Last week we kicked off our five-part series on how shippers can save on LTL shipments:
III. Carrier selection
In installment II, we look at ltl shipment packaging.
Good Packaging Can Save You Money
From a recent article in Inbound Logistics magazine, Grant Crawford, president of less-than-truckload at Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Cudahy, Wis. said, “Customer surveys show that the top shipper concern isn’t price or speed, but the condition of the shipment at its destination.”
Indeed, carefully packed and protected shipments can minimize or eliminate damaged product. The safe delivery of your LTL shipments often hinges largely on how the load was packed on the pallet.
Here are 10 packaging tips to help you get your shipment to its destination in great condition:
10 Packaging Tips for LTL Shipments
- When it comes to packing your pallets, make sure cartons or crates are stacked on solid pallets without broken boards or protruding nail heads. Make sure you have the right pallet for your shipment. Read this blog post to learn more about pallet selection tips and why it’s important to select a proper pallet for your LTL shipments.
- Use strong cartons rated for the proper weight.
- Tightly seal and pack all cartons with stuffing, such as bubble wrap.
- Make sure there is no daylight between the cartons. Dense pallets mean you maximize all the space and save money!
- Stack lighter cartons on top.
- Pack the pallets edge-to-edge and to the height required by the carrier. Many carriers have minimum requirements for pallet height—6-feet, for example. Note that most carriers charge extra if your load extends beyond the pallet’s edges.
- Some shippers add liner paper beneath the load to evenly distribute the load and protect the very bottom layer.
- Well-made pallets with quality materials can hold approximately 2,800 pounds.
- Secure the load to the pallet with banding, strapping or shrink wrapping. The wrap keeps the load secure. “If the freight is not firmly attached to the pallet, it can slide and get damaged, which delays delivery and costs money in claims,” notes Inbound Logistics.
- Make sure that your LTL shipment pallets can be stacked. Keep in mind that your pallet will be loaded into a truck with other pallets, and carriers my stack other pallets on top of yours. Shippers that stack pallets in a pyramid shape can be penalized for wasted space. Therefore, if fragile items are at the very top, add a protective layer that accommodates decking to support weight on top. If that’s not an option, mark the pallet with “fragile” signs.
Stay with this series when we next examine carrier selection.