The study was sponsored by Dow Chemical Co. and conducted by Carolina Supply Chain Services (CSCS). It identifies and quantifies damage forces by examining shipment, unit load, pallet and shipment performance in manufacturer’s distribution centers (DCs) and those where retail stores receive their shipments. More than 28,000 unit loads in 886 shipments of dry chilled and frozen goods were examined.

“One of the key findings of the study,” claims Mike Rawlins, CSCS’ director of performance research systems. “is that the most prevalent types of damage to unit loads include shifting, ripped or loose packaging, crushing, water damage and infestation. All of these can be minimized by the proper use of the right unitization technology.”

Other findings indicate the almost 48% of shipments had no stabilization devices (dunnage) used in the trailer; nearly 39% of unit loads did not fit effectively within the pallet footprint; around 14% of unit loads did not have wrapping that attached the load to the pallet; and nearly 9% of unit loads that had stretch wrap had issues that would promote poor stabilization and damage to shipping units.