So I just had something returned. 60"x6"x6" triangle box, heavy brown cardboard... one side overlapped double because we take four sided boxes and turn them into triangles. Long boxes tend to collapse when square, so triangles work better.
This is actually the first time I've had one of the heavy cardboard boxes come back. The item inside was 6 pounds. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I am horrified at the condition of this thing. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they could ever do this much damage to something. By some miracle, the item survived. But the way the box looked is completely unacceptable. I've had stuff come back a few times in lighter white boxes. Those were bad as well, but I was in denial, thinking that it was the lighter box's fault, and that the item went across the country twice, so that counted for the bad damage. But I can't ignore this anymore. I tried UPS for a while and had similar issues. The shipping industry just seems to despise long items.
I notice that when things get returned by the PO, they typically seem to come back the absolute slowest method possible. I assume that doesn't help things. But after looking at this, I am now wondering how much stuff looks like this by the time it gets someplace. I rarely get comments from people, but it's still very demoralizing. We put way too much work into these products to have them treated like garbage. Does anybody have any secrets that work? Do stickers help? Anything? My thinking is that these morons throw this stuff onto the conveyors, knowing full well they'll probably get hung up. I've been inside major sorting facilities... They typically have a conveyor system that comes in from the dock... goes around the whole plant up on the ceiling... and at numerous points, it makes 90 degree turns, where it drops from one down onto another belt, or slides around a tight turn. But the belts are only 3-4' wide, and the whole thing is supported by vertical members that hold it up. So you take a 5-6' box and stick it on there... It doesn't take a genius to realize what's going to happen when it hits that 90 degree turn, with 2000 pounds of boxes stacked up behind it.
I've thought of using PVC somehow, but that would be very expensive and a huge pain.