How to Ship Anything - Helpful tips for the Freight Industry

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This guide will have you fully prepared when the truck arrives.

In case you are reading this guide, the probability is that you have not shipped before, otherwise you are new to how the process works; however, you're likely to be part of a warehouse crew and are familiar with most of these products already. This guide covers all of the cornerstones of the freight industry and definately will map out the road to preparedness for shippers. For those who have less than 150 pounds (68 kilograms) as a whole commodity weight (something in a tiny box), service needs to be requested from a parcel carrier such as UPS, FedEx, or DHX. Small items for parcel carriers aren't the subject of this shipping guide. This is about shipping pallets, crates, and big trucks carrying big things. The shipping marketplace is highly detail-oriented, and it is important to get ready in full confidence by letting an understanding of how to be ready to ship your items effectively.

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I: Short Glossary of Essential Terms

shipper - the cause party to the shipment in which the freight is collecting.
consignee - the destination/receiving party in which the freight is delivering.
freight class - the rating assigned to LTL shipments based upon density
density - the amount of space a shipment occupies (a measurement in pounds per cubic foot)
FTL - full truckload
LTL - below 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 connected to the truck. For example, a flatbed is surely an open air platform without having covering. Also, a step-deck flatbed carries a lowered center to be able 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 standard semi-truck trailer or commonly known as a 53-foot van. Many smaller delivery box trucks of 40' or 24' in size are more accessible for small business and residential deliveries in which a longer vehicle attempting to exit a tight street/facility access is hard and dangerous.

The weight and dimensions of the load will determine whether the shipment is a full truckload (FTL), a under 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 (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 create arrangements to load and unload the shipment through the truck especially if the desired goal is to save money. The maximum weight to get a truckload is usually around 40 to 44 thousand pounds (18 to ~20 thousand kilograms ). If your shipment occupies 12-14 linear feet or more of trailer space, that qualifies as a volume or partial load.

III: About to ship

a. Are you looking to palletize or crate your item?

The first step to preparing for a shipment is selecting a handling unit which allows for your item(s) to be transported efficiently and safely. A handling unit is known as a forklift-ready preparation from the item to be shipped with. Oftentimes, the slot where forklifts and pallet jacks are inserted under the freight is called "cribbing". In several cases, however, large what to be loaded on a flatbed truck can easily be hoisted about the truck with a forklift or another loading equipment and moved like a piece and strapped to the platform appropriately (and maybe even covered with tarps for weather protection). Sometimes, ramps may even be available to drive or move vehicles or equipment onto the truck bed. In general cases when you need to palletize the shipment, standard pallets mostly suffice to accommodate the handling of the, but the following is definitely an extensive list of like shipping handling units:

- Pallets, often known as skids, are forklift-maneuverable platforms, the common sizes being 40" x 48" or 48" x 48" (length by width) and many commonly composed of plywood, though metal pallets will often be used, too. They are usually about 40 pounds in weight. One can possibly easily locate them behind most stores or shopping centers, and so they can also be obtained for free at other areas. A general rule when loading your pallet is to not try to compare the pallets any taller than 6-8 feet. Shrink wrap and/or straps are then commonly used to secure those things to the pallet. We recommend those things always boxed up or enclosed in cardboard. In the instance of engines, motor, and transmissions, an ordinary 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 frequently necessary for furniture like sofas and couches and it is a logical practice in order to protect any bulky or delicate items throughout the shipping process. Open crates are often used as well, the industry box of wood framed across the item(s) on the pallet instead of completely enclosed in plywood as with a normal crate. Further, the crate's contents more than likely need to be secured or strapped down inside also.

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

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

- Reels can be used for wire, cable, and other wrapped material. They normally are placed on the truck like a standalone piece, but if there is a significant volume of them or weigh over 75 pounds (about 34 kilograms), they are going to need to be palletized prior to dispatch.

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

- Drums and cylinders are great containers to go on top of pallets or small skids- many curently have cribbing on them. The only among drums and cylinders could be the material it's produced from.

- Tubes are widely-used often for shipments that are not very heavy. The most typical ones are made with cardboard, with plastic end caps to keep the items inside. A shipper might want to put some tape within the sealed lids for extra security. Tubes are certainly not shipped very often on LTL carriers. This really is mainly used to ship via parcel carriers.

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

- Loose pieces usually are not usually allowed by LTL carriers being a pallet provides stability from pieces bouncing around in a truck and getting damaged. Normally, this is just listed on the shipping documentation and confirmed from the carrier for acceptance. The items may have wheels and are loaded on the truck as is also. Pieces are also counted since many boxes are now being shipped or the variety of objects inside a box.

b. Shipment is prepared!

So far, we have mentioned many different types of preparations for shipping, but finding out how to think with a mindset regarding item protection and logistics will improve your overall experience in shipping. Discover how to realize when ramps on a flatbed are required to load, say, golf carts (or any other wheeled items or vehicles) about the truck. Another scenario might demand a step deck truck if the freight is 9 feet in height or even a little taller. Putting the freight in cardboard boxes and strapping pallet is usually a great and simple approach to ship. There are even foam packing materials it is possible to stuff inside the packaging for really protection. Definitely recommended! In addition we suggest strapping or tying down the freight as well. For furniture shippers, an excellent solution is to get some foam furniture pads to strap on your pieces on the pallet for cover. Sometimes, people place blankets on the surface of the items for cover purposes. Again, in a LTL shipment, the freight will probably be secured on to the skid or made forklift-ready with another handling unit prior to time of pickup. In FTL shipments, the shipper should be prepared to load and unload having a logistics strategy for such.

Now you have decided the appropriate approach to ship. Your freight is secured and capable to be loaded. Selecting the best handling unit, packing the shipment appropriately, and selecting any necessary special services will be the most integral stages to become prepared to ship. People need to be innovative regarding any packing materials they utilize to protect the commodity. It is advisable to keep safety in the cargo in mind and also to allow proper time to prepare for shipping. At a later date 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 for your freight can often present difficulties as LTL carriers price shipments in relation to the weight as well as the freight class. You may well be a shipping veteran reading this article with an industrial weight scale at your warehouse, so this could be a topic you are familiar with, but residential shippers don't 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 for the products online, along with a weight measurement may be found. In cases if you only have boxes to palletize, climb onto a scale and weigh yourself first. Then, get up on the scale with boxes and subtract your body weight from the measurement, and you can target an accurate weight like that. Remember, the pallet include about 40 pounds on the shipment, and crates could add up to or even more than 50-60 pounds. If you have your shipment prepared, it's about 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 an everyday model of business-to-business shipments. Whatever else required is typically assessed in a 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 who require a method to load the things on or off of the truck will have to order a hydraulic liftgate, that is a steel mechanical platform around the back of a truck. If the liftgate has been requested, the truck driver will come furnished with a pallet jack, another kind of heavy lifting device used by LTL carriers used to wheel the freight to the proper position for loading/unloading. If the shipment is light enough to become lifted manually onto the truck or the shipper includes a forklift or other hoisting device, customers can forego this excess cost.

Residential pickups and deliveries mean a mechanical appointment is scheduled so that the someone is present sometimes of service and usually mean that a liftgate truck will likely be required as well. Carriers will sometime send a reduced, 24-foot truck to accommodate the tighter turns associated with residential streets; however, this is simply not always the case. You may also have your freight ready with your garage (as long as there won't be huge hills about the driveway).

Another accessorial is assessed as an inside pickup or delivery in the event the truck driver is required to enter inside a building for pickup or delivery once 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, along with other places with gated entry. As being a visit to a construction site or trade event may be classified distinctly, it is comparable in nature and charges nearly the same.

If the commodity needs to stay chilled or even frozen, this may need a refrigerated truck (often known as "reefer") if you need to ship with multimodal shipping services, which lowers carrier availability and raises fuel and resource requirements. Using dry ice for a pallet or two could help you circumvent excess costs of frozen shipping while still keeping your items chilled during transit.

Appointments for pickups and/or deliveries are a part of residential service fees, but you should have the methods to determine if there will be a small extra cost from the carrier. Usually, a phone call can be made to the consignee for delivery within Thirty minutes to an hour before truck arrival, though if you wish to hold it for appointment time, you will definately get a phone call and a precise time for pickup, instead of a 3-4 hour time window.

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

Comprehensive insurance plans 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 relies on about $.10/pound. You need to ensure that you have accounted for the value of the commodity. Remember, the freight must be prepared/palletized for shipping to be eligible for coverage. Also, be sure to inspect for damages on arrival and notate anything visible on the delivery receipt when signing at delivery time.

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

e. International ocean & air shipping

International freight usually transports via ocean container to save the most on freight costs. That is referred to as FCL (full containerized load) and LCL (under containerized load). Container ship freight and also air freight are rated by volume in cubic meters except to Hawaii as well as other major U.S. island freight lanes that are rated in cubic feet. Alaska is really a notable exception in which 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 usually used on products that must be expedited to prevent business loss due to delays in other modes of freight transportation and is more expensive than shipping by boat; however, this still requires business days transit times on ends, unlike airline passenger traffic. Air cargo uses different volume-based measurements depending on the carrier but are basically calculated from cubic centimeters or inches.

When shipping internationally, the primary added element to be understood is importation costs that's assumed by the Importer of Record (normally the consignee), but this could be a vacation as well. Often the actual freight charges are less than the combined import costs with the destination charges paid through the consignee in local currency and customs, duties, and local sales tax in addition to a customs broker's rates. Clearly, these larger group of details and costs are dependent upon the country of import besides the carrier. It's often required and best advised to use a local customs broker when importing as a way to correctly assess total import costs with duties and taxes in addition to properly filing entry paperwork using 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 manufactured. Many people opt to charge a debit or credit card to pay for the freight, but if you ship frequently, additional options may be available. Then, the shipper will receive their shipping documentation.

The balance of Lading is the only document necessary to get the freight on the truck, although sometimes other documentation is needed, especially when dealing with border crossings. At time of pickup, you will need 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, and all sorts of rest of it. It is necessary to have the document at your fingertips and to be prepared to load. After pickup has been given, all that is left is tracking and delivery.

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

V. Tracking and delivery

All right! So, your shipment has been picked up, and it's on the way! People like to have in mind the latest status of these shipment, so this is why most carriers are making it easy to find these details online. With most carriers, the shipment will be assigned a PRO tracking number during the time of pickup and made for sale in the carrier's billing system the day after pick-up & processing within the origin terminal. After the number is made available, one can view the tracking facts about the carrier's website, or call the carrier and know the shipment with the PRO number. This is how to decipher approximately if the actual delivery will require place. As delivery time methods for LTL shipments, keep in mind if you need to schedule an appointment in order to get advanced notice if you are not regularly at the delivery location. Again, residential deliveries are all held for about one day while an appointment is scheduled. The shipment may be completed as of the actual when the delivery receipt (Proof Delivery) has been signed and released through the carrier to the consignee at delivery. Make sure to inspect and notate any visible damages fot it document before signing for the freight.

VI. Saving money

Freight costs could be intimidating and expensive; thus, saving money takes top priority. To begin with, residential shippers can save money if they are willing and able to visit the freight terminal to get or drop off their LTL shipment in the 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 around the bill by going to the terminal; however, sometimes this isn't a feasible means, along with the special services continue to be required because the customer cannot get the items at the terminal or there isn't one close enough to go to. Another way that shippers can help to conserve money on LTL shipments is if the item is crated, an item will receive a better freight class and, therefore, a much more competitive rate. As an illustration, say someone was shipping a train locomotive and decided to place it in a crate, the freight class would drop from 85 to 70, along with the freight rate belly down a little bit. Another case if the freight class would drop happens when the item is disassembled (a settee taken apart or machinery disassembled). These types of shipments are called knocked down (KD) instead of a fully-assembled item known as standing upright (SU). A rule is that the more compact a shipment is (the less space it occupies), the higher the freight class will likely be from the LTL carriers. For truckloads, shippers need to be mindful that they need to expect you'll load within a couple of hours or quicker. Any extra time usually implies higher prices to create the carrier for your time spent waiting. Flatbed trucks be more expensive than standard vans, if you decide to can find a way to load your shipment in to a van, you can save money; however, you may require the ability to load the shipment horizontally about the truck. On another note, refrigerated and frozen shipments are extremely expensive. With the use of dry ice or styrofoam coolers with ice packs, an individual may be able to forego the 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 such a way that should minimize problems of working with trucking companies and, therefore, how much re-bills you will receive (if any).

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

A dry run fee is generally assessed when the carrier visits a spot for pickup or delivery, no one is present. Again, it really is imperative to be ready to load using the Bill of Lading at hand at time of service.

In the event the freight is not measured properly, an LTL carrier will use a re-classification if the commodity is assigned a freight class based on its density.

In shipments in which the delivery address is changed, a re-consignment fee is often a small addition to the entire freight cost.

VII. Conclusion

Even though there are other scenarios that call for rate changes (port visits, trailer drops, etc.), this guide should educate the reader on good practices, how to avoid these situations, and on what to expect from shipping carriers within the freight industry. Just like other ventures in everyday life, shipping requires planning and adequate here we are at preparation. With experience, you may become intimately accustomed to all the aspects of shipping and logistics. From pickup to delivery, the guide covers every single area of the process, though there is also another subjects within the freight industry to elaborate on that could double the size of this guide. When proper attention and planning is made for shipping, customers will avoid excess upcharges as well as the hassles of utilizing trucking companies. Shipping can also be expensive, so make sure you go find a broker who can set you with competitive freight rates. Good luck and thanks for reading.

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