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  1. #1
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    Default Shipping/Packaging 101

    Hello,
    Has anyone noticed the predominant sloppiness and inability of suppliers to package "anything" properly? This subject/task has been overlooked by many, but I find it to be one of the most important steps in the manufacturing process.

    This procedure is one of the first things that I teach a new hire, and I can't emphasize enough on how crucial it is to do properly. After proper packaging has been completed, a tracking # is emailed directly to the recipient, why don't most people do this?.

    Example; one of the most common blunders material suppliers do is to ship me heavy steel bars that rattle through their box because of a lack of cushioning. More than 60% of packages sent to me are damaged and more than 10% never reach their destination.

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    "As cheaply as possible"
    and
    "Shipping adds NO value to the parts"

    Ring a bell ?

    That's why.

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    Good packaging is cheap Insurance IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Good packaging is cheap Insurance IMO.
    In some instances.

    Others like to "roll the dice" and see what minimum level will fly.

    Others, who track their shipments, actually get custom made packaging
    and test it, blah, blah, blah.

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    *unnamed vendor* once sent me 1 SF of 3/4" MIC6 AND a foot of 1-1/2" cold-rolled round steel, in the same box, with naught but a few of those air-pillow thingys for cushioning. The MIC6 did not win the battle .

    Regards.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post

    Others, who track their shipments, actually get custom made packaging
    and test it, blah, blah, blah.
    And, if you have to return an item, for whatever reason, to a vendor who uses well made reliable packaging, reuse the damn packaging.

    I've had stuff returned to me where the customers left out the important bits that are there to protect exposed flanges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Good packaging is cheap Insurance IMO.
    Excellent choice of words MB,

    All of my packages are worth at the very minimum $1000.00, an extra few cents in tape and cushioning is money well spent.

    I forgot to mention, I ONLY SHIP BROWN

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    Quote Originally Posted by otrlt View Post
    Excellent choice of words MB,

    All of my packages are worth at the very minimum $1000.00, an extra few cents in tape and cushioning is money well spent.

    I forgot to mention, I ONLY SHIP BROWN
    You mean "The brown rugby team ?"....

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    I am always surprised by a well packed order, sadly that only happens once or twice per year.

    My pet peeve is the dolts that show up at post office or UPS with the item they want to ship, and a ratty cardboard box, and expect the shipper to pack their item. Instead of telling these people to go home and figure it out, they do it for them, and everybody in line can just wait. Packing/shipping 101 should be a requirement for everyone.

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    When I was in California and was playing 'Dualkit" I had a lot of inbound packages and freight. I could pretty much tell distance traveled and who the carrier was by the condition of the boxes. UPS was always the worst. Fortunately all bar stock was either will called by me or came by the vendor's truck. If it was something that came from a new vendor and was poorly packed I never ordered from them again. The one I remembered most actually was packed securely but what a mess. I bought a bunch of packaged drills during the infancy of E-bay. The drills were all in loose sealed drill envelopes, packages, and tubes. They were in a box mixed in with shredded paper and packed tight. The box was huge, almost as big as a 55 gallon drum. The actual volume of drills would have fit in a 8" x 8" x 8" box. The guy sent me a business card in the shipment. I put a big red X on it and put it in my card file to remind me to never buy from him again.

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    I had a good feeling that this was a problem Dalmatiangirl61,

    By the way, my business neighbor (online retailer) showed me the proper way to package, I eagerly took his advise.

    What he also told me, was a package(box) did not necessarily have to be "new", but it must be clean (no dirty finger prints).

    This all sounds a bit "uptight", but your customers will definitely notice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    You mean "The brown rugby team ?"....
    I think they are more like the gorilla in the American Tourister luggage commercials from the 70's. Brown sucks where I am at, when it is snowing even slightly or with mild icy roads they will not complete delivery, they leave your packages at the post office sometimes delaying them up to a week. Under the same circumstances Fedex will bring it to your door.

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    Sorry to hear of your UPS service Dualkit,

    Where I am, BROWN rules and it's not even close.

    On one occasion, a very important package was sent to me and it was damaged with label gone. The driver looked inside, knew it was for me... saved me a couple of thousand $.

    All the drivers where I am hustle their asses off, they work as hard as me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    I am always surprised by a well packed order, sadly that only happens once or twice per year.

    My pet peeve is the dolts that show up at post office or UPS with the item they want to ship, and a ratty cardboard box, and expect the shipper to pack their item. Instead of telling these people to go home and figure it out, they do it for them, and everybody in line can just wait. Packing/shipping 101 should be a requirement for everyone.
    Fortunately all my packages are ready to go and I just step around them and put my package on the counter then walk out. Fortunately I am in the country and a line at the post office is two people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by otrlt View Post
    Sorry to hear of your UPS service Dualkit,

    Where I am, BROWN rules and it's not even close.

    On one occasion, a very important package was sent to me and it was damaged with label gone. The driver looked inside, knew it was for me... saved me a couple of thousand $.

    All the drivers where I am hustle their asses off, they work as hard as me.
    Where I am at now I think my route is considered the least desirable as honestly at my current location in 7 years I must have seen two dozen different drivers. Back when I was in California a UPS driver ran over my water meter enclosure cutting the corner going into the drive way, he had to know he hit it because it was an instant flood, cutting the line. He just left the packages by the door and drove off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish On View Post
    And, if you have to return an item, for whatever reason, to a vendor who uses well made reliable packaging, reuse the damn packaging.

    I've had stuff returned to me where the customers left out the important bits that are there to protect exposed flanges.
    Years ago.. Customer of mine, a part that I did some stuff to, but they had to ship it out for another process.
    Formed aluminum, less that .100 thick. about 7 foot, by 3 foot, by 2 foot deep. They made a few really nice
    crates, the parts were cradled in them so they wouldn't bend. On going thing, only a few parts going out at a time.

    Anyways the vendor would get the part in a really nice custom made crate, and then when they shipped it back, just tossed the REALLY FRAGILE part on a standard pallet and banded it... And kept the crates. I think that happened twice (and a second and third round of crate making) before that stopped... And YES all the parts were trashed on the return trip.

    **************

    On the flip side, I have one customer where I go completely out of my way to package his parts in odd ways..
    Kitty litter buckets. Ass wipe boxes. Sandwich bags with crumbs still in them.. My better half gets goofy cosmetic samplers every month and they come in some really fancy odd shaped boxes with frilly fancy paper and fancy easter basket grass.. So he occasionally gets his parts in triangular boxes wrapped in frilly pink paper.

    Just for fun.

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    Custom Crates... It's part of the process ($).

    I purposely set aside a small area of my shop to address such a matter and organized a workstation with all the tools needed. At first, we were quite slow at it, but now shipping is a whole lot easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finegrain View Post
    *unnamed vendor* once sent me 1 SF of 3/4" MIC6 AND a foot of 1-1/2" cold-rolled round steel, in the same box, with naught but a few of those air-pillow thingys for cushioning. The MIC6 did not win the battle .

    Regards.

    Mike
    I have only ever turned material deliveries away for three reasons: Wrong size, crooked cuts, beat-up MIC6.
    I inspect MIC-6 before it even comes off the truck. Probably 50% of the time, it doesn't make it off the truck.

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    With bulkier stuff, I've often found it better to start with the part, and work 'out', rather than start with the box and work 'in'. As such, I buy pallets of 4x5' pieces of cardboard, and create my own boxes in a lot of cases. If multiple assemblies in one package, banding them together tightly before packing eliminates most issues of the parts damaging each other.

    That, and I clean out Home Depot's 'cull rack'(where they pile their damaged lumber for 70% off) of 2x2s and 2x4s on about a weekly basis.

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    I go a long way to package my parts well. I like to touch things once and never again. If a customer gets a part that is damaged, I might now be paying to return ship it to me, then to at least re-powder coat it, then to send it back, and when that is all done the customer has now had to wait an extra three weeks to get their parts starting from the date they originally had it in their hands.

    I sell a bed rack that breaks down into pieces. It ships in a single box that is right at the UPS limits for weight (it's 145 lbs) and dimensions (82x25x10" box). I spend $40 per box for double-wall telescoping boxes so there's 4 layers of cardboard between the parts and the world. The parts get foamed, stretch wrapped, poly sleeved, cardboard wrapped, kraft packed, then go in the box that gets taped and banded. Haven't had one damaged yet with this method

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