Tips for staging your residential LTL shipment

Tip 1: First you want to make sure your shipment is on a pallet

Wood pallets are good but heavy duty plastic pallets are better. The reason is they are 4 way entry with no bottom layer. On a standard pallet there is a bottom layer of wood, which isn’t an issue when the shipment is moving in a warehouse with a forklift but a residential pallet will be picked up with a pallet jack. The pallet jack will hit the bottom board potentially weakening the pallet and putting your shipment at risk.

Tip 2: Load as much of your items in moving boxes

Make sure they are new moving boxes. Avoid shipping with used boxes that you got for free from the store. If you are shipping you goods via LTL they are not going across town. You are likely going to ship your goods over a long distance and perhaps to a different country. If this is the case is it certain your shipment will be handled multiple times and be subject to different modes of transportation. Don’t trust an old soggy box or broken used pallet.

If you have items that won’t fit in boxes, do you best to protect them in some way and load them on the pallet so they don’t stick out past the outer dimensions. Sometimes this is very hard with personal effects but do your best. If you have really big items you may find using a Gaylord to be a good option

Tip 4: Wrap the pallets with stretch wrap or opt for a container

Once everything is packed up on the pallet you will want to secure your items to the pallet with stretch wrap. We always recommend using black stretch wrap. Start by tying the end of your stretch wrap to a bottom corner of the pallet. Then stretch the wrap around the pallet ensuring the bottom row of wrap overlaps the pallet and hooks on the corners of the pallet. Keep the stretch wrap tight as you go around the pallet to ensure it is a strong fit.

Tip 5: Make the pallets easily accessible for the driver

All of your pallets should be staged in a place that is easily accessible by the driver. If you are shipping from a house, this will either be at the end of the drive way where the truck or the garage. If you have your pallets staged in the garage it is best to make sure the path the driver will have to got through to get the pallets is clear. If you are asking the driver to pull the item from the garage or over a short distance, you must make sure the ground is level. The driver will be using a pallet jack, which is not designed to go over large bumps or rough terrain. Also, there can’t be any steep inclines. The pallet jack makes moving a pallet easier but it still requires effort by the driver. An LTL driver is not a professional mover. They are not going to handle your boxes or do any heavy lifting.

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Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens

Transportation Executive with experience in developing processes and controls for early stage start up companies. Specialties include: Sales, Marketing, Transportation, Trucking, Brokerage, Project Transport and Rail Operations.,Organizational Design, Process Development, Accounts Receivable Management, Leadership, and Business Start-ups.

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