Our most commonly shipped goods and how to move them
June 21, 2018
Here at Freightquote by C.H. Robinson, we help businesses ship a wide variety of freight. Some of the most common goods
shipped include furniture, auto parts, machines, food, home improvement wares and electronics. Along
the way, we’ve found that the most commonly shipped goods typically come with their own sets of
requirements. Some may demand specific temperatures and packaging, while others may need special
services such as lift gates.
If you’re looking to ship one of these types of goods, we have a few tips of our own on how to do so
How to ship furniture.
Since furniture is more often than not on the heavier side and expensive to ship, the key here will be to
keep freight density in mind. Once you have calculated the freight density of the furniture you’re shipping,
you can then figure out which freight class it falls in. Accuracy is of the utmost importance when
determining a freight class, as reclassification can be costly and time consuming, especially as a small
business looking to book regular bulk shipments.
With furniture, special accommodations may need to be made to get everything from point A to point B
without a scratch. This may mean the shipment calls for residential delivery or lift gate services, both of
which are options through LTL shipping.
How to ship auto parts.
Shipping auto parts can be slightly tricky since they can be oddly shaped. A primary aspect of shipping
them is packaging since not everything can be crated or palletized. Simple fixes such as packing peanuts,
spray foam or padding will ensure that your auto parts are safe and secure. On the other hand, less
fragile items such as metal bumpers may not require packaging at all.
Additionally, some parts are light enough (under 150 pounds) to be shipped through parcel, which is
something to keep in mind. Once again, be aware of freight density so that you know if you should move
forward with parcel or traditional freight shipping methods.
How to ship machines.
Shipping machines (sewing, vending, milling, etc.) will require some added care throughout the process.
Machines can be fragile and expensive, so taking extra precautions will be well worth your while. Similar
to auto parts, it’s important to take note whether or not you will need padding or other forms of security to
make sure there is no damage done.
For easier tracking, consider a transportation management system (TMS). With a TMS, you will be able to
track your freight every step of the way and receive alerts if any unforeseen delays occur during the ride.
If you are worried about shipping machines, a TMS could give you the extra peace of mind.
How to ship food.
Shipping food can be an entirely different process due to the fact that it’s largely perishable, but not every
food item perishes at the same rate. This means that you should first determine the level of priority that
your food shipment requires. Food items such as dairy, meat and produce will require a more complex
plan to be put in place.
To execute, you are going to need to use temperature-controlled freight shipping and package
accordingly. Some foods are best packaged with certain types of foam, whereas others may require gel
coolants or dry ice.
How to ship home improvement wares.
Our customers ship a lot of home improvement wares, such as floor tiles and doors. Small business
owners are aware of the fact that making home improvements can be pricey, so we certainly do not want
to tack on any extra costs if we don’t have to. The total cost could end up being more than the customer
anticipated if best practices such as driver availability and freight density go ignored.
Packaging is once again another important point since you do not want to risk any customers receiving
their brand-new flooring, windows or doors in pieces. Whether you choose crates, pallets or otherwise,
make sure your freight is secure before shipping out.
How to ship electronics.
Electronics are often moved in refrigerated trucks since they’re considered temperature-sensitive freight.
Since electronics aren’t perishable, they do not need to be prioritized in the same way food would be.
Refrigerated trucks commonly take longer than other trucks due to the need to clean the trailer after every
trip and constantly monitor the temperature of the trailer, which can tack on extra time. This should be
taken into account and relayed to customers.
Unfortunately, theft is a threat when it comes to shipping and electronics are a target. Luckily, LTL
shipping involves more frequent checkpoints throughout the journey when compared to other forms of
shipping, which means plenty of eyes will be on the freight.
The big takeaway.
Being involved in arranging the shipment of these goods has allowed us to come up with some tried and
true best practices. We look forward to sharing any new discoveries we may have with you in the future.
If you would like to learn about using a freight service provider or getting a freight quote, contact us today.
Do you have a shipment to book?
Image credit: iStock
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