How to Ship Anything – Helpful tips for the Freight Industry

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This guide will have you fully prepared in the event the truck arrives.

In case 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 so are familiar with most of these items already. This guide will handle all of the cornerstones of the freight industry and will map out the road to preparedness for shippers. In case you have less than 150 pounds (68 kilograms) altogether commodity weight (something in a small box), service must be requested from a parcel carrier like UPS, FedEx, or DHX. Small items for parcel carriers usually are not the subject of this shipping guide. This can be about shipping pallets, crates, and massive trucks carrying big things. The shipping companies are highly detail-oriented, and it is important to be ready in full confidence by permitting an understanding of how to become ready to ship your items effectively.

USA Box Express
I: Short Glossary of Essential Terms

shipper – the foundation party to the shipment in which the freight is collecting.
consignee – the destination/receiving party where the freight is delivering.
freight class – the rating sent 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 – under truck load

II: What type of truck is required?

There could 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 connected 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 regarded as the typical type of enclosed trailer, which can be what you would consider to be a standard semi-truck trailer or commonly termed as a 53-foot van. Many smaller delivery box trucks of 40′ or 24′ in total are more accessible for small business and residential deliveries when a longer vehicle looking to exit a tight street/facility access is tough and dangerous.

The body weight and dimensions of the stress will determine whether the shipment is often a full truckload (FTL), a below truckload (LTL), or a volume/partial truckload (VPTL or PTL). A shipment totaling just a few pallets or a few crates, generally not using more than 10 to 16 feet of trailer space (according to carrier), means that your shipment qualifies as LTL. These kind of 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 from your truck especially if the desired goal is to save money. The maximum weight for the truckload is usually around 40 to 44 thousand pounds (18 to ~20 thousand kilograms ). In case your shipment occupies 12-14 linear feet or more of trailer space, that qualifies as a volume or partial load.

III: On the point of ship

a. Must you palletize or crate your item?

The first step to preparing for a shipment is deciding on a handling unit that permits for your item(s) to become 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 a lot of cases, however, large what to be loaded over a flatbed truck can easily be hoisted about the truck with a forklift or another loading equipment and moved being a piece and strapped to the platform appropriately (and perhaps 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 cases when you need to palletize the shipment, standard pallets normally suffice to accommodate the handling of the items, but the following is definitely an extensive list of like shipping handling units:

– Pallets, also known as skids, are forklift-maneuverable platforms, the conventional sizes being 40″ x 48″ or 48″ x 48″ (length by width) and a lot commonly composed of plywood, though metal pallets in many cases are used, too. They’re usually about 40 pounds in weight. You can easily locate them behind most stores or shopping centers, and they also can also be obtained for free at other locations. 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 the items to the pallet. We recommend those items always boxed up or covered with cardboard. In the illustration 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 even purchased from a vendor of pre-assembled crates. Crating is usually necessary for furniture like sofas and couches which is a logical practice as a way to protect any bulky or delicate items through the shipping process. Open crates are now and again used as well, which is a box of wood framed throughout the item(s) about the pallet instead of completely enclosed in plywood like with a normal crate. Further, the crate’s contents most likely 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 may a carrier encourage a loose box or two without palletizing.

– Containers are metal trailers which might be loaded onto flatbed trucks and quite a few often used in international shipping. When your item moves by sea as well as doesn’t occupy a full container, it is consolidated with other items inside the container. When the container is moved short distances (as an example, from the port), this is what’s called drayage.

– Reels can be used wire, cable, and other wrapped material. They’re usually placed on the truck as being a standalone piece, in case there is a significant quantity 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 which are wrapped around like hoses, bubble wrap, etc. Carpet can often be shipped as standalone rolls without palletizing.

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

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

– Totes are similar to buckets, typically made of a plastic derivative with all the cribbing prepared at the bottom for forklift and pallet jack access.

– Loose pieces are not usually allowed by LTL carriers being a pallet provides stability from pieces bouncing around inside a truck and getting damaged. Normally, this is just listed on the shipping documentation and confirmed from the carrier for acceptance. Those things may have wheels and are loaded on the truck as is also. Pieces are also counted by how many boxes are shipped or the number 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 how 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 (or any other wheeled items or vehicles) on to the truck. Another scenario might call for a step deck truck when the freight is 9 ft . tall or even a little taller. Putting the freight in cardboard boxes and strapping pallet can be a great and simple strategy to ship. There are even foam packing materials it is possible to stuff inside the packaging for additional protection. Definitely recommended! We suggest strapping or tying around the freight as well. For furniture shippers, yet another excellent solution is to get some foam furniture pads to strap for your pieces on the pallet for cover. Sometimes, people place blankets in the surface of the items for protection purposes. Again, in any LTL shipment, the freight should be secured on to the skid or made forklift-ready with another handling unit ahead of time of pickup. In FTL shipments, the shipper has to be prepared to load and unload with a logistics strategy for such.

Now you must decided the appropriate approach to ship. Your freight is secured and able to be loaded. Selecting the best handling unit, packing the shipment appropriately, picking any necessary special services are the most integral stages to become prepared to ship. Young people need to be innovative about any packing materials they utilize for protecting the commodity. It is critical to keep safety in the cargo in mind and allow proper time to get ready for shipping. Later on we will discuss comprehensive insurance options, but now, let’s talk about what constitutes a special service.

c. Weighing and measuring the shipment

Finding a precise weight measurement for your freight can often present difficulties as LTL carriers price shipments based on the weight as well as the freight class. You may be a shipping veteran looking over this article with an industrial weight scale your warehouse, so this may be a topic you are acquainted with, but residential shippers don’t often have access to a scale, and we have some tips on how to get an accurate weight measurement. Try picking out the details of any and all model numbers to your products online, along with a weight measurement could possibly be found. In cases whenever you only have boxes to palletize, get up on a scale and weigh yourself first. Then, ascend to the scale with boxes and subtract the body weight from the measurement, and you can target an accurate weight like that. Remember, the pallet create about 40 pounds towards the shipment, and crates may add up to or even more than 50-60 pounds. When you’ve got your shipment prepared, it’s 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. Whatever else required is typically assessed in an accessorial surcharge. There are a number of accessorial types like liftgates, residential service, inside pickups & deliveries, limited access entry, or appointment surcharges.

The prime example of this is for people who require a method to load the items on or off of the truck will need to order a hydraulic liftgate, which is a steel mechanical platform on the back of a truck. If a liftgate has been requested, your truck driver will come designed with a pallet jack, another kind of heavy lifting device utilized by LTL carriers used to wheel the freight into the proper position for loading/unloading. If the shipment is light enough to be 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 a mechanical appointment is scheduled to be sure the someone is present sometimes of service and usually mean that a liftgate truck will probably be required as well. Carriers will sometime send a lesser, 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 in your garage (as long as there isn’t any huge hills about the driveway).

Another accessorial is classed as an inside pickup or delivery if the truck driver is motivated to enter inside a building for pickup or delivery once the freight is not prepared with 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 show may be classified distinctly, it’s still comparable in nature and charges nearly the same.

When the commodity needs to stay chilled or even frozen, this may demand a refrigerated truck (also referred to as “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 could help you 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, however you should have the methods to determine if there will be a little extra cost from the carrier. Usually, a call can be made to the consignee for delivery within Half an hour to an hour before truck arrival, however if you simply wish to hold it for appointment time, you will 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). Whatever is considered flammable receives a small HAZMAT charge, and documentation will probably be needed to determine the UN (U . n .) number. Any active batteries should also be disconnected just before pickup. Paint, fertilizer, glue and sealants, ammonia, or oil are examples of commodities that are classified as HAZMAT.

Comprehensive insurance coverage may be purchased to secure yourself against damages and losses. For new items, the liability included with a basic freight quote is placed at $10/pound. For used or pre-owned items, that figure depends upon about $.10/pound. It is critical to ensure that you have taken into account the value of the commodity. Remember, the freight must be prepared/palletized for shipping to be eligible for a coverage. Also, be sure to inspect for damages on arrival and notate anything visible to 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 for the 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 avoid wasting the most on freight costs. This is referred to as FCL (full containerized load) and LCL (below containerized load). Container ship freight and also air freight are rated by volume in cubic meters except to Hawaii and also other major U.S. island freight lanes which can be rated in cubic feet. Alaska is often a notable exception that freight is rated with 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 has to be expedited to prevent business loss because of delays in other modes of freight transportation and is also more expensive than shipping by boat; however, this still requires business days transit times on both 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 is assumed by the Importer of Record (normally the consignee), but this could be a 3rd party as well. Often the actual freight expenditure is less than the combined import costs in the destination charges paid with the consignee in local currency and customs, duties, and native sales tax in addition to a customs broker’s rates. Clearly, these larger set of details and costs are dependent upon the country of import as well as the carrier. It’s often required and finest advised to use a local customs broker when importing to be able 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 will probably be sent to the billed party for your quoted freight rate, and payment arrangements are made. Many people opt to charge a debit or credit card to pay for the freight, but if you ship frequently, other choices may be available. Then, the shipper will get their shipping documentation.

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

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

V. Tracking and delivery

Fine! So, your shipment has been picked up, and it’s on the way! People like to know the latest status of their shipment, so that is 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 within the origin terminal. After the number is made available, one can view the tracking info on the carrier’s website, additionally, you can call the carrier and know the shipment with the PRO number. This is why to decipher approximately if the actual delivery is going to take place. As delivery time approaches for LTL shipments, keep in mind if you want to schedule an appointment as well as to get advanced notice discover regularly at the delivery location. Again, residential deliveries are typical held for about one day while an appointment is scheduled. The shipment has become completed as of the idea when the delivery receipt (Proof of Delivery) has been signed and released by the carrier to the consignee at delivery. Make sure you inspect and notate any visible damages fot it document before signing for your freight.

VI. Saving cash

Freight costs may be intimidating and expensive; thus, spending less takes top priority. First off, residential shippers can save money when they are willing and able to visit the freight terminal to grab or drop off their LTL shipment in a pickup truck or other suitable vehicle. For 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 this is simply not a feasible means, as well as the special services remain required because the customer cannot obtain the items at the terminal or there’s not one close enough to visit. Another way that shippers can help to conserve money on LTL shipments is if the item is crated, them will receive a better freight class and, therefore, an even more competitive rate. For example, say someone was shipping a train locomotive and decided to input it in a crate, the freight class would drop from 85 to 70, along with the freight rate would come down a little bit. Another case once the freight class would drop happens when the item is disassembled (a sofa taken apart or machinery disassembled). These types of shipments are referred to as knocked down (KD) as opposed to a fully-assembled item known as standing upright (SU). A guide is that the more compact a shipment is (the less space it occupies), better the freight class will be from the LTL carriers. For truckloads, shippers should be mindful that they need to be prepared to load within 2 hours or quicker. Any extra time usually implies higher prices to compensate the carrier to the time spent waiting. Flatbed trucks are more expensive than standard vans, when you can find a way to load your shipment right into a van, you can save money; however, you could possibly require the ability to load the shipment horizontally onto the truck. On another note, refrigerated and frozen shipments are extremely expensive. With the use of dry ice or styrofoam coolers with ice packs, a customer 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 a bill will be adjusted. The guide is laid out in a way that should minimize the problems of working with trucking companies and, therefore, the amount of re-bills you will receive (if any).

Detention charges are assessed by carriers once the driver is forced to wait 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 normally assessed when the carrier visits an area for pickup or delivery, with no one is present. Again, it is imperative to be ready to load with the Bill of Lading in hand at time of service.

In the event the freight is not measured properly, an LTL carrier will apply a re-classification if the commodity is assigned a freight class as outlined by its density.

In shipments in which the delivery address is modified, a re-consignment fee can be a small addition to the complete 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, steer clear of these situations, and on what to expect from shipping carriers inside the freight industry. Like with other ventures in daily life, shipping requires planning and adequate time for preparation. With experience, you are going to become intimately acquainted with all the aspects of shipping and logistics. From pickup to delivery, the guide covers every single area of the process, though there are other subjects within the freight industry to elaborate on that could double the sized this guide. When proper attention and planning is designed for shipping, customers will avoid excess upcharges as well as the hassles of dealing with trucking companies. Shipping can be expensive, so make sure you go find a broker who is able to set you on top of competitive freight rates. Best of luck and thanks for reading.

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