Avoid costly damage to your shipment by protecting it against road and warehouse conditions. Unless your freight requires a full truckload, your shipment will be grouped with other less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments and shipped by truck. This guide will help you prevent damage and loss by properly packing, securing and labeling your shipment.
A properly packed shipment is your greatest protection against damage. An improperly packed or poorly addressed shipment may cause delays and unnecessary damage. To avoid these problems, we recommend you follow the following advice on how to pack and crate.
The Tools You Need for the Job
Large items and multiple boxes should be palletized before shipping. Make sure there is no overhang when boxes are stacked; they have to be distributed squarely. Pallets or skids come in standard sizes (48” x 40”) that can easily be purchased, or ask your local grocer or large retailers if they can provide you with one. Use heavy-duty plastic wrap to strap or secure your item(s) directly to the pallet. When items are palletized, be sure you have a dock loading station and fork lift at the pickup location and delivery destination. If your business does not have a dock or you are shipping from a residence, you must request a truck with a lift gate. There is an additional charge for added equipment options.
Crating provides the highest level of protection against damage and loss. This method of packing is used for high value, fragile items, overweight items and easily damaged Items. The advantage of using a crate is protection; the disadvantage is its added weight, size and cost. It should be done by a professional crating company, or someone with experience. Crating even small items may cost $50.00 – $100.00 to ship, with large items costing hundreds of dollars. Check out our packaging tips for more information on how to crate.
Double Corrugated Cardboard
Using heavy grades (or double layers) of cardboard is often a reasonable option to crating. A great majority of freight is shipped in this manner. For furniture and other larger items, protect the finish with quality corrugated cardboard and be sure to strap the item with either strapping bands or nylon strapping tape. Double boxing is a must for China, glassware and other small fragile items. These items should be hand-wrapped in padding such as bubble wrap or paper. The items should be separated by more padding and placed inside an inner shipping box. Do not over pack boxes. All box crated items should be placed inside the actual shipping box with at least 2″ of padding between the inside box and the outside shipping box.
Standard Grade Corrugated Cardboard
Less fragile items such as books, clothing, etc. may be successfully shipped in an appropriate grade of corrugated cardboard. Make sure your box is in new or good condition. Used boxes are acceptable as long as they are labeled clearly and continue to be sturdy.
Over wrapping is not necessary for some items, but can be a real cost saver in certain situations. Materials used for over wrapping include: cardboard, plastic, canvas, etc. Use this method of packing for items that are not easily damaged or items that cannot be scratched or marred.
In some cases you may choose to ship an items “as is” with no packaging or protection. Because of its unique size, shape and build material, some items may be shipped unpackaged. These types of items can and will withstand freight shipping without protection. Generally these items are not easily damaged, destroyed or compromised by normal shipping conditions.
Without proper labeling, the risk for misplaced or lost freight increases. All items should have the address and telephone number clearly marked for both the shipper and consignee (ship to person). Additionally it is helpful to include any special instructions, contacts, optional telephone numbers and hours available for delivery.
Shipping / Receiving
FreightCenter agents function much like a travel agent for your freight, providing suggestions and making recommendations on how best to execute the logistics for your shipment. Agents can provide advice on how to package and ship, as well as, how to download appropriate BOL paperwork and documents. Upon booking you will also receive proof of shipment, tracking PRO numbers, carrier telephone numbers and customer service numbers. When your shipment is delivered you should count and inspect contents for damage. Any problems or shortages should be noted on the driver’s manifest as the carrier is liable for safe and timely delivery.
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