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Damage Reduction to Furniture During Overseas Shipping

stool with broken leg

This project focused on packaging design and standard operating procedures to minimize overseas shipping damage to furniture. Shipping damage was costing the company over $1.5 million dollars annually. Damage was occurring primarily during transit to international destinations. The project included research, design, and delivering documentation and processes to create a comprehensive set of guidelines for packaging furniture.


Research:

Researched industry standards, regulations, and best practices related to furniture packaging and shipping. Also conducted analysis of competitor and other furniture manufacturers.


Assessment of Current Packaging and Practices:

Conducted an in-depth assessment of existing packaging methods and effectiveness in preventing damage during overseas shipping. Identified common types of damage incurred during transportation and root causes.


Evaluated existing packaging materials, techniques, and designs employed by the company.


Analyzed historical shipping data and feedback from customers regarding damaged furniture to identify recurring issues.


Collaborated with internal and external logistics and shipping professionals to gain insights into the challenges and limitations of current packaging practices.


Design:

Engaged a team of internal and overseas packaging designers to develop robust packaging solutions tailored to furniture items. Recommendations included a two-phased approach. First, fix the damage by reconfiguring the placement of current foam, corrugated, and plastic structural materials. Second, test switching to more sustainable solutions (i.e., honeycomb corrugated).


Documentation and Guidelines:

Developed a comprehensive furniture packaging guidelines document that encompassed packaging material recommendations, design specifications, and step-by-step instructions.


Produced visual aids, diagrams, and illustrations to enhance understanding and facilitate implementation.


Ensured that guidelines addressed different furniture types, sizes, and fragility levels, providing tailored solutions for each scenario.


Collaborated with cross-functional teams, including manufacturing, logistics, and customer service, to incorporate their expertise into the guidelines.


Results:

The packaging design project yielded the following key outcomes:


  • Furniture Packaging Guidelines Document: The final deliverable was a comprehensive furniture packaging guidelines document, offering detailed instructions and recommendations for packaging furniture effectively. The document included information on packaging materials, design principles, padding techniques, bracing methods, and labeling standards. Visual aids and illustrations were incorporated to facilitate understanding and implementation by packaging teams.

  • Cost and Efficiency Benefits: Optimal packaging solutions and standardized guidelines can streamline packaging processes, reducing packaging time and labor costs. Solutions offered minimized damage during shipping mitigating financial losses associated with damaged products and insurance claims.


Conclusion:

This packaging design project successfully addressed the challenge of reducing overseas shipping damage on furniture by developing new designs and comprehensive packaging guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for effective packaging practices, ensuring the safe transportation and preventing damage of furniture items to international destinations. By implementing these guidelines, the company enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced costs, and protected its brand reputation. Ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement of packaging practices will be crucial to adapt to evolving industry trends and customer expectations.

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