Shipping flooring and floor coverings

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What it takes to ship flooring and coverings

When you ship flooring or coverings, packaging is everything. While the mode and carrier you choose may significantly impact your overall shipment, effective packaging is the first step to ensure your flooring arrives at its destination undamaged.

How to ship flooring with crates

Wooden crates will help organize and protect your floor coverings.

  1. 1. Separate fragile and non-fragile items into their own crates to prevent the floor coverings hitting or scratching each other when on the road.
  2. 2. Wrap fragile freight in protective material (such as bubble wrap) and fill each crate as high as you can to leave no room for any potential movement or damage.

How to ship flooring by pallet

Wooden pallets should be used regardless of whether the shipment is fragile or not. Pallets protect your freight and make loading and unloading much easier for the carrier. 

  1. 1. Neatly stack your entire shipment on a large enough pallet.

    a. Make sure you have a pallet size that’s big enough to support the weight of your shipment to allow for easy transportation.

  2. 2. Next, secure your shipment to the pallet by strapping or shrink wrapping your freight to the pallet’s forks. Use banding if you need to tighten your shipment further and keep it from moving.

    If you choose to use straps, use at least two and firmly tighten them to the pallet.

    If you choose to shrink wrap your pallet, make at least 5 full wraps to ensure the flooring and pallet feel like one solid shipment.

  3. 3. Place a crush cone on the top of your shipment to prevent your pallet from being crushed by other shipments. This small symbol notifies carriers not to stack anything on top of your shipment.

Although there is no catch-all to protect your flooring, following these steps can help ensure your shipment makes it to your destination in the best possible condition. 

Common flooring products shipped through Freightquote

Working with a freight service provider, like Freightquote, allows you to ship various shapes, sizes, and materials of flooring with a safe and efficient shipping strategy.

  • Carpet
  • Laminate
  • Hardwood
  • Engineered hardwood
  • Tile (such as ceramic, marble, limestone, granite, etc.)

While these are common products we ship regularly, it is not an exhaustive list of our flooring capabilities. In the past, our team has even handled specialized basketball court hardwood flooring.

Common questions when shipping flooring

What freight shipping mode should I use to ship flooring?

Less than truckload (LTL) is the most commonly used mode when shipping floor coverings because it allows you to save money by sharing truck capacity with other shipments. When using LTL, pay extra attention when packaging to ensure your shipment won’t be damaged in transit or pose a threat other shipments on the truck.

Truckload shipping may be a more cost-friendly option for larger shipments. Additionally, flatbed trucking can be used if you have extra-long or oddly shaped floor coverings that don’t fit in a dry van.

Do certain floor coverings need more protection during transit?

Yes, the material of your flooring will determine just how careful you need to be when packaging.

To ship light and fragile flooring, such as ceramic tiles, consider double boxing the stacks of tiles and use packing peanuts to fill in any empty spaces, preventing movement.

To ship fragile and heavy flooring, such as marble, custom crates that leverage plastic, metal, or wood may be needed to tightly hold the shipment in place. 

When shipping carpet flooring, fold the rug in half and roll it up as tight as possible. Similar to wrapping a pallet, you should wrap the entire carpet while leaving extra plastic at the top and bottom. Wrap the extra plastic around the ends of your roll of carpet to help ensure nothing can damage the carpet from the inside. 

How do I determine the freight class of my flooring shipment?

Once your flooring shipment is secured with a crate or pallet, rely on Freightquote to do the heavy lifting—use our online tool to calculate the freight class for you.

Consider each of these factors to estimate your freight class:

  • Density. Includes the space your shipment takes up along with its weight. Use our freight class density calculator to calculate the density of your shipment. Our online quoting tool will also calculate your shipment’s density freight class during the quoting process.
  • Storability. Flooring shipments that are more difficult to store should receive a higher freight class. This could be due to weight, uncommon shape, or hazardous materials.
  • Handling. Flooring shipments that require more handling should receive a higher freight class.
  • Liability. Flooring shipments that are more likely to be damaged should receive a higher freight class.

How can I track my floor coverings throughout their journey?

Get easy and frequent tracking for your flooring shipment in our online tracking tool. Use your bill of lading (BOL) number to track your shipment from dock to destination.

Ready to ship flooring and floor coverings?

Freightquote® by C.H. Robinson can help you find the safest way to ship your flooring while connecting you with a carrier you can rely on.

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