How to Ship Anything - A Guide to the Freight Industry
This informative guide will have you fully prepared when the truck arrives.

If you are reading this guide, the chances are that you have not shipped before, or you are new to how the process works; however, you will be part of a warehouse crew and therefore are familiar with most of this stuff already. This guide will handle all of the cornerstones of the freight industry and may map out the road to preparedness for shippers. In case you have less than 150 pounds (68 kilograms) in total commodity weight (something in a box), service should be requested from a parcel carrier including UPS, FedEx, or DHX. Small items for parcel carriers are not the subject of this shipping guide. This is about shipping pallets, crates, and large trucks carrying big things. The shipping marketplace is highly detail-oriented, and it is important to become ready in full confidence by letting an understanding of how to be ready to ship your items effectively.

USA Box Express
I: Short Glossary of Essential Terms

shipper - the origin party to the shipment where the freight is obtaining.
consignee - the destination/receiving party the place that the freight is delivering.
freight class - the rating used on LTL shipments based upon density
density - the amount of space a shipment occupies (a measurement in pounds per cubic foot)
FTL - full truckload
LTL - less than truck load

II: Which kind of truck is required?

There can be vehicle and trailer requirements with respect to the weight and dimensions of the commodity being transported. There are many various types of trailers that are linked to the truck. For example, a flatbed is definitely an open air platform without covering. Also, a step-deck flatbed carries a lowered center in an attempt to acquire enough vertical space for tall items in order to clear bridges. A dry van is regarded as the typical type of enclosed trailer, that is what you would consider to be a normal semi-truck trailer or commonly termed as a 53-foot van. Many smaller delivery box trucks of 40' or 24' long are more accessible for small enterprise and residential deliveries the place where a longer vehicle wanting to exit a tight street/facility access is actually difficult and dangerous.

The body weight and dimensions of the stress will determine whether the shipment can be a full truckload (FTL), a lower than truckload (LTL), or a volume/partial truckload (VPTL or PTL). A shipment totaling only some pallets or a few crates, generally not with over 10 to 16 feet of trailer space (according to carrier), means that your shipment qualifies as LTL. These types of shipments require your commodity be assigned a freight class through an item classification system. Note for FTL or flatbed customers, prepare to produce arrangements to load and unload the shipment through the truck especially if the desired goal would be to save money. The maximum weight for a truckload is usually around 40 to 44 thousand pounds (18 to ~20 thousand kilograms ). In case your shipment occupies 12-14 linear feet or higher of trailer space, it qualifies as a volume or partial load.

III: Getting ready to ship

a. Must you palletize or crate your item?

The first task to preparing for a shipment is choosing the handling unit that enables for your item(s) to get transported efficiently and safely. A handling unit is recognized as a forklift-ready preparation of the item to be shipped with. Oftentimes, the slot where forklifts and pallet jacks are inserted underneath the freight is called "cribbing". In a lot of cases, however, large circumstances to be loaded on a flatbed truck can simply be hoisted onto the truck with a forklift or any other loading equipment and moved being a piece and strapped to the platform appropriately (and perchance even covered with tarps for weather protection). Sometimes, ramps might even be available to drive or move vehicles or equipment on to the truck bed. In general instances when you need to palletize the shipment, standard pallets most often suffice to accommodate the handling with the items, but the following is definitely an extensive list of the kinds of shipping handling units:

- Pallets, also referred to as skids, are forklift-maneuverable platforms, the typical sizes being 40" x 48" or 48" x 48" (length by width) and most commonly composed of plywood, though metal pallets are often used, too. They are generally about 40 pounds in weight. You can easily locate them behind most retail outlets or shopping centers, and they also can also be obtained for free at other places. A general rule when loading your pallet would be to not try to build up the pallets any taller than 6-8 feet. Shrink wrap and/or straps are commonly used to secure those things to the pallet. We recommend the things always boxed up or engrossed in cardboard. In the instance of engines, motor, and transmissions, a regular pallet with straps will often suffice perfectly.

- Crates are forklift-maneuverable plywood boxes constructed by either the shipper or appropriate local crating service as well as purchased from a vendor of pre-assembled crates. Crating is usually necessary for furniture like sofas and couches and it is a logical practice so that you can protect any bulky or delicate items during the shipping process. Open crates are occasionally used as well, that is a box of wood framed around the item(s) around the pallet instead of completely enclosed in plywood like with a normal crate. Further, the crate's contents probably need to be secured or strapped down inside also.

- Carton is the industry term for cardboard boxes for your items. It's not often, but not a carrier need a loose box or two without palletizing.

- Containers are metal trailers which are loaded onto flatbed trucks and most often used in international shipping. When your item moves by sea and doesn't occupy a full container, it can be consolidated with other items in a container. When the container is moved short distances (as an example, from the port), this is whats called drayage.

- Reels can be used for wire, cable, along with other wrapped material. They normally are placed on the truck as being a standalone piece, in case there is a significant volume of them or weigh over 75 pounds (about 34 kilograms), they'll need to be palletized prior to dispatch.

- Rolls, comparable to reels, are used to move items which are wrapped around like hoses, bubble wrap, etc. Carpet is often shipped as standalone rolls without palletizing.

- Drums and cylinders are fantastic containers to go on top of pallets or small skids- many currently have cribbing on them. The only contrast between drums and cylinders could be the material it's created from.

- Tubes are widely-used often for shipments which aren't very heavy. The most frequent ones are made with cardboard, with plastic end caps to hold the items inside. A shipper might want to put some tape over the sealed lids for added security. Tubes usually are not shipped very often on LTL carriers. This is mainly used to ship via parcel carriers.

- Totes act like buckets, typically made from a plastic derivative using the cribbing prepared at the bottom for forklift and pallet jack access.

- Loose pieces aren't usually allowed by LTL carriers being a pallet provides stability from pieces bouncing around in the truck and getting damaged. Rise just listed on the shipping documentation and confirmed by the carrier for acceptance. The items may have wheels and are loaded on the truck as they are. Pieces are also counted because when many boxes are now being shipped or the quantity of objects inside a box.

b. Shipment is in a position!

So far, we have mentioned several unique types of preparations for shipping, but learning to think with a mindset in terms of item protection and logistics will increase your overall experience in shipping. Discover how to realize when ramps on the flatbed are required to load, say, golf carts (and other wheeled items or vehicles) about the truck. Another scenario might demand a step deck truck when the freight is 9 feet in height or even a little taller. Putting the freight in cardboard boxes and strapping pallet is often a great and simple strategy to ship. There are even foam packing materials you are able to stuff inside the packaging for added protection. Definitely recommended! We suggest strapping or tying down the freight as well. For furniture shippers, another great solution is to get some foam furniture pads to strap on your pieces on the pallet for defense. Sometimes, people place blankets in the surface of the items for cover purposes. Again, in almost any LTL shipment, the freight should be secured on to the skid or made forklift-ready with another handling unit just before time of pickup. In FTL shipments, the shipper needs to be prepared to load and unload with a logistics strategy for such.

Now you must decided the appropriate strategy to ship. Your freight is secured and capable to be loaded. Deciding on the best handling unit, packing the shipment appropriately, and selecting any necessary special services would be the most integral stages to become prepared to ship. Individuals need to be innovative as to any packing materials they utilize for shielding the commodity. It is critical to keep safety in the cargo in mind also to allow proper time to get ready for shipping. At a later date we will discuss comprehensive liability insurance options, but now, let's talk about what constitutes a special service.

c. Weighing and measuring the shipment

Obtaining a precise weight measurement for your freight can often present difficulties as LTL carriers price shipments dependant on the weight as well as the freight class. You could be a shipping veteran scanning this article with an industrial weight scale for your warehouse, so this may be a topic you are acquainted with, but residential shippers usually do not often have access to a scale, and we have some tips on how to ask for accurate weight measurement. Try picking out the details of any and all model numbers to your products online, along with a weight measurement might be found. In cases once you only have boxes to palletize, stand on a scale and weigh yourself first. Then, stand on the scale with boxes and subtract your system weight from the measurement, and you may target an accurate weight that way. Remember, the pallet will add about 40 pounds for the shipment, and crates could add up to or even more than 50-60 pounds. For those who have your shipment prepared, it's time to bring out the tape-measure and obtain the length, width, and height (L x W x H).

d. Special services

The is shaped around a regular model of business-to-business shipments. Anything else required is typically assessed in the accessorial surcharge. There are a number of accessorial types such as liftgates, residential service, inside pickups & deliveries, limited access entry, or appointment surcharges.

The top example of this is for people who require a method to load those things on or off of the truck should order a hydraulic liftgate, which is a steel mechanical platform around the back of a truck. If a liftgate has been requested, the truck driver will come furnished with a pallet jack, a different sort of heavy lifting device employed by LTL carriers used to wheel the freight in to the proper position for loading/unloading. If the shipment is light enough to become lifted manually about the truck or the shipper features a forklift or other hoisting device, customers can forego this excess cost.

Residential pickups and deliveries mean a computerized appointment is scheduled to ensure the someone is present at time of service and usually imply a liftgate truck will be required as well. Carriers will sometime send a lesser, 24-foot truck to accommodate the tighter turns connected with residential streets; however, this is not always the case. You may also have your freight ready with your garage (as long as there aren't any huge hills about the driveway).

Another accessorial is classified as an inside pickup or delivery once the truck driver is required to enter inside a building for pickup or delivery when the freight is not prepared on the roadside or the loading dock.

Oftentimes, trucks are requested to enter into limited access areas like storage facilities, schools, farms, churches, prisons, as well as other places with gated entry. As a visit to a construction site or trade show may be classified distinctly, it's still comparable in nature and charges nearly the same.

Once the commodity needs to stay chilled and even frozen, this may require a refrigerated truck (also called "reefer") if you need to ship with multimodal shipping services, which lowers carrier availability and raises fuel and resource requirements. The usage of dry ice for any pallet or two will let you circumvent excess costs of frozen shipping while still keeping the items chilled during transit.

Appointments for pickups and/or deliveries are a part of residential service fees, however you should have the ways to determine if there will be a smaller extra cost from the carrier. Usually, an appointment can be made to the consignee for delivery within 30 minutes to an hour ahead of truck arrival, however if you wish to hold it for appointment time, you will definately get a phone call and a precise here we are at pickup, instead of a 3-4 hour time frame.

There are special regulations when shipping hazardous materials (HAZMAT). Any situation that is considered flammable gets a small HAZMAT charge, and documentation will be needed to determine the UN (Us) number. Any active batteries should also be disconnected ahead of pickup. Paint, fertilizer, glue and sealants, ammonia, or oil are all examples of commodities which can be classified as HAZMAT.

Comprehensive insurance policies may be purchased to secure yourself against damages and losses. For brand new items, the liability offered with a basic freight quote is placed at $10/pound. For used or pre-owned items, that figure is dependant on about $.10/pound. It's important to ensure that you have landed the value of the commodity. Remember, the freight must always be prepared/palletized for shipping to be eligible for coverage. Also, don't forget to inspect for damages on arrival and notate anything visible for the delivery receipt when signing at delivery time.

Occasionally, companies will ship over maximum weight and over-dimensional objects. These could require permits and, if applicable, police escorts for your driver. These are only in some, special cases when the shipment is big or occupies over 8 feet in width.

e. International ocean & air shipping

International freight usually transports via ocean container to save lots of the most on freight costs. This can be referred to as FCL (full containerized load) and LCL (lower than containerized load). Container ship freight as well as air freight are rated by volume in cubic meters except to Hawaii and also other major U.S. island freight lanes that are rated in cubic feet. Alaska is often a notable exception that freight is rated through the pound in the busy ocean barge lanes between Seattle-Tacoma harbors to Alaska's major port cities. Air cargo is generally used on products that have to be expedited to prevent business loss due to delays in other modes of freight transportation which is more expensive than shipping by boat; however, this still requires working days transit times for ends, unlike airline passenger traffic. Air cargo uses different volume-based measurements with respect to the carrier but are basically calculated from cubic centimeters or inches.

When shipping internationally, the principle added element to become understood is importation costs which is assumed by the Importer of Record (generally the consignee), but this could be a 3rd party as well. Often the actual freight charges are less than the combined import costs with the destination charges paid by the consignee in local currency and customs, duties, and local sales tax in addition to a customs broker's prices. Clearly, these larger pair of details and costs are dependent on the country of import as well as the carrier. It's often required and finest advised to use a local customs broker when importing in order to correctly assess total import costs with duties and taxes in addition to properly filing entry paperwork together with the government of the country of import.

IV. Making the pickup

Before a truck is dispatched, a shipping agreement will probably be sent to the billed party for the quoted freight rate, and payment arrangements are made. Many people opt to charge a credit or debit card to pay for the freight, however if you simply ship frequently, other options may be available. Then, the shipper gets their shipping documentation.

The check of Lading is the only document vital to get the freight with a truck, although sometimes other documentation is necessary, especially when dealing with border crossings. Sometimes of pickup, you will require this document reproduced to hand to the driver. This document has every one of the itemized details for the shipment, including any freight classes, NMFC item numbers, item details and dimensions, addresses, and all sorts of rest of it. It is vital to have the document at your fingertips and to be prepared to load. After pickup has been made, all that is left is tracking and delivery.

Unfortunately, trucking publication rack not moving companies, and often they will not hesitate to refuse a large quanity and drive off in their truck without the item(s) to get picked up aboard. This usually occurs when the shipper is unprepared to meet the truck for loading, has the freight improperly packaged/palletized, or driver is made to delay or wait a long time. Obviously, being properly prepared is often a key priority to successful shipping.

V. Tracking and delivery

All right! So, your shipment continues to be picked up, and it's along the way! People like to be aware of latest status of the shipment, so this is exactly why most carriers made it easy to find this information online. With most carriers, the shipment will be designated a PRO tracking number during the time of pickup and made available in the carrier's billing system usually the day after pick-up & processing within the origin terminal. After the number is made available, one can view the tracking info on the carrier's website, or call the carrier and identify the shipment with the PRO number. This is why to decipher approximately if the actual delivery is going to take place. As delivery time systems for LTL shipments, keep in mind in order to schedule an appointment or get advanced notice if you're not regularly at the delivery location. Again, residential deliveries are common held for about one day while an appointment is scheduled. The shipment has been completed as of the actual when the delivery receipt (Evidence of Delivery) has been signed and released by the carrier to the consignee at delivery. Make sure to inspect and notate any visible damages to that particular document before signing to the freight.

VI. Spending less

Freight costs can be intimidating and expensive; thus, saving cash takes top priority. To begin with, residential shippers can save money if they're willing and able to visit the freight terminal to get or drop off their LTL shipment within a pickup truck or other suitable vehicle. By way of example, since YRC Freight assesses $50 per residential entry and $50 per liftgate, the shipper saves $100 on the bill by going to the terminal; however, sometimes it's not a feasible means, and also the special services are still required because the customer cannot obtain the items at the terminal or there's not one close enough to venture to. Another way that shippers can help to save money on LTL shipments is when the item is crated, them will receive a better freight class and, therefore, a much more competitive rate. As an illustration, say someone was shipping an electric train engine and decided to place it in a crate, the freight class would drop from 85 to 70, as well as the freight rate tummy flatness, although down a little bit. Another case in the event the freight class would drop happens when the item is disassembled (a sofa taken apart or machinery disassembled). These kind of shipments are referred to as knocked down (KD) as opposed to a fully-assembled item known as standing upright (SU). A rule of thumb is that the more compact a shipment is (the less space it occupies), better the freight class will likely be from the LTL carriers. For truckloads, shippers have to be mindful that they need to anticipate to load within two hours or quicker. Any other time usually implies higher prices to compensate the carrier to the time spent waiting. Flatbed trucks are more expensive than standard vans, if you decide to can find a way to load your shipment in a van, you can save money; however, you could require the ability to load the shipment horizontally onto the truck. On another note, refrigerated and frozen shipments are very expensive. With the use of dry ice or styrofoam coolers with ice packs, a person may be able to forego our prime pricing of temperature-controlled trucking.

a. Upcharges and rate changes

Everybody hates when rate increases occur, but occasionally an invoice will be adjusted. This informative guide is laid out in a way that should minimize problems of working with trucking companies and, therefore, the quantity of re-bills you will receive (if any).

Detention charges are assessed by carriers once the driver is forced to attend more than about 90 minutes to make the pickup or dropoff. When detention expenditure is levied, this often reflects poor planning beforehand.

A dry run fee is generally assessed when the carrier visits an area for pickup or delivery, and no one is present. Again, it is imperative to be ready to load with the Bill of Lading available at time of service.

When the freight is not measured properly, an LTL carrier will employ a re-classification if the commodity is assigned a freight class in accordance with its density.

In shipments where the delivery address is modified, a re-consignment fee can be a small addition to the whole freight cost.

VII. Conclusion

Though there are other scenarios that decision for rate changes (port visits, trailer drops, etc.), the following information should educate your reader on good practices, how to avoid these situations, and also on what to expect from shipping carriers inside the freight industry. Much like other ventures in daily life, shipping requires planning and adequate here we are at preparation. With experience, you will become intimately familiar with all the aspects of shipping and logistics. From pickup to delivery, this guide covers every single area of the process, though there are also subjects within the freight industry to elaborate with that could double the height and width of this guide. When proper attention and planning is designed for shipping, customers will avoid excess upcharges along with the hassles of dealing with trucking companies. Shipping may also be expensive, so be sure to go find a broker that can set you with competitive freight rates. Best of luck and thanks for reading.

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