July 2015 | Commentary | Supply Chain Security

4 Ways to Ensure Your Valuable Shipments Arrive Safely

Tags: Supply Chain Management, Security, Specialized Logistics, Logistics

Chris Swearingen is Marketing Manager for SenseAware, FedEx, 901-434-4302

Every shipment contains something of value to the sender and receiver. That package may have an extraordinarily high monetary value with little emotional equity, or incredibly high emotional value for the recipient but little financial worth.

For example, let's take a shipment containing temperature- or time-sensitive pharmaceuticals for patients in a new drug trial. The value of those medications to the patients receiving them—and the millions who could benefit from the results of the drug trial—is incalculable.

Whether the value is real or subjective, the contents must be secured accordingly. To help ensure you're taking advantage of the range of both simple and sophisticated options available for securing shipments, compare your current practices against the following four tips:

  1. Require reassurance. When recipients are unavailable, delivery services often give a great deal of discretion to the individual courier to determine where and when to leave packages. When you are looking for an added level of security, consider value-added options such as time-definite deliveries that require a signature at delivery, or enabling the receipient to control package tracking and delivery.
  2. Use trusted partners. From manufacturing, warehousing, and fulfillment through to delivery, always work with reliable partners you trust. Do the leg work to know who you're working with. Check their insurance policies, talk to references, visit their facilities, and keep in regular contact with your sales team. Due diligence will make you feel more comfortable about the security of your goods, and that confidence will carry through to other areas of your business.
  3. Stay connected. Just because a package has left your hands doesn't mean you can't keep close tabs on its security from dock to doorstep. Advanced sensor-based technologies now let shippers closely monitor the movement and environmental condition of valuable shipments in near-real time, including defined route adherence or deviation, temperature and humidity, light exposure, extreme shaking/jostling, and more. Some technologies even offer cryogenic and/or dry ice probe compatibility, which can monitor deep-frozen materials hundreds of degrees below zero.

    With information at this level, shippers and recipients benefit from added confidence that items are being managed to the exact specifications established. It's knowledge that can mean the difference between a viable drug and a failed trial, or between an in-flight airplane and a grounded aircraft awaiting a vital part lost en route.

  4. Go specialized when it makes sense. Sometimes a shipment dictates nothing but exceptional, exclusive service; for example, priceless fine art, dangerous goods, or large-scale and temperature-sensitive items. When that's the case, call in special shipment experts. When you go this route, your shipment moves on a specialized vehicle or aircraft, and has a team focused exclusively on its secure delivery from start to finish.

This dedicated service comes with a commensurate price point, but can be the ideal solution for items that require an exceptional level of care and security in transit.

Does your shipment security strategy stack up? Consider trying some of these value-added options next time you have cargo that needs extra protection in transit. You—and the recipients—will be reassured that your delivery choices reflect the value of their shipment.






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