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The do’s and don’ts of shipping FedEx freight

how to package and prepare fedex freight shipments

When shipping FedEx freight how you package the cartons matters. If not packaged properly, contents could reach their destination damaged which leads to additional problems to resolve in an already hectic day.

Your goal is to get the product to the recipient in the same condition as it left you. This article will outline the most important do’s and don’ts when preparing to ship FedEx freight so that you prevent your package from being damaged, and aren’t charged with any unnecessary fees.

Stacking FedEx freight

Don’t try pyramid stacking

Pyramid stacking your cartons results in uneven surfaces. The cartons at the top of the pyramid are at a higher risk for damage during transit or possibly damaging another shipment along the way. Pallets with a level surface provide stability through even-weight distribution. Not to mention, space in FedEx vehicles and aircraft come at a price. More dimensions often mean more dollars.

Don’t attempt overhanging stack

If you see your boxes are hanging over the edge of the pallet, they will dramatically reduce the stability of your entire pallet. It’s a hazard to have overhang and the shipment will likely experience tears and damage during handling.

Do column or interlock stack cartons

Pay attention to the orientation of your cartons in your palletized shipments. When column stacking your cartons this increases compression between cartons and adds strength to the shipment. There’s less chance that your cartons will shift, become punctured or experience other damage. If you want to take it up a notch, interlocking cartons will result in increased stability. You interlock cartons by stacking them corner-to-corner and edge-to-edge. It’s all about ensuring nothing will shift during transit.

Palletizing FedEx freight

Don’t use the wrong pallet

The pallet is the foundation for shipping freight. If the pallet is inadequate it can cause serious problems for shippers. There are a few types of pallets that aren’t recommended for use.

  • Corrugated pallets

Corrugated pallets are attractive to shippers because they are lightweight and recyclable. It does sound like a great option especially because some countries restrict wood pallets. However, moisture and certain environmental elements prove to be destructive to these types of pallets. It’s better to look for another option, if possible.

  • Wood pallets without bottom boards

This is probably common knowledge for most shippers. The bottom board is critical to maintain proper weight distribution and keep the pallet from warping. Without that board, the pallet can become defective.

Do use a plastic or standard wood pallets

Certain pallets are proven to work. There are a few options that are known to be effective.

  • Plastic pallets

Plastic pallets come at a higher cost, but they can be reused by shippers. They are also heavier which in a world where every ounce matter, it’s often not seen as the best option. The solid bottom protects from forklift damage and helps support the weight of contents stacked on it.

  • Standard wood pallets

If you want to be under FedEx’ good graces, the shipping giant prefers the standard wood pallet developed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). It’s designed to carry heavy or light loads and work efficiently with forklifts, which can be a problem with other pallets. It’s important to remember wood pallets pose a problem for international shipments. Wood pallets are treated with chemicals in some countries to prevent pest infestation.

Do prepare for shock and vibration

Foam is a natural option for cushioning. Depending on the level of fragility, most shipments do require some form of cushioning to protect the contents. Once properly cushioned, take time to block and brace your contents, if applicable. If shipping a single heavy good, fastened wood blocks on both sides can deter any unwanted movement. If your item is likely to move during transit due to its shape, brace your goods prior to transport. FedEx has specific requirements to ensure your goods remain stationary. It’s important to prepare for the many jostles and jolts the shipment will inevitably feel.

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