Shipping Damages: Reasons Why It Happens And How To Avoid It?

Shipping Damages: Reasons Why It Happens And How To Avoid It?

eCommerce businesses enjoy the luxury of selling online to a wide group of audience. But, like every other business, eCommerce also has its drawbacks and certain unavoidable expenses. Shipping damages are one of those expenses.

Shipping damages are not only detrimental to the reputation of the brand but also serve as an expensive cost to the business. The seller not only has to bear the cost of the damaged goods, shipping charges, replacement costs, etc. but also loses the buyer's trust in the brand.

 If you’re an eCommerce seller, it is of utmost importance for you to know the ins and outs of eCommerce shipping. Accidental shipping damage is a part of the shipping industry and cannot be avoided, but preventative measures can be taken to reduce it

7 Reasons Why Your Shipment Can Get Damaged


Shipping damages are a cost that businesses have to deal with, with little to no fault on their end. Knowing how to avoid these few circumstances can save business owners money and time. Here are five reasons why your shipment can get damaged:

1. Improper Handling 

Improper handling is one of the most common reasons for damaged shipments. Once you hand over your package to the logistics company, it goes through a number of hands and transport mediums. During this time, several occurrences can lead to your package getting damaged. 


As a matter of fact, even packages that are labeled as ‘fragile’ aren’t treated in a fragile manner. Important shipments getting damaged can cost you a huge chunk of money and resources; therefore, steps like adding proper packaging inserts must be taken to avoid it.

2. Untested Packages


Your packaging can be unsuitable for the type of goods you are shipping or the mode of transportation you choose. The only way to figure out the right packaging for your product is to get your packaging tested. Your packaging should ideally be fit for holding your products properly for storage, transportation, and safe delivery to customers.

3. Not Enough Cushioning Material


Sellers often add cushioning material only to fragile shipments and avoid cushioning for the rest, assuming the package will not get damaged in transit. This isn’t the right approach. Not all packaging materials require cushioning, but some do.


Adding adequate cushioning in the packaging prevents the risk of packages getting damaged, either due to too much space in the box or mishandling of the package during transit. Adding some sort of cushioning material, even if it's crinkled paper, as a precaution is good packaging practice.

4. Temperature Change


Temperature change is an important factor that most suppliers overlook when deciding on their packaging needs. The climate conditions are different in most states. If you’re shipping internationally, the temperature is even more diverse.


Drastic changes in temperature can lead to the package or the product getting ruined. If you’re shipping products that are easily perishable or are affected by different climate conditions, you need to consider proper packaging for the product that is fit to survive any climate change.

5. Infestation Damage 

 This is important for sellers shipping food products or products prone to infestation. Infestation damage would not only ruin the package but will also render the product unusable.

 These damages usually occur during long periods of transit or even during storage at warehouses. It is important for sellers to ensure proper packaging of their products that will help prevent infestation damage to a maximum. 

6. Perishable Items

 Shipping perishable items to date remains a challenging task for business owners. This is because no matter what technological advancement takes place in the logistics industry, there are certain circumstances where the risk of shipping damage cannot be avoided.

 Events where perishable food items go stale due to drastic changes in weather or when food spills or leaks due to improper packaging are more common than one can anticipate. Choosing a packaging fit for perishable items is a task in itself and should be done with proper due diligence.

7. Incorrect Package Size

 Another common occurrence with shipping damages is when the packaging is ill-fitting or of an improper size. If a box is too large and there is empty space within, then the product is likely to jostle around and get damaged within the box.


A survey by Packaging Digest suggested that 11% of unit loads arriving at a distribution center have some sort of packaging damage. It is often implied that packaging damage would be due to some fault in the logistics partner’s process, but that may not always be the case.


The damaged shipment could be a result of poor packaging, uncertain weather conditions, perishable food items, and other reasons on top of the list mentioned above. While these damages cannot be completely eliminated, they can be reduced. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent damaged shipments -

1. Pick The Correct Packaging Size

 How many times have you received an order with an unnecessarily large corrugated box? It isn’t the most pleasing experience to see your order tossed upside down inside the box. Sometimes, even disarranged or broken.

Picking the correct package size is one of the first steps to avoid shipping damages. Before you start shipping, take proper measurements of the product. Your packaging should only have enough space left for cushioning after adding the product, any more space than that is not required.

2. Get Your Packaging Tested

Damage in shipment is a more common concern than we talk about. The loss that a seller has to bear for damaged goods is much higher than any cost that he will have to incur in building a secure package.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to packaging. Similarly, for different groups of products, different packaging materials are required. It is of utmost importance for you to use a packaging material that has been tested and graded as fit. 

3. Ensure Proper Labeling Of Packages

You lose control over how your order is shipped once you pack the order and hand it over to a courier company. However, what you can do is ensure that your package is properly labeled and take shipping insurance.

Labeling your package as ‘fragile’ can reduce, if not completely eliminate, the mishandling of packages. You must also invest in a shipping insurance plan. This helps you recover any accidental damage due to loss or damage of shipment.

4. Fill Empty Spaces In The Packaging 

Filling empty space in the packaging is another important step you must take in order to avoid shipping damages. When inadequate cushioning is added, the product inside can shift, causing dent or breakage. 

To avoid situations like this, you must use proper cushioning and wrap every item. Some cushioning materials that can be used are bubble wrap, foam peanuts, crinkled paper, etc. You must also ensure that cushioning is spread evenly in the box.

5. Use Good-Quality, Air-Tight Packaging

Using good-quality and air-tight packaging protects your package from huge shifts in temperature and infestation. While you don’t have control over how fast perishable goods turn bad, you can take measures to avoid it to a great extent.


Shipping damage is a common occurrence that can happen due to a variety of reasons, like the mishandling of products, improper packaging, changes in temperature, etc. While some of these reasons are in your control, others may not be. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent shipping damages and protect your package during transit.

Taking preventive measures like proper packaging, labeling of products, using good-quality packaging, and adding enough cushioning can help ensure that the package reaches the customers in good condition. Educating yourself about shipping damages and how to prevent it will help you save a lot of time, money, and resources and is an intelligent business decision.