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Preparing Your Shipment for a Freight Shipping Company

23 Dec 2013

You have hired a freight shipping company for the first time. Now it is time to consider how to prepare your shipment. Here are some general tips to consider as you prepare your freight.

  • Consider palletizing. If there are many pieces to your freight, bundling them on a pallet and protecting them properly is a recommended course of action in many situations. The many pieces become one and it is much easier to protect from damage as well as to move.
  • Avoid overhangs on pallets. If pieces are unusual in shape or vary too much, this can result in punctures and damage in various ways. This is a situation where palletting may not be feasible or the best option.
  • Freight shipping companies prefer standard wood or plastic pallets that weigh between 20 and 70 lbs.
  • Use pallets that will hold up. That means pallets that have deck boards that are spaced close together, pallets that are recommended for the weight you will be placing on them, and certainly pallets that are not broken or damaged in any way.
  • When stacking boxes on a pallet, use columns corner to corner and not rotating or other patterns. They tend not to be as strong.
  • Secure the shipment to the pallet. Use strong banding and stretch wrap when possible.
  • Label everything. This means labeling with telephone numbers and addresses as well as labeling each individual piece.
  • If not palletizing your freight, use commonly used or approved boxes, crates, or other shipping containers if at all possible.
  • If you are reusing shipping materials, as with any other method of shipping, make sure you remove all old labels or tags.
  • It is recommended that you use two or more inches of cushioning material between each piece or each package. This could be fiberboard, Styrofoam, blankets, or good old fashioned newspaper.
  • Make sure you print all waybills, labels, or other shipping documents and have them clearly marked or provided for in whatever fashion the freight shipping company requested. This may mean having multiple copies, signed and/or filled out.
  • Make sure times and other specifications have been clarified with the driver and all other parties. This means having the shipment in a location where the driver can easily pick up the freight. Inevitably this requires asking questions and communicating properly with the freight shipping company so there are no surprises for you or the driver on the day of the pickup. Often freight shipping companies may provide documentation that confirms or clarifies many specifics.