Freightquote by C.H. Robinson checklist for freight shippers.

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There are a number of factors to keep in mind when planning a shipment. With adequate research and preparation though, seamless shipping is a breeze. We have put together a quick checklist to help you when it comes time to ship.


Select a shipping option.

First, you need to consider freight dimensions (length, width and height) along with freight weight, fragility, storage requirements and delivery time. Once these factors are determined, you can narrow down the number of shipping options that will work for you.

Below is a brief breakdown of common freight shipping methods:

  • Full truckload shipping (FTL).

    This option is ideal when you move cargo or pallet loads that are enough to justify the use of a whole semi-trailer (usually more than 15,000 pounds). When choosing this method, it is important to know that pricing is determined based on miles traveled. You may also talk to your freight professional about when to consider partial truckload shipping.
  • Less than truckload shipping (LTL).

    When you need to haul more than 150 pounds of freight but not a full truckload, this might be the best option. This mode operates in a hub and spoke structure, where local terminals pick up your freight and operate as spokes and the bigger, central terminals are the hubs. There are a combination of goods from various shippers in most trailers. When they are transported to the hub the freight is sorted and consolidated again for additional transportation.
  • Intermodal freight transportation.

     When your shipment is moving a long distance between major metro areas with flexible delivery times, intermodal transportation is an ideal choice. Freight moves by a combination of transportation modes such as rail, trucks and ships to streamline the process, making this choice eco-friendly and cost effective.


Consider proper packaging.

Properly packaging your goods helps ensure an intact delivery. Depending on the commodity, packaging typically involves either pallets or crates.

  • Freight crating can help safeguard items to avoid damage during transit. Some say to pack crates of delicate items as full as possible - to make less room for goods to shift during the shipping process.
  • Picking the appropriate pallet is crucial since it can affect other factors in the shipping process, like loading time and safety. The standard pallet size is 40" x 48". You will still want to confirm the pallet dimensions for each shipment though because they can vary. Knowing your packaging dimensions improves the accuracy of your quote and reduces the chance of costly adjustments.


Accurately fill out the bill of lading (BOL).

The bill of lading serves as a receipt of freight services, a contract between a freight carrier and shipper and a document of title. The BOL is a legally binding document that gives the driver and carrier all the needed details to process the freight shipment and to invoice it accurately. Carefully consider these items:

  • Complete shipper and receiver addresses
  • PO or special numbers used between businesses to track orders
  • Unique instructions for the carrier if needed
  • Date of shipment
  • Number of shipping units
  • Type of packaging
  • Department of Transportation hazardous material indication
  • Description of freight
  • The NMFC freight classification
  • Exact weight
  • Declared value of goods


Anticipated pickup and drop off times.

Now that your cargo is ready to get moving, you want to know when it will reach its destination. Website tracking tools provide the most efficient way to monitor your goods, providing real-time status each step of the way.


Final thoughts.

There are quite a few elements to consider when it comes to freight shipping. With proper preparation, it won't be difficult. The first step is to compare competitive rates. For that, Freightquote by C.H. Robinson has you covered!

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