Blaming the Messenger: FedEx Warns etailers to Get Packaging in Order
May 13, 2014
Let’s play pretend for a minute. Imagine you’re anxiously awaiting a package delivery, say a bunch of Miley Cyrus buttons, a Miley Cyrus cardboard cutout or a Miley Cyrus poster (you know, the usual order). The package arrives, and to your horror, you find your treasures broken, damaged or otherwise ruined forever.
Choking back tears, you cry out to the heavens and blame … who? Well, most people blame the shipping company (FedEx, UPS, DHL) for improper handling and overall lack of appreciation for true acting artists.
While it’s true there is some breakage associated with the shipping, don’t be too quick to put all the blame on handling. Sometimes the problems are in the packaging before it ever reaches a loading dock.
The big carriers caught a lot of flack last Christmas over delayed shipping and damaged products arriving on doorsteps just days before the holidays. But recent comments by FedEx Chief Executive Fred Smith show he wasn’t taking the criticisms lying down.
Smith outlined problems with etailers’ processes, logistics and packaging and told them to get their house in order or risk losing customers. Three items particularly stood out as issues the industry must face:
- Packages not given to carriers on time to meet delivery promises.
- Labels incorrectly placed or missing.
- Poor package engineering.
Ecommerce is driven by packaging – no, great packaging. The big carriers like FedEx aren’t miracle workers; bad packaging means breakage and unhappy customers, which will increase the costs they must pass on to people who pay FedEx to deliver their goods.
Does your packaging play nicely with carrier’s rules and processes? Don’t always be so quick to blame the delivery guy, sometimes the solutions are closer to home.