Did you know that a cell phone, dropped from a height of five or six feet, can hit the ground with a force of up to 1,000 Gs? Even a relatively fragile item like a cell phone is designed to withstand a few impacts, but the fact of the matter is that, with every impact an object sustains, there’s a chance it might break. And you really want to do everything you can to make sure that devastating fall doesn’t happen to your products during shipping.

Shipping damage can really hurt your bottom line, and leave your customers upset and dissatisfied. It gets expensive to keep replacing broken items, and the hit to your reputation doesn’t exactly help matters. You can use impact data to detect any shocks, impacts, or prolonged vibrations that could damage your cargo. Shock and impact recorder data can help you fine-tune your packaging, adjust your shipping routes and methods, and remove defective items from the supply chain.

See What Your Packages Go Through

Before you can make the right changes to your shipping methods, you need the right data. Impact testing is the tool to get that data. You can attach shock and impact recorders to test packages to understand the conditions they’re subject to in transit. Is the carrier handling your packages roughly? Is the suspension in the truck terrible? Is your packaging insufficient? Impact recorders can help you answer all of these questions.

It’s pretty easy to use an impact recorder — just stick it to the outside of the box. When the package arrives on the other end, you’ll know whether your shipment was improperly handled, jostled, jolted, or loaded improperly. You can even get data about where it was and who was handling it when the damaging event occurred.

Make Changes to Your Shipping Routes and Methods

Often, reducing shipping damage is just a simple matter of changing carriers, changing the shipping route, or even changing the method. Maybe you find that the suspension in the truck is to blame for your shipping woes, so you switch to a carrier with air-ride suspension in their trucks. Or you decide that it’s not the shipping process, so much as the quality of your packaging that is to blame for a high rate of shipping damage. You can experiment with stress-testing different packaging materials to make sure you’re choosing the sturdiest materials for your shipments.

Track Shipments in Real Time and More

Shipping damage isn’t the only way to lose money in shipping and logistics. Shipping delays, loss, theft, mishandling, and data errors — they can all cost. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking tags are available with shock and impact recorders, GPS capabilities, and even temperature sensors, so you can make sure your perishables are kept at the right temperature during shipping.

You can even mitigate shipping delays to a great extent by monitoring the progress of your shipments via GPS. When it’s important that a shipment arrives on time, even though the schedule is tight, GPS-enabled tracking can help you make real-time changes to the shipping route to accommodate your customer’s needs.

In addition to recording shock and impact data, you can use temperature-sensitive and RFID-enabled tracking tags to monitor the conditions a shipment is under, and you can even receive alerts in real time to help you intervene when, for example, the temperature climbs too high for your package contents, or drops too low. Shock and impact data is valuable, but a wide range of other features are available, too, and there’s no reason not to make the most of the technology you have access to — especially when it could streamline your shipping operations and save you money.

Customers will appreciate your attention to detail in ensuring that their shipments arrive in good shape. Just because an item is fragile doesn’t mean it can’t be successfully shipped, even long distances. You just need to know what you’re up against in terms of impact and vibrational stress, so you can plan accordingly and protect your shipments from damage. With the right data, a little experimentation, and careful choices, you can minimize the impact of shipping damage on your profits and keep your customers satisfied, too.