The Most Common Causes of Shipping Damage

The Most Common Causes of Shipping Damage
3 years ago

There’s nothing worse than confidently shipping a package only to have the customer reach out post-delivery to inform you their goods were damaged during transit, and they want a replacement or a refund. Damaged goods make customers unhappy and force disgruntled businesses to take a monetary loss.

It’s true that once you ship a package, it’s mostly out of your hands. Accidents happen, and hundreds of thousands of packages are lost each year. Still, there are numerous ways to reduce the chance your packages end up damaged.

In order to prevent shipping damage, you need to understand what causes it. Here are the most common causes of shipping damage.

Oversized Box

Are your boxes the right fit for your products? Shipping products in oversized boxes is one common cause of shipping damage. If you don’t add enough cushioning into the box, your product is much more likely to shift during transit and break.

Lack of Cushioning

Speaking of cushioning, a lack of it—regardless of the size of your box—can also lead to shipping damage. Cushioning is what keeps your product from moving around during transit and protects it in the case of rough handling. Make sure to use enough foam peanuts, bubble wrap, kraft paper, and other packing materials for your package.

Improper Handling

Another one of the most common causes of shipping damage is improper handling. Many different people will handle your package on its journey to its destination. And not all of these people will treat it gently.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent this from happening. You can, however, recoup lost funds from improperly handled packages with shipping insurance.


Moisture can destroy electronic goods and products made from paper or other delicate materials. It can also cause mold or mildew to grow on the box or on your products. But how does moisture infiltrate your package in the first place?

Inclement weather and humidity can leave your products sweaty. Spills can also cause boxes to become damp. And if your package is sailing the seven seas, a rogue wave can likewise cause wet conditions. Shrink or stretch wrapping your boxes can keep moisture at bay. Make sure to shrink or stretch wrap your boxes correctly so moisture can’t sneak in through gaps.


Think you don’t have to worry about bugs because you’re not shipping food? Think again because bugs will eat pretty much anything! Some bugs love to feast on cardboard. An entire facility, truck, or ship of cardboard boxes is like a smorgasbord for these ravenous critters. And if you’re shipping clothes, clothes moths and silverfish will be delighted.

Thankfully, using sturdy boxes and shrink or stretch wrapping your products will keep bugs from wriggling into your package and eating to their hearts’ contents.

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