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Packing Your Freight (Part 1)

Packing Your Freight (Part 1)

When you’re preparing your freight to be shipped, you want to keep several things in mind to help get it to its final destination safely. Pack for safe transport.  This may seem obvious, but consider that a move that’s just going across town will be handled a minimum of 4 times – 1) It’s loaded onto the trailer making the initial pickup, 2) unloaded at the warehouse, 3) loaded onto the local delivery truck the following day, 4) unloaded at the final destination.  For shipments going cross-country, there could be several transfer points along the way, adding to the number of times it’s handled, and consequently the number of chances for damage to occur if it’s not packed properly. Wheeled articles must be palletized or crated.  You might think it would be easier for the carrier to wheel your freight on/off the trailer, but freight is generally moved by forklift, so if it’s wheeled, it must be loaded/unloaded by hand which slows down the process.  Also, if it’s on wheels, it can roll around inside the trailer causing damage to itself or other freight. Keep it as compact as possible.   More and more commodities are becoming density based as NMFC’s and Freight Classes are updated every few months, so the smaller overall you can make your shipment and still keep it well protected, the cheaper it may be to ship. Feel free to contact us for more information.  Having owned a Pack & Ship store for a number of years prior to taking over Global Source Logistics, I can help you with any packing questions you may...

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Carrier Restrictions

Carrier Restrictions

More and more carriers are adding restrictions to the freight they ship. While the chart below is not all-inclusive, it does highlight some of these limitations and warns you about additional charges that may apply. If you see these when you go to book your shipment, make sure your freight either doesn’t fall into the applicable restriction, or be aware you will get a rebill for it after the freight has been picked up. If you’re unsure if your freight is subject to a limitation, feel free to give us a call. We hate surprises as much as you do, especially when it comes to getting a rebill from a...

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Is your Weight Correct?

Is your Weight Correct?

One of the most common rebills we see is due to an inaccurate weight listed on the bill of lading.  If at all possible, weigh your freight every time it leaves your facility.  While this isn’t always practical or possible, it’s better than guessing and getting a rebill from the carrier demanding more money. If you have to guess, do it on the high side to be safe.  On a 1000 lbs. shipment, the cost difference between 1000 lbs. and 1100 lbs. is typically not that great, but the surprise bill you get after the fact will be far greater than that difference, had you used the higher weight initially.  On the reverse side, don’t waste your money by overstating the weight by a large percentage.  If you state the weight as being 1800 lbs. when it’s actually closer to 1000 lbs., the carrier does not issue refunds for the extra money you spent – it’s just a little bonus for them.  Better that bonus is in your pocket and not the carriers. If you do any amount of outbound shipping, it may be worth it to invest in a floor scale, or a pallet jack with a built in scale.  That way you know exactly what your freight weighs and can eliminate the guesswork, helping to not spend too much money or subjecting yourself to a...

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Changes to NMFC’s and Freight Classes

Changes to NMFC’s and Freight Classes

I’ve written quite a bit about NMFC’s and freight classes in the past, and the importance of having the correct information, but I haven’t touched on how NMFC’s can change, along with freight classes.  At Global Source Logistics, we have a program that can access the NMFC’s for virtually every item, and several times a year the information is updated. One of the most recent changes was for computers, printers, peripherals, etc.  In the past, it was a class 92.5, regardless of the weight or dimensions.  However, on the most recent update in December ’12, that all changed.  It’s now a density-based commodity, so you will need to know the pounds per cubic foot (PCF) in order to get an accurate rate. This is just one of many changes that can affect the cost of freight, if you aren’t aware and up-to-date.  If you are unsure of your freight class or what NMFC to use, feel free to contact us.  We’re always happy to...

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LTL vs TL & Partial vs Volume Rates

LTL vs TL & Partial vs Volume Rates

LTL or Less-Than-Truckload is typically defined as 6 or fewer standard sized pallets, with weight up to 10,000 lbs. and is transported by a common carrier (UPS Freight, SAIA, USF Reddaway, etc.).  If you are moving up to 26 pallets or up to 40,000 lbs., that is a truckload shipment or TL, and done thru a private carrier.  Between that is a somewhat gray area known as ‘partial’ or ‘volume’ shipping. Partial shipments are done thru a private carrier and are generally 10-16 pallets or 10-25,000 lbs., but you may need some flexibility on the pickup and/or delivery dates.  Your freight is matched up with other partial shipments heading in the same general direction, when space is available.  Rates are usually lower than a volume rate (see below), but you sacrifice in having to wait 1-3 days for it to be picked up.  If you are shipping more than 16 pallets/25,000 lbs, it’s usually easier and costs about the same to do it as a full truckload. Volume shipments are similar to a partial, except it’s thru a common carrier and you can specify the day you want the freight picked up, just as you do with an LTL shipment.  Rates are calculated by the same criteria as a regular LTL shipment, but you are getting a specific quote for that freight. However your freight moves, if you are shipping more than 6 pallets or 10,000 lbs., contact us for an accurate quote so we can help you to avoid a...

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Freight Class and NMFC Codes

Freight Class and NMFC Codes

Freight Class and NMFC’s are two of the most confusing pieces of the freight-shipping puzzle, but they are also two of the more important parts. If you use the incorrect NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) or freight class, you are risking either a re-bill for higher freight costs, or you could be spending too much on freight. Even if you have used the same NMFC/Freight class for a number of years, that doesn’t mean it’s still valid. The program Global Source Logistics uses to look up this information is updated several times a year, and each update can have hundreds of changes. If you are in doubt, or have no idea what your freight class or NMFC is, contact us. We’re happy to help. I’d much rather spend a few minutes to see you get the correct information than an unexpected...

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Freight Red Flags

Freight Red Flags

Freight companies are finding more and more ways to get every penny out of us they can. Here’s a list of some common items that could trigger a ‘red flag’ and finding yourself with higher freight costs. By choosing these accessorial fees while creating the BOL vs. writing it in the ‘comments’ section, you can avoid surprise rebills. ‘MUST deliver by…’ The carrier may charge you for a ‘Guaranteed Shipment,’ even if their regular LTL service would have gotten it there in time. If you need it delivered by a certain day, choose the Guaranteed Service up front. ‘Keep from Freezing/Heat.’ Depending upon the time of year, you might want your freight kept at something more reasonable than the outdoor temperature for the current season. Carriers can and will do that, but without notifying them prior to booking the shipment, you may be surprised at the re-bill when they do provide the service. They otherwise assume your freight can stand the heat or cold. ‘Residential deliveries without a liftgate.’ Too many times carriers have gone out to residences and not been able to unload the freight because no liftgate had been requested. It’s then taken back to the terminal and brought back out with a liftgate, costing them time and money. Some carriers will AUTOMATICALLY put residential freight on liftgate trailers and charge you for it after the fact. ‘Notify prior to delivery.’ Most carriers will do this for no charge, but there are some out there that do charge for it. While it may seem unfair the carriers can do this, these types of charges are typically spelled out in the pages and pages of their rules and regulations. Because of this, winning any fight over the charge is almost never going to happen. If you’re in doubt about a service, give...

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Expedited/White Glove Service

Expedited/White Glove Service

Do you sometimes need your freight to arrive quicker than regular LTL, or possibly handled with White Glove Service*? Do you ship big, bulky items that are a freight class 150 or higher? If so, contact Global Source Logistics directly for more pricing options through carriers that not only offer quicker transit times, but also a higher level of delivery service over regular LTL carriers. We’ve teamed up with specialized carriers that go by weight and dimensions, NOT freight class. By not using a freight class to rate your shipments, your lower density items can usually ship for less money. Here are some recent examples of cost savings: Class 200, 506 lbs, CFS station to JFK airport. LTL – $297 (1-day service) vs $153 – Expedited (same day service). Class 175, 630 lbs, AZ to NY. LTL – $680 (4-day service) vs $577 – Expedited (3-day service) Class 150, 202 lbs, DE to CA. LTL – $291 (5-day service) vs $425 – Expedited (4-day with White Glove Delivery Service*) *White Glove Delivery Service included an inside delivery with unwrapping AND disposal of all packaging. This type of service can vary from shipment to shipment, but can include any or all of the following: Off-site packaging or crating Inside pickup Palletizing Inside delivery Unpacking freight Removal of all packaging materials Please note, this program is not for everyone, just those with higher freight classed commodities that may possibly benefit with this program. Call us for more...

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Accessorial Charges

Accessorial Charges

Whether you are booking a shipment or just comparing prices on our website, make sure you are aware of the accessorial charges that may apply to your shipment and change the rate. Liftgate. Are you able to safely load/unload the freight without one? Residential pickup/delivery. Businesses operated out of a home do not qualify as a business pickup or delivery. Non-commercial. Shipments to/from schools or universities, farms or ranches, military bases, hotels, airports, shopping malls, government sites, golf courses, Container Freight Stations (CFS), etc., may be subject to extra fees, similar to residential charges. Extreme length. Most carriers charge extra for anything over 144 inches in length. Tradeshow. Shipments to/from a tradeshow or convention do cost more. Inside Delivery. Carriers typically drop the freight at the end of the trailer. Anything beyond that could be considered an ‘inside delivery’. The general rule is ‘through the 1st set of doors’. Inside Pickup. If the driver needs to go much beyond the dock doors of a warehouse to get the freight, it could result in a higher rate Sort & Segregate. This generally applies to shipments to a distribution warehouse when it needs to be sorted by SKU, or some other method. Wait time. If an extra amount of time is needed to load/unload. Typically this is 30 minutes for LTL shipments and 2 hours for TL. Feel free to contact us with any problems, questions or needed information. We are always happy to help...

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Quick tips for hassle free shipping

Quick tips for hassle free shipping

Here are a few quick tips to help make your freight shipping go smoothly. Try to have your freight evenly distributed on the pallet or crate. Doing so aids in the ease and safe moving of your goods. Avoid using old/broken pallets or crates, not in good repair. Make sure you use the correct bill of lading. If you created the bill of lading through Global Source Logistics, that is the one that MUST be used. The use of any other can/will cause problems. Clearly label all hazardous freight. Label your freight as appropriate: FRAGILE, DO NOT DOUBLESTACK, TOP-LOAD ONLY, NO FORKLIFTS, etc. Do not allow any portion of the freight to exceed the sides of the pallet. Shrink-wrap and/or band the freight securely to the pallet. Drums that comply with FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) should be used when shipping liquids, and must not leak. Freight packed inside boxes or crates must be properly packaged with peanuts, bubble wrap, air bags and/or foam, as needed, to prevent the freight from shifting while in transit. Take pictures of your freight prior to pickup.  In case of a damage claim, you have proof of how it looked at your facility before it left. Inspect your inbound freight for loss/damage BEFORE the driver leaves.  Note any damage/shortage on the delivery ticket. Feel free to contact us with any problems, questions or needed information. We are always happy to help...

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