Getting the accurate weight is important for carriers, as they need to determine the truck’s overall weight load in order to comply with Federal regulations. If the weight is inaccurate, there will most likely be adjustments in the freight quote.
An accurate calculation of dimensions includes length, width and height rounded to the nearest inch. Carriers need these dimensions in order to know the number of each load that will make up the truck’s overall shipment. As with weight, if the dimensions are inaccurate, there could be adjustments to the initial quote.
Packaging and Crating
When shipping LTL, we recommend that you protect your products as much as possible. You never know what other items may be shipped alongside yours.
Products should always be contained within a box, carton or crate and it should be determined beforehand whether it’s Non fragile, Fragile, Pallet/Crate Items.
- Non-fragile – machinery products, canned products, granular products, tools, hardware, paper, plastic goods, or clothing.
- Fragile – computers and all other electronics, glass items, artwork or anything breakable.
- Pallet/Crate – All items should be in a crate, carton and shrink-wrapped or strapped to a pallet.
Place items inside containers or new shipping boxes. Use interior padding like bubble wrap, rolled foam, or foam pillows to fill in the empty spaces. Use durable packaging tape to secure boxes and make sure all boxes are labeled with product information and delivery information.
Wrap each item individually with bubble wrap or foam padding, place inside the box and pad the remaining space. Bubble wrap the entire box and place inside a second box that is 5 inches bigger than the first one. Tape the box’s seams with durable packaging tape.
Stack all boxes squarely on the pallet, keeping them tight to the corners without any overhang. Make sure there’s an even weight distribution and that the top surface is flat. Afterwards, shrink-wrap the pallet by laying a strand of the shrink-wrap (sometimes called stretch-wrap) on a corner of the pallet (it’s recommended not to tie a knot, as someone will have to cut that later on), then pull the wrap flat against the pallet, making several even and overlapping passes around the boxes. Pulling as much of the wrap out as possible is beneficial since it takes the extra stretch out of it and keeps the items secure and tight as one package.
While making wooden crates yourself might not be feasible, there are professionals that can handle this for you and it’s still worthwhile to keep in mind how they should be packed. Heavy items should be placed on the bottom and lighter items should be placed on top. Either completely fill the crates with items so as to avoid shifting, or use packing material to fill in the extra space.
Another tip is to print out extra copies of your Bill of Ladings and stick it over your packaged items. Being prepared for the worst case scenario takes the “worse” out of the scenario.
Know your freight class - Common Freight Classifications
Knowing the Freight Class of your shipment is crucial in determining a freight quote. New shippers are often confused on how to classify the items they're shipping. With that in mind, we have created a small list of common items along with their classification to shed some light into the complex world of Freight Classification.
Stand Up - 150
More than 40 inches - 200
- Air Compressor - 85
- Books - 65
- Canoe in box or crate - 300
- Car Parts (Body) - 300
- Coin Operated Video Game - 125
- Engine - 85
- Household Goods - 100
- Jukebox - 125
- Mattress - 250
- Motorcycle - 150
- Outboard Motor - 85
- Pool Table - 100
- Television - Less than 40 inches - 125
- Transmission - 85
- Wooden Book Case - Stand Up - 150
- Wooden Chair - Knocked Down - 85
- Wooden Entertainment Center - Stand Up - 150
- Wooden Table - Knocked Down - 85
- Wooden Whiskey Barrels - 200
Unassembled - 70
Unassembled - 70
IMPORTANT - Final freight class also depends on the weight and density of the items being shipped. The above numbers may be higher or lower.