How to Guide for Freight & Cargo Shipping


Freight or cargo shipping can be a daunting process the first, second, or even fiftieth time you do it. We will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions associated with cargo shipping, as well as provide the steps to follow for a successful shipment.

Prepare the packaging for your shipment. Make sure to choose the most appropriate packing material for your particular shipment. It is a good idea to use crates, drums, cartons, or cages for protection. Using blankets and other cushioning material to wrap your shipment and secure it to a pallet provides another form of protection.

Inner packaging materials are very important to protect the individual contents of your packages. Bubble wrap, foam cushioning, honeycomb, paper pad, and loose fill are all good choices and each form offers an ideal use scenario. If you are shipping non-treated metals, it is a good idea to use corrosion protection packaging material.

Stacking a pallet takes time and attention to detail as there are right and wrong ways to securely prepare a pallet. When using pallets, do your best to avoid overhang, use similar sized containers, and be sure to have a flat top to improve the strength of your pallet.

Label each piece of your shipment. All freight packages must be properly labeled and marked with the name and address, including the correct zip code for both the shipper and the recipient. Labels should be placed securely on the long side of each package.

Handling and precautionary markings must be highly visible and placed on all sides of the package. It is highly recommended that illustration and text be used for handling markings. Some of the most common markings include:

Packing and Shipping Markings

Complete a bill of lading. A bill of lading is a legal contract between a shipper and the freight carrier chosen. The bill of lading states exactly what is being shipped, its location of origin, and its final destination. Office supply stores carry bills of lading, or the carrier typically provides one free of charge. The bill of lading must be completed fully and accurately to avoid any issues. Be prepared to provide the cost of the product, NMFC item number, packaging, weight, etc.

Once you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to drop off your shipment, or arrange to have it picked up (offered by some cargo shipping carriers). There are many different options for freight shipping, including air, ocean, rail, and road. Hazardous freight follows a similar process, but requires additional documentation to follow all regulations governing the shipment of hazardous materials. Freight forwarding, freight brokers, and LTL freight shipping (less-than-truckload) are also services provided by many shipping companies. For all of your freight and cargo shipping needs, contact your local Pak Mail store today.

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