Is Packaging an Investment, or a Cost?

When loading a pallet there are a few key strategies to follow:

  • Pallets should be used for heavy and/or bulky items

  • Do not have any overhang because overhanging freight is not supported during freight transportation

  • Cartons should be placed on the pallet vertically to maximize the strength of the cartons

  • Breakaway adhesive, shrink-wrap, stretch-wrap, or banding are recommended when securing cartons to the pallet

  • Stack cartons squarely on the pallet

  • Create a flat surface on top by positioning box flaps and corrugations face up

  • Be cautious with containers of various sizes because the unit strength may be compromised

  • Stacking strength is lost due to misalignment or an interlocking stacking pattern

When shipping LTL one of the most important factors is to consider is how the product is packaged. When products are packaged properly the chances of damage are greatly reduced. Please keep in mind when you are shipping LTL your shipment will be transloaded from several terminals and switch trucks a few times before it reaches its final destination. The extra 5 dollars it may costs for strapping, or additional packaging will always pay off in the long run.

A common practice when shipping LTL is to only use cardboard packaging, even though it is not the most ideal. Most shipments are secure within corrugated cardboard that is sturdy; however, wood crating gives far better protection for items that are heavy and dense or items that are fragile. 

It is essential that you match the outer packaging to the size of your shipment. If the outer packaging is too small, your products will not have enough protection. If your packaging is too large, your products may shift or move around too much and break. Sealing the outer packaging is also crucial. We recommend that you use reinforced tape to ensure that your shipments are securely sealed.

Upon delivery it is also important to let your consignee know that all packaging is how it should be. If a shipment is delivered damaged, even if it is notated as such on the delivery receipt, this does not guarantee the claim will fall in the shippers favor. This especially holds true if you are shipping a high value item.

When shipping product that is sent via full truckload an investment in packaging is worth the cost also. Even though the shipment may not be transloaded it is important to consider this will be riding several hundred if not thousand miles on the road. The same rules securing all moving parts will apply. So if you are shipping a piece of equipment on a flatbed make sure all moving pieces, like doors, hinges etc. are latched and secured down to prevent damage.

When consulting new shippers many are shocked at how little extra packaging costs as compared to their total product costs. Moral of the story don’t skimp on packaging, make compromises elsewhere and you won’t regret it.