freight shipping guide

A freight shipment can weigh in the thousands of pounds, so packing and preparing should be left to the professionals. If you must prepare your freight shipment yourself, or need to supervise your packer, read our helpful tips below.

Preparing Your Shipment on the Pallet

The first thing to do is place your shipment onto a pallet. Try to find the best size pallet to accommodate the boxes or materials you are palletizing, with only a bit of extra space around the shipment. Doing this will help keep costs low and also keep the plastic wrap stuck firmly to the corners of the pallet. When shopping for pallets, both new and used will be available  Make sure whatever you use is appropriate shape so that it does not break and compromise your shipment in transport. Place the items on the base of the pallet as close to one another as possible. They should not have room to shift after you have applied the shrink wrap — the entire unit would then become ineffective and loose. You may find it useful to brace items against each other.

Wrapping the Shipment

Take the roll of shrinkwrap and peel out a few feet of wrap. Bunch about 8 inches of the wrap together to create a rope at the end of the roll. Tie this rope around a corner of the pallet to use as your starting point.

Begin to wrap around the base of the pallet in the same direction. Your purpose is ensuring that the goods will not slip off the pallet. Wrap the base thoroughly from corner to corner, going around at least four to five times. Make sure the wrap is covering the edge of the pallet and the bottom of the shipment. Pull the roll tightly before going around each corner. Then, slowly begin moving your way up from the base. Continue wrapping so that each layer is stuck firmly to the one before it. Be sure to get as much stretch out of the plastic film as you can to keep things tight.

As you begin to reach the top of the pallet, you may finish if you feel you have wrapped it thoroughly. You may need to wrap back down the pallet again if the upper boxes seem too loose. In that case, go around it a few more times, working your way back down to the base. The end result should be a pallet to feel like a complete unit that moves as one without wobbling.

When the stack is firm, tear the film apart from the roll and fold the end of it under the edge of one of the wraps at the side of the pallet.