Properly Package Your Freight

Proper packaging protects your shipment during transit. Many claims and damages arise from improper packaging, and packaging errors may eliminate or reduce your carrier’s liability.

The packaging you select must be appropriate for your product. Use cartons, crates, cages or drums for protection. Wrapping (“shrouding”) your shipment with blankets or other cushioning material and/or securing it to a pallet is also effective.

Shipment Quick Facts

Shipments can be secured using stretch- or shrink-wrap, banding, spray adhesive, etc. Proper packaging will also help define the “cube” of your shipment, making it easier to load “tight.”

Download our Shipper’s Guide (1.44 mb PDF).

Stack a Pallet

Stack cartons squarely on a skid with no overhang. Box flaps and corrugations should face up. Make the top surface as flat as possible. Secure cartons to the skid with banding, stretch-wrap or breakaway adhesive.

Improper stacking may lead to damage.

How to properly stack pallets

Different-size containers may not be uniform enough to have unit strength. Damage can occur if cartons overhang a pallet because there is no support for the freight in transit. Damage can occur when a pallet doesn’t have a flat top surface. Place single containers on an outside corner or ship them loose.

How stacking strength is lost

Stacking strength is lost when pallets are improperly loaded:

Improperly stacked pallets can cause problems when shipping

Pallet overhang loses up to 32 percent of carton strength. Interlocked pattern loses up to 50 percent of carton strength. Misalignment loses up to 30 percent of carton strength.

Label Pieces

Complete names and addresses must be visible on every piece. The shipper and consignee information must match the Bill of Lading information exactly, and your labels must be legible and complete.

Label placement

Ideally, you should place labels securely on the long and short sides of each piece. DOT hazardous material labels are required when shipping DOT hazardous materials.

Unless specifically provided for elsewhere in the NMFC, address markings must be affixed approximately as shown in the following examples. The location shown indicates the top, side or end. If more than one location is shown, you may choose which one to use.

Proper labeling