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or any question as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the packing, may be taken up with the employee at fault.
These, however, are details which will have to be worked out to fit special cases. Often a satisfactory system can be evolved only after long observation of various shipments to determine what type of packing is the most satisfactory.
PACKING TO SAVE CHARGES
Freight and express rates are sometimes lower on boxed or on crated articles, and sometimes no lower. For example, castings, forgings, and parts of agricultural implements enjoy the same rates loose as boxed, because they are practically unbreakable under ordinary transportation conditions. The cost of packing may therefore be eliminated or greatly reduced by shipping in bundles or burlap sacks.
Standardized Packing Instructions
For the guidance of packers, and for shipping room employees in general, the traffic department should prepare a chart, indicating the various items that are handled by the industry, the ratings applying on these articles under the various classifications, and the packing specifications that are to be observed.
If the classification provides that a shipment must be made in a box, and if it is shipped in some other form, a heavy penalty attaches. In such a case, if a crate is used, the customary classification provision is that the next higher class rating applies; in some instances this may mean an added cost of $1.50 or more, which, in all probability, more than offsets the saving effected by the use of the less expensive crate.
Where a large shipment consists of miscellaneous items, goods should be sorted according to the rating assigned to their classification. That is, all goods falling in the first class should be assembled in one lot, all goods falling in the second, third, and fourth classes should be assembled in corresponding lots, and separate containers should be provided for each lot. The industry and its patrons will then be sure to get the benefit of the lower rate for the lower classes.
If goods belonging to different classifications are shipped in one package, the charge is assessed on the total weight, at the rate for the highest rated article contained in the package.
EFFICIENT PACKING DEPENDENT ON CONTAINER
Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, rivals for the trade supremacy of the world, have long specialized in efficient packing methods and the development of damage-proof containers. A visit to any one of our seaports, where containers which are made in America can be compared with those which are made abroad, is sufficient to convince our captains of industry that we must make giant strides in this direction if we are to share the world's trade after the war ends.
This general complaint is perhaps not so true of the specialized or one-line industry. For example, we ship canned goods, or any commodity that lends itself to a very compact and condensed form of pack
ing, with some success, tho in this case, too, the ironstrapped or wire-strapped case employed by foreign shipping interests has proved better.
Complaints arise chiefly from inefficient methods employed in packing shipments comprising a variety of articles ranging, for example, from anvil to curling iron, with hosier, foodstuffs, and ostrich plumes as part lots. In a great many cases little or no attention is paid to the strength of the outside container, nor to the efficient utilization of the space within. Consul General J. A. Britton, Sidney, New South Wales, reiterates a complaint of long standing. He says:
In speaking of strapping cases of merchandise for export, the Sidney Chamber of Commerce says in some instances the cases are found with wire one way only, the wire running with the boards, securing one board and leaving others unpro. tected. It is suggested that the cases be bound both ways, that is to say, at right angles to the line of the board and another band of wire running with the boards and thus insure a better safeguard against pillaging.
The question of pillaging at the Sidney wharves is a very serious one. It is alleged that the annual loss from this cause at the wharves and in transit amounts to $500,000.
Owing to the constant advance in freight rates, many importers here have called attention to the necessity of conserving all space in packing various kinds of merchandise. In certain instances, it is claimed that a saving of ten to thirty per cent in space can be effected thru closer packing. This applies not only to the packing of the merchandise in cases too large for the contents, but equally as well to the pasteboard boxes containing merchandise. It is said there is frequently twentyfive per cent waste space in these boxes. When one considers that the transportation of a ton of freight costs $50, it can readily be seen that the purchaser does not desire to pay for waste space, thus adding to the actual cost of freight on his consignment. It has also been suggested that the various shippers of motor cars and machinery should standardize pack. ing cases wherever standardization is possible, thus saving not only tonnage, but lumber in constructing the case.
Some of the large concerns of this country have turned these suggestions to account by adopting the device of assembling a shipment on a table or platform. It is measured by a form in the shape of a skeleton box, which is provided with movable sides and a measured framework. This enables the packer to determine the exact size of the container required, whereupon a box of that size is constructed. This plan, while entailing a little more initial expense, is most economical in the long run because of satisfied customers, reduced transportation expense, and lessened lumber bills.
The suggestions just made apply not only to export business, but also to domestic trade.
In the case of domestic shipments, various ratings are provided for the same article according to the manner in which it is prepared for shipment. Hand crosscut saws, for example, when shipped without packing protection, take a rate of one and one-half times first class; when on boards, they take a firstclass rate; when in crates, a second-class rate; and when in boxes, a third-class rate. These ratings, it may be observed, decrease as the risk incurred in transporting the article decreases. Obviously, a saw completely boxed is much less susceptible to damage than one not packed, or one packed on a board or in a crate.
In the case of miscellaneous shipments weighing as little as 200 pounds, except when the rate is unusually high, it is not economical to sort out the goods into separate containers. The increased cost of separate containers offsets the saving effected under the lower. rating for a part of the shipment.
Definitions It is to be regretted that transportation agencies have failed to define accurately what is a box and what is a crate, etc. At present it is very difficult to decide what is a box or a crate, a bale or a bundle. Tho an attempt has been made by the classification committees to define these containers, as yet the situation is unsatisfactory.
The need also exists for tests of the merits of various materials for containery. Many shippers have found that fibreboard containers afford as secure protection as those of wood, and cost somewhat less. An added advantage of fibreboard containers is that when folded, they require less space for storage, and thus render valuable space free for other purposes.
Waste in Use of One-Trip Containers The use of the one-trip container is very expensive Professor Breed, of the Massachusetts Institute of