How to Handle Cargo Damage and Loss: The Complete Guide
The reputation of a brand is everything to it. Companies across the globe spend
millions of dollars each year trying to build a perfect brand image to entice their
customers and potential leads. This helps boost sales and drive customer loyalty.
The last thing you want for your business is the plummeting of customer satisfaction
due to damaged or lost goods. While it is impossible to control how a shipper
handles your package, you can take certain steps that ensure the chances of
damage or loss during delivery are at the bare minimum.
One of the ways you can do so is by opting for durable packaging materials. Despite
taking all the precautions, uncertainty is inevitable when shipping. To ensure quick
recovery from unfortunate mishaps, we recommend having a return policy template
handy just to be on the safe side.
How Cargo Damage Affects Brand Reputation
According to a recent survey by StellaService, 1 out of 10 packages on average
incur damage while in-transit. In case your customer received a damaged product,
and you fail to respond proactively to address the situation, the consequences can
harm your brand reputation in the following ways:
1. Loss of revenue on the order
The customer who received the damaged product will demand an order refund or
refuse to pay for it altogether. When we take into account the tight profit margin in
the retail industry, one single damaged shipment can result in an enormous loss of
For instance, in 2019’s first quarter, Ralph Lauren lost a profit margin of an overall
6.83 percent. If the company lost a shipment worth $100,000, that would estimate a
total loss of $1.46 million in sales.
2. Effects of negative word-of-mouth
In an era of social media, negative news about brands spreads rapidly, sending
companies in a downward spiral. Repeated display of disappointed customers
sharing their poor purchase experience on social media can result in your brand
losing hundreds of potential customers.
3. Losing your market to competitors
If a brand ends up collecting way too many negative reviews and unresolved issues
regarding unsatisfactory customer services, they may end up with a significant drop
in their customer ratings. Customers may also give negative reviews on websites such as the Better Business Bureau, which can hurt your brand image for years to
How to implement damage control and ensure
safe and timely delivery
When cargo damage occurs, the first step would be to report it to the shipping
company and file for compensation as soon as possible. Do not forget to collect and
present all the proof of damage against the company. We recommend having a solid business insurance plan to soften the burden of uncertainties.
An effective way to retain unsatisfied customers is to proactively address their
grievances and complaints and take immediate actions. However, it is best to ensure
that there is no product damage in the first place itself. You can do it by:
1. Add layers and seal them well
Before shipping out your product, the most important part is to ensure that you have
carefully packaged it with corrugated cartons. Add as much padding as is necessary,
and seal the package with strong waterproof tape. If the product is fragile, make sure
to add multiple protective layers, such as bubble wraps and foam.
2. Check the shipping company’s history and track record
Before relying on any particular shipping company for your products, it is crucial to
research them thoroughly. This will give you an idea of which shipping company is
known for higher incidences of damage while shipping.
Once you have selected a company, also make sure to read about their damages
policies, that is, the kind of insurance they provide in case of damage to shipments,
their procedures of lodging complaints, and the processing of the grievances.
3. Setup a quick and effective customer service
No one likes waiting, and this is especially true in the case of a disappointed
customer. The best way to address the issue is by reaching out to them as soon as
possible, taking accountability for the damages, and promptly arranging a
replacement or refund as per the customer’s preference.
If possible, providing an incentive on a future order in the form of discount coupons
and vouchers along with the replacement can also work effectively. Your attentive
service regarding the issue, when coupled with a subsequent purchase experience
that runs smoothly will ensure the customer’s positive feedback and future business.
Damage while shipping is a very common occurrence, and as a business owner you
have to be prepared to face any such mishap. First, ensure that you are taking great
care of your packaging, and relying on a suitable shipping company.
Secondly, a sure-fire way to ensure that your customers are thrilled with their
shopping experience with your company even after receiving a damaged product will
be to address the issue proactively. Make sure that you leave no stones unturned to
provide satisfactory customer service.