A quick and easy guide for everyone

If you need to ship freight using a LTL, or Less-than-Truckload service, there are some facts you should know before getting started. Pricing, packaging, and shipping methods are a bit different with freight shipping. This helpful freight guide will explain these differences.

Freight Shipping Prices

Freight shipping prices are often determined using a method called “Freight Class” or classification of shipments. There are four freight classifications: density, stowability, ease of handling, and liability. Density is determined by the object’s weight as compared to the space it occupies. This is calculated in pounds per cubic feet. Stowability is how the object will fit into the trailer along with other packages. Its size, weight, and shape are considered to help determine stowability.

Ease of handling means how much special care (if any) the package will require. Liability is measured by value per pound, the item’s liability to damage, the package’s tendency to damage other freight items (through spills, explosions, etc.), or if the item is perishable. Freight companies will look at all four factors before determining a price.

Packaging for Freight Shipments

Freight is usually shipped on pallets with reinforcing shrink wrap. The shrink wrap must overlap and be layered to tightly secure the package. The box or item to be shipped must be well-secured to the pallet before wrapping. Avoid stacking multiple items on top of one another and never allow the freight to overlap the pallet. Also, place cardboard between the object and the pallet to reduce risk of damage. Freight shipping puts lots of strain on items, so adequate packaging should always be a top priority. Packing efficiently can also save you money on shipping.

Freight Shipping and Labeling

For multiple pieces of freight, provide a Bill of Lading with an accurate number of pieces and a detailed description of the products. This is especially important for companies to help prevent shortages. Labels should be placed on the packages and pallets, and all labels should match the Bill of Lading to ensure proper delivery. For special labeling to describe the package or to give special instructions, use brightly colored labels.

Freight Shipping to Other Countries

Freight shipping internationally requires certain documentation depending on the country. There are special Bill of Ladings, commercial invoices, a Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED), the NAFTA Certificate of Origin, and other documents to consider.

Save Money on Freight Shipping

When shipping freight, it’s wise to do your homework beforehand. Compare freight services, their requirements, and their pricing. You might also save big by using a freight broker instead of dealing directly with a trucking company. Freight brokers often receive huge discounts because they are dealing with trucking companies from a “wholesale” perspective. You can enjoy some of these savings as well if you plan to ship freight often.

Use this guide and check with freight companies to enjoy savings on all your freight shipping needs.