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17 Mar 2016
The following information will have you fully prepared if the truck arrives.

Should you be reading this guide, the chances are that you have not shipped before, otherwise you are new to how the procedure works; however, you're likely to be part of a warehouse crew and they are familiar with most of these products already. This guide will take care of all of the cornerstones of the freight industry and may map out the road to preparedness for shippers. For people who have less than 150 pounds (68 kilograms) altogether commodity weight (something in a small box), service must be requested from a parcel carrier such as UPS, FedEx, or DHX. Small items for parcel carriers are not the subject of this shipping guide. This is about shipping pallets, crates, and big trucks carrying big things. The shipping companies are highly detail-oriented, and it is important to get ready in full confidence through getting an understanding of how to get ready to ship your items effectively.

USA Box Express
I: Short Glossary of Essential Terms

shipper - the cause party to the shipment from where the freight is picking up.
consignee - the destination/receiving party in which the freight is delivering.
freight class - the rating used on LTL shipments based upon density
density - the quantity of space a shipment occupies (a measurement in pounds per cubic foot)
FTL - full truckload
LTL - under truck load

II: Which truck is required?

There might be vehicle and trailer requirements with respect to the weight and dimensions of the commodity being transported. There are numerous various types of trailers that are linked to the truck. For example, a flatbed is surely an open air platform without any covering. Also, a step-deck flatbed has a lowered center so as to acquire enough vertical space for tall products in order to clear bridges. A dry van is easily the most typical type of enclosed trailer, which is what you would consider to be an average semi-truck trailer or commonly referred to as a 53-foot van. Many smaller delivery box trucks of 40' or 24' in total are more accessible for business and residential deliveries the place where a longer vehicle trying to exit a tight street/facility access is tough and dangerous.

The weight and dimensions of the strain will determine whether the shipment is really a full truckload (FTL), a lower than truckload (LTL), or a volume/partial truckload (VPTL or PTL). A shipment totaling just one or two pallets or a few crates, generally not with over 10 to 16 feet of trailer space (based on carrier), means that your shipment qualifies as LTL. Most of these shipments require your commodity be assigned a freight class via an item classification system. Note for FTL or flatbed customers, prepare to generate arrangements to load and unload the shipment in the truck especially if the desired goal would be to save money. The maximum weight for any truckload is usually around 40 to 44 thousand pounds (18 to ~20 thousand kilograms ). If the shipment occupies 12-14 linear feet or maybe more of trailer space, that qualifies as a volume or partial load.

III: On the point of ship

a. Should you palletize or crate your item?

The first task to preparing for a shipment is selecting a handling unit that permits for your item(s) to get transported efficiently and safely. A handling unit is regarded as a forklift-ready preparation in the item to be shipped with. Oftentimes, the slot where forklifts and pallet jacks are inserted beneath the freight is called "cribbing". In a number of cases, however, large circumstances to be loaded on a flatbed truck can easily be hoisted onto the truck with a forklift or another loading equipment and moved being a piece and strapped to the platform appropriately (and possibly even covered with tarps for weather protection). Sometimes, ramps might even be available to drive or move vehicles or equipment about the truck bed. In general times when you need to palletize the shipment, standard pallets normally suffice to accommodate the handling of the, but the following can be an extensive list of the kinds of shipping handling units:

- Pallets, often known as skids, are forklift-maneuverable platforms, the standard sizes being 40" x 48" or 48" x 48" (length by width) and most commonly composed of plywood, though metal pallets tend to be used, too. They're usually about 40 pounds in weight. One can possibly easily locate them behind most stores 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 accumulate the pallets any taller than 6-8 feet. Shrink wrap and/or straps will be commonly used to secure the items to the pallet. We recommend the things always boxed up or covered with cardboard. In the instance of engines, motor, and transmissions, a typical pallet with straps in most cases suffice perfectly.

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

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

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

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

- Rolls, similar to reels, are used to move goods that are wrapped around like hoses, bubble wrap, etc. Carpet is usually shipped as standalone rolls without palletizing.

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

- Tubes are widely-used often for shipments which aren't very heavy. The most common ones are made with cardboard, with plastic end caps to keep the items inside. A shipper may want to put some tape over the sealed lids for really security. Tubes are certainly not shipped very often on LTL carriers. This can be mainly used to ship via parcel carriers.

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

- Loose pieces usually are not usually allowed by LTL carriers as a pallet provides stability from pieces bouncing around in a truck and getting damaged. It's usually just listed on the shipping documentation and confirmed with the carrier for acceptance. The things may have wheels and therefore are loaded on the truck as they are. Pieces are also counted due to the fact many boxes are increasingly being shipped or the amount of objects inside a box.

b. Shipment is prepared!

So far, we have mentioned a number of different types of preparations for shipping, but learning to think with a mindset regarding item protection and logistics will boost your overall experience in shipping. Figure out how to realize when ramps on a flatbed are required to load, say, golf carts (or another wheeled items or vehicles) onto the truck. Another scenario might have to have a step deck truck if your freight is 9 ft . tall or even a little taller. Putting the freight in cardboard boxes and strapping pallet is usually a great and simple method to ship. There are even foam packing materials you'll be able to stuff inside the packaging for added protection. Definitely recommended! We also suggest strapping or tying down the freight as well. For furniture shippers, yet another excellent solution is to get some foam furniture pads to strap to your pieces on the pallet for protection. Sometimes, people place blankets within the surface of the items for defense purposes. Again, in almost any LTL shipment, the freight should be secured on to the skid or made forklift-ready with another handling unit prior to time of pickup. In FTL shipments, the shipper must be prepared to load and unload with a logistics strategy for such.

Now you have decided the appropriate approach to ship. Your freight is secured capable to be loaded. Deciding on the best handling unit, packing the shipment appropriately, and selecting any necessary special services include the most integral stages for being prepared to ship. People need to be innovative about any packing materials they utilize for protecting the commodity. It is advisable to keep safety of the cargo in mind also to allow proper time to arrange for shipping. Down the road we will discuss comprehensive insurance options, but now, let's talk about what constitutes a special service.

c. Weighing and measuring the shipment

Receiving a precise weight measurement to the freight can often present difficulties as LTL carriers price shipments based upon the weight as well as the freight class. You may be a shipping veteran reading this article article with an industrial weight scale at your warehouse, so this may be a topic you are knowledgeable about, but residential shippers usually do not often have access to a scale, and now we have some tips on how to get an accurate weight measurement. Try picking out the details of any and all model numbers on your products online, and a weight measurement could possibly be found. In cases when you only have boxes to palletize, ascend to a scale and weigh yourself first. Then, climb onto the scale with boxes and subtract your body weight from the measurement, and you'll target an accurate weight this way. Remember, the pallet include about 40 pounds for the shipment, and crates could add up to or even more than 50-60 pounds. When you've got 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 industry is shaped around a consistent model of business-to-business shipments. Other things required is typically assessed in an accessorial surcharge. There are a number of accessorial types including liftgates, residential service, inside pickups & deliveries, limited access entry, or appointment surcharges.

The optimum example of this is for those that require a method to load those items on or off of the truck will have to order a hydraulic liftgate, that is a steel mechanical platform on the back of a truck. If a liftgate has been requested, the18 wheeler driver will come built with a pallet jack, a different type of heavy lifting device employed by LTL carriers used to wheel the freight into the proper position for loading/unloading. If your shipment is light enough to become lifted manually on to the truck or the shipper carries a forklift or other hoisting device, customers can forego this excess cost.

Residential pickups and deliveries mean an automatic appointment is scheduled so that the someone is present sometimes of service and usually imply a liftgate truck will probably be required as well. Carriers will sometime send a lesser, 24-foot truck to accommodate the tighter turns related to residential streets; however, it's not always the case. You may also have your freight ready in your garage (as long as there isn't any huge hills around the driveway).

Another accessorial is classed as an inside pickup or delivery when the truck driver is motivated to enter inside a building for pickup or delivery in the event the freight is not prepared at the roadside or the loading dock.

Oftentimes, trucks are required to enter into limited access areas like storage facilities, schools, farms, churches, prisons, and other places with gated entry. As being a visit to a construction site or trade event may be classified distinctly, will still be comparable in nature and charges nearly the same.

In the event the commodity needs to stay chilled as well as frozen, this may demand 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 use of dry ice for the pallet or two will assist you to circumvent excess costs of frozen shipping while still keeping the items chilled during transit.

Appointments for pickups and/or deliveries are incorporated into residential service fees, but you should have the means to determine if there will be a small extra cost from the carrier. Usually, a call can be made to the consignee for delivery within A half-hour to an hour ahead of truck arrival, though if you wish to hold it for appointment time, you will get a phone call and a precise here we are at pickup, instead of a 3-4 hour time window.

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

Comprehensive insurance coverage may be purchased to secure yourself against damages and losses. For first time items, the liability offered with a basic freight quote is defined at $10/pound. For used or pre-owned items, that figure depends upon about $.10/pound. You need to ensure that you have included the value of the commodity. Remember, the freight must always be prepared/palletized for shipping to be eligible for a coverage. Also, make sure you inspect for damages on arrival and notate anything visible to the delivery receipt when signing at delivery time.

Occasionally, companies ship over maximum weight and over-dimensional objects. This can require permits and, if applicable, police escorts to the driver. These are only using, 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 in order to save the most on freight costs. That is referred to as FCL (full containerized load) and LCL (below containerized load). Container ship freight as well as air freight are rated by volume in cubic meters except to Hawaii as well as other major U.S. island freight lanes which can be rated in cubic feet. Alaska is a notable exception in which freight is rated by the pound in the busy ocean barge lanes between Seattle-Tacoma harbors to Alaska's major port cities. Air cargo is usually used on products that should 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 on both 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 main added element to become understood is importation costs that's assumed by the Importer of Record (usually the consignee), but this could be a 3rd party as well. Often the actual freight charges are less than the combined import costs in the destination charges paid through the consignee in local currency and customs, duties, and native sales tax in addition to a customs broker's rates. Clearly, these larger group 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 as a way to correctly assess total import costs with duties and taxes along with properly filing entry paperwork using the government of the country of import.

IV. Making the pickup

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

Into your market of Lading is the only document important to get the freight over a truck, although sometimes other documentation is necessary, especially when dealing with border crossings. At time of pickup, you will want this document printed to hand to the driver. This document has all the itemized details for the shipment, including any freight classes, NMFC item numbers, item details and dimensions, addresses, as well as the rest of it. It's important to have the document at your fingertips and to be prepared to load. After pickup has been manufactured, all that is left is tracking and delivery.

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

V. Tracking and delivery

Alright! So, your shipment has become picked up, and it's on how! People like to understand the latest status of these shipment, so this is exactly why most carriers made it easy to find this info online. With most carriers, the shipment will be assigned a PRO tracking number during the time of pickup and made accessible in the carrier's billing system usually day after pick-up & processing from the origin terminal. As soon as the number is made available, it's possible to view the tracking info on the carrier's website, or you can call the carrier and get the shipment with the PRO number. This is why to decipher approximately once the actual delivery will need place. As delivery time methods for LTL shipments, keep in mind if you need to schedule an appointment or get advanced notice if you're not regularly at the delivery location. Again, residential deliveries are held for about some day while an appointment is scheduled. The shipment continues to be completed as of the purpose when the delivery receipt (Proof Delivery) has been signed and released through the carrier to the consignee at delivery. Ensure that you inspect and notate any visible damages compared to that document before signing for the freight.

VI. Conserving money

Freight costs may be intimidating and expensive; thus, saving cash takes top priority. For starters, residential shippers can save money should they be willing and able to visit the freight terminal to post or drop off their LTL shipment in a pickup truck or other suitable vehicle. As an example, since YRC Freight assesses $50 per residential entry and $50 per liftgate, the shipper saves $100 around the bill by going to the terminal; however, sometimes this isn't a feasible means, along with the special services are still required because the customer cannot get the items at the terminal or there isn't one close enough to venture to. Another way that shippers can help to save money on LTL shipments is if the item is crated, an item will receive a better freight class and, therefore, a far more competitive rate. As an example, say someone was shipping a train locomotive and decided to put it in a crate, the freight class would drop from 85 to 70, along with the freight rate will come down a little bit. Another case once the freight class would drop is when the item is disassembled (a settee taken apart or machinery disassembled). These kinds of shipments are known as knocked down (KD) rather than fully-assembled item known as standing upright (SU). A rule is that the more compact a shipment is (the less space it occupies), the better the freight class is going to be from the LTL carriers. For truckloads, shippers must be mindful that they need to anticipate to load within couple of hours or quicker. Any other time usually implies higher prices to create the carrier to the time spent waiting. Flatbed trucks cost more than standard vans, if you can find a way to load your shipment right into a van, you can save money; however, you might require the ability to load the shipment horizontally about the truck. On another note, refrigerated and frozen shipments are incredibly expensive. With the use of dry ice or styrofoam coolers with ice packs, a customer may be able to forego the high pricing of temperature-controlled trucking.

a. Upcharges and rate changes

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

Detention charges are assessed by carriers when the driver is forced to hold back more than about 1 hour 30 minutes to make the pickup or dropoff. When detention expenditure is levied, this often reflects poor planning beforehand.

A dry run fee is often assessed when the carrier visits a place for pickup or delivery, with out one is present. Again, it's imperative to be ready to load with all the Bill of Lading at hand at time of service.

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

In shipments the place that the delivery address is changed, a re-consignment fee is really a small addition to the total freight cost.

VII. Conclusion

Even though there are other scenarios that call for rate changes (port visits, trailer drops, etc.), the following information should educate your reader on good practices, how to avoid these situations, as well as on what to expect from shipping carriers inside the freight industry. As with other ventures in daily life, shipping requires planning and adequate time for preparation. With experience, you will become intimately accustomed to all the aspects of shipping and logistics. From pickup to delivery, the following information 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 made for shipping, customers will avoid excess upcharges and also the hassles of working with trucking companies. Shipping can also be expensive, so ensure that you go find a broker that can set you up with competitive freight rates. All the best and thanks for reading.


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