The Tale of the Butter-Soaked Box - How to Prevent Shipping Problems

Usually, a photo like the one below is a sign that things didn’t go well for the recipient. Especially since the contents of the box is a finished print job.

But there’s a happy ending to the story that can benefit you and your clients.


prevent shipping problems


In the client’s own words:

“Just wanted to say thanks for always using double cartons when shipping UPS or FedEx.  The attached photo was taken of one of my jobs that arrived via UPS, but someone had shipped butter and it melted and leaked all over the UPS truck and my cartons. Luckily, your double cartons saved and protected the contents perfectly. I think the UPS driver was more upset than I was...”

A butter-soaked box – who would ever have that on their list of problems to avoid in printing?

Add this to the list of business upheavals of the past few years. There are ongoing logistics, shipping, rising costs, and inventory issues…the list is long.

There is one strategy we use to protect you and your clients from butter-soaked boxes and other catastrophes, large and small, expected and unexpected.

WTP is systematic about managing your job through the entire printing process.

A systematic approach to everything in business is one way to protect ourselves and our clients against the unexpected.

Here’s a brief outline of the systems we use to prevent errors at every step of a job’s journey through our shop.

File Preparation and Proofing

It’s our experience that 99% of all reprints are caused by not doing a thorough job of proofing. Western Trade Printing offers two levels of proofing to assure that no errors make it to press.

You can get more details about our proofing strategies here.

G7® Methodology Used on Every Job

Your clients want consistent color across all devices, processes, inks, and substrates on every job.

It’s a complicated job. But our G7® Methodology ensures that you get this consistency on every job. The system means you don’t have to worry or figure it out on your own. This systematic approach also reduces turnaround times, proofing costs, waste, and make-ready time.

It makes it possible to communicate accurately about color across multiple organizations.

Read more about our print methodology here.

Paper inventory

When you send us stock for future jobs, we track it with our paper inventory module. When you get an estimate, your inventory can be assigned to future jobs. Our method gives you updated reports on current and future inventory levels.

With this detailed knowledge you can stay ahead of your paper purchasing needs.

4-Point WTP! Shipping Checklist

It’s no secret that years of relationship building can be undermined by one shipment—or even one box—that goes wrong.

A mistake means profit disappears because you know a reprint is coming. And a lifetime of future earnings from an important client is at risk, with competitors always ready to pounce.

Here at Western Trade Printing, we recognize that proper packaging and shipping is a vital link in the chain.

That’s why we take uncommon measures to ensure every one of your print projects arrives in “Wow” condition, with our 4-Point WTP! Shipping Checklist.

  1. All ground shipments are double-boxed and "H" Taped.
  2. Whenever economically feasible, your project will be skid packed with corner protectors, heavy duty strapping and stretch wrapped for integrity.
  3. The shipment is then photographed and shipped "blind" from our location in your name. As an authentic trade printer, you will NEVER see the WTP! name on a shipment leaving our facility.
  4. While WTP can't control what shippers do once they pick up a job, we minimize risk by only working with top rated shipping companies.

This simple shipping process can be a lifesaver. I have literally seen skids that have fallen off the dock and the skid is trashed, but the skid “deck” and the materials on it are still intact. The skid is not necessarily in usable condition, but the strapping and stretch wrap hold it all together and protect the valuable contents.

Check out the photos of our 4-Point WTP! Shipping Checklist here.

Our Staff is Your Staff

We encourage all our clients to think of our staff as their staff.

Together, we have a combined 250+ years of printing experience and knowledge to share with you. We use this experience one-on-one to help you support your clients and grow your company.

Use us for big-picture things such as overall printing business strategy. Or use us to solve small technical or logistical problems you might be having.

The Bottom Line on Systems

As you see, systems don’t have to be complicated. Sometimes the simplest set of tasks, documented and put into practice, are the most effective. Good systems can protect you and your clients from mistakes and the unexpected.

And every time you work with WTP, you and your clients benefit from our systems, already in place.


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