
To a greater or lesser extent, goods are always affected by these hazards during the load’s transportation and storage.
In fact, sometimes all of the above problems act at once on the a package.
This makes it paramount to know a package’s distribution cycle in order to know exactly the risks that it will be subject to.
This can be accomplished by controlling packages on the road, or by recording using equipment such as a Data Recorder, which is capable of recording real events that take place during the transportation of goods.
Once the risks are know, it will be necessary to set in motion a process of package research that takes into account its distribution management in order to guarantee the safety of the load.
Optimizing your packaging as per the distribution risks will be the best way to protect the product within.
However, there are other ways to guarantee the safety of a load, depending on the type of distribution risk that needs to be overcome:
- To address the issue of accelerations, it will be necessary to use anti-slip and/or fastening elements inside the truck. Alternatively, the palletization layout can also be correctly designed, or stretch film can also be correctly applied in the right amount.
- The distribution risk implied by environmental issues can be minimized by using, for example, water resistant paper or by applying more layers than would be required under normal environmental conditions.
- To deal with impacts and vibrations, your best ally would be using the right padding material, which reduces the incidence of impacts, accelerations or vibrations on the product.
The importance of preventing risks during distribution
Preventing distribution risks will therefore be essential for the transportation of goods to be successful.
If these risks are not taken into account and the packaging is not optimized accordingly, the product may get damaged beyond repair during transportation.
This causes anything from economic losses to road accidents, in addition to the dissatisfaction of the end customer, who sees that the product or packaging arrive in poor conditions.
The solution to transport risks: transportation simulation machines
In order to prevent distribution risks, transportation simulation machines offer tests that allow for the optimization of the packaging based on the hazards that it will face during the distribution cycle.
This means that performing tests using transportation simulation machines will let you:
- Reproduce any of the aforementioned distribution risks, providing data during a package’s design phase.
- Determine whether a packaging is suitable to protect a load during its transportation or handling during distribution.
- Reduce costs. Packaging tests allow for the prevention of over-packaging and losses due to breakage thanks to the information obtained after performing the tests. The packaging is optimized to face the real distribution risks that the load will face, thereby avoiding costs due to a package that is inappropriately excessive.
- Comply with international standards related to the transportation of goods.
For example, European directives mention the EUMOS 40509-2012 test as a requirement. This testing protocol is mandatory for any distribution company that intends to transport its products within the EU. The directive requires single loose cargo units to withstand 0.8g in the direction of travel and 0.5g for all other directions.
Due to its importance, at Safe Load Testing Technologies we have developed a free guide that will inform you how to comply with this regulation, step by step.
To address distribution risks it is necessary to have a comprehensive know-how on package engineering and the hazards that endanger the loads, products and packages.
Which is why at Safe Load Testing Technologies we work in two ways. On one hand, we design and manufacture machines that simulate distribution risks in an efficient and precise way.
On the other, we help companies by conveying our knowledge and experience on package engineering and the simulation of distribution risks. In this way, we make sure that they are capable of making the most out of the machines that they purchase from day one.
Our track record of 20 years in the sector are our guarantee, along with our commitment to constant innovation. This is the reason why, today, we are one of only two companies in the world that can provide turnkey transportation simulation equipment for laboratories.
Get in touch with us to protect your load against distribution risks.