How to ship freight? | Everything you need to Know

Ulhas Sukhare Ulhas Sukhare · Updated: March 8, 2023 / Published: August 25, 2020

Congratulations! If you’re looking to ship freight, you probably own a growing business with a few orders and POs to its name. You’re not alone. Businesses of any size are concerned about the cost of shipping. What method is best for you? And how can you keep costs low? Whether you’re shipping industrial tools or handmade figurines, the questions you face are the same. Because there are other businesses, freight shipping businesses, that will pile fee on fee on those with limited experience. Shipping freight can be daunting when you don’t know the trade.

In truth, moving freight from A to B can be done cost-effectively without resorting to the cheapest and least reliable methods on the market. The key is preparation. If you want goods shipped, preparing them correctly can reduce the cost by half. Freight shipping companies are liable to take advantage of those who lack experience at it. Don’t be taken in. Shipping freight can launch a business to greatness or devour it with debt. Between these outcomes, the only difference is knowhow.

Your first step may have been to use conventional mail services. But if your package exceeds 70 lbs, it may be wise to seek out alternatives to avoid hefty charges. Bear in mind: If your shipment weighs more than 150 lbs, exceeds 108 inches in length and 165 inches in girth, it’s probably considered a freight shipment.

Luckily there are hundreds of shipping services in the US. The market competition means they vie to keep their quotes low and attract your business. That’s good news if you’re concerned about your budget. If this is your first time shipping an item over 70 lbs, or one that qualifies as freight, you may be surprised how inexpensive it can be.

Step 1: Know your freight class

There are many freight shipping calculators on the web. They will help you budget your shipping order and refine your expectations. When calculating your freight class, strive to be as accurate as possible. Include not just the weight and dimensions of your package/s but also the pallet and/or boxes (or crates) you plan to use. Size and density are the key factors, whether you’re shipping abroad or within the mainland USA.

Step 2: Packaging

It is wise to think of this stage as the most important. Packaging your freight has a big impact on the eventual cost, not to mention the condition of the freight when it arrives. Improper packaging can result in damaged or lost inventory as well as unhappy customers, so it is vital to focus on this stage. This guide will walk you through it. A rule of thumb: The more oddly-shaped your freight, the more a little knowhow will cut down on costs or damage.

Before starting this process, check that the dimensions of the item/s do not exceed the shipping service’s limits. If it is uncommonly shaped or sized, USPS, UPS and FedEx may not be able to help. In which case, there are other shipping services on offer that won’t break the bank.

Pallets vary in size, but most often you’ll use a standard 40 X 48 pallet to ship items. When using pallets, spare a thought not just for the bottom of your freight, which will be protected by the pallet, but for the top as well, on which another pallet may rest. To prevent damage to your pallet’s contents, stack them flatly so that the weight is evenly distributed. If possible, try to avoid a pyramid shape.

As important as the packaging is the labelling. An unclear label can take a package to Washington DC instead of Washington. Try to avoid handwriting any labels. Print them, so that the details (including the destination) are abundantly clear to anyone in the shipping process who glances at them. Big fonts are best. And include any information about the quirks or idiosyncrasies of your package. Finally, when it comes to labelling your shipment, remember: Size matters. Make every detail of the shipment as plain as day, leaving no room at all for error. If necessary, include some text to describe the unique needs of your freight.

Step 3: Expert advice

Seek advice. This might come from colleagues, rivals or the freight haulers you engage. Make use of any experience at hand. Excepting factual detail, when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of shipping – as in knowing the ins and outs of shipping – experience is the best resource.

If you don’t know anyone with experience in this field, don’t worry. The experts you need may be the ones who accept your shipment. The helplines and corporate websites of massive shipping firms may offer general advice and rule-of-thumb quotes, but the best advice comes from the people on the front lines: the workers who ship the goods.

With CitizenShipper, you are able to contact the shipper directly. They know the business and they’re usually more than happy to share their experience. Peace of mind comes from trusting in the transporter’s expertise. Therefore it is advisable to choose where you can mention any quirks to do with the item to them directly.

That’s one advantage of using CitizenShipper. Another is the competition of our online marketplace keeps shipping costs low as drivers vie for your shipment. 

Post your shipment free of cost today and wait for the quotes to roll in. Choose the driver you want: the driver with the best quote and the most experience. Then prepare your cargo, negotiate terms and relax: The driver will handle it from here.