Time-Saving Freight Packaging Tips for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you know all too well that time is money. Yet, two of the things most small business owners struggle to find are time and money. Go figure. However, when you optimize your freight shipping with freight packaging tips and best practices you can find both.

At On Track Freight Systems, we have outlined a few of the top freight packaging tips designed to help you save time, reduce product damage, and improve your freight packaging process. Read on to learn more about freight packaging tips and don’t hesitate to contact customer service at On Track Freight Systems for more freight packaging tips.

Use High-Quality Boxes for Freight Packaging

As a small business owner, it’s important to generate savings when and where you can. However, choosing cheaper and inferior boxes will usually do more harm than good. Well-constructed and new cardboard boxes will provide significantly more protection than boxes that have been reused or recycled.

Both reused and recycled boxes tend to experience more wear and tear and degrade in strength over each use. And if you have the budget for ultra-durable double wall boxes, they can add even more protection.

In the event you do decide to reuse boxes, make sure to carefully inspect each box for tears or holes. You should also make sure you get rid of any old labels off the box to prevent them from being shipped to the wrong location.  We’ll discuss labels in more detail below.

Should You Choose a Pallet or Crate?

Proper packaging involves understanding when to use a pallet or a crate. Both pallets and shipping crates will offer maximum protection from damage, speed up the unloading and loading process, and allow carriers to maximize trailer space.

However, shipping crates are wooden containers that can help organize freight. Pallets are portable platforms used to package freight and boxes. Once the boxes are loaded onto the pallet, they can be secured with shrink wrap, stretch wrap, or another type of wrap. Most carriers will require pallets secured shrink wrap or stretch wrap if applicable.

Use a Crate for Fragile Items

Crates are an ideal supplement for heavy boxes and can help organize and protect your freight. When using a crate, make sure to separate all non-fragile and fragile items into their own individual crate. Adding additional protection materials or cushioning materials can help eliminate empty space, which can prevent parts of your shipment from moving during shipment. Any fragile item should be securely wrapped in bubble wrap.

You Almost Always Use a Pallet

While this can vary from carrier to carrier, pallets are suggested for the majority of shipments whether it’s fragile or not. Carriers even recommend using pallets when it’s one box being shipped.

When you stack boxes onto the flat surface of the pallet, you should always do so on a pallet large enough to accommodate all items. Once you have securely stacked each box, secure the shipment by strapping and/or using a wrap.

Always Choose the Right Pallet

Selecting the right box is only the first step in the process. It’s imperative to choose a functional pallet. If you select a faulty pallet, it may not be able to hold the weight of your freight. And this can lead to costly damaged freight.

The pallet should be sturdy and flat prior to placing anything on it. Make sure to avoid any shipping pallet that doesn’t have a bottom board because these pallets lack the ability to evenly distribute weight.

Another bonus tip is to avoid corrugated pallets because these types of pallets tend to break down with ease. Choosing the right pallet will offer you superior peace of mind that your freight is safe, and the pallet can stand up to the rigors of packing and shipping.

Ensure Accurate Labeling

When your boxes are properly labeled, it can dramatically improve efficiency and minimize handling. This is why every box in your shipment, especially fragile items, must be labeled properly before pickup. 

Doing so can help ensure they are properly sorted and delivered to the right address if they are separated from the pallet during the process. Every label should include the name, phone number, and address of both the consignee and shipper. 

These labels must be easy to read, clear, and placed on top of every box. Any extra labeling or special requirements, such as fragile items, should be marked as well. In the case of “Top Heavy” or fragile items, make sure the labels are placed on two adjacent sides. 

Proper Packaging Tips Include Sound Pallet Stacking

Failure to properly stack heavy and light boxes greatly increases the likelihood of your load failing and becoming undone. In addition, improper stacking can reduce the stability and integrity of your cardboard boxes by as much as 60%. 

To prevent this, make sure your boxes are stacked squarely on the pallet. Also, it’s important to distribute weight evenly as much as possible. Another key freight packaging tip is to prevent having boxes hanging over the edge. 

While it’s perfectly fine to get boxes close to the edges, don’t cross the line. If your boxes overhang, it can expose them to damage while decreasing their strength significantly.

At the same time, you should avoid using the interlocking pattern for stacking boxes. Doing so can further reduce the strength of boxes. 

Once you have the boxes properly stacked, use shrink wrapping, stretch wrap, and other packing materials to properly secure the load and ensure it’s properly packaged. Learn more about pallet stacking best practices

Keep Freight Packing Material in One Location

If you visit any large, established warehouse, you will notice they keep all of their freight shipping materials in a general location. However, your business may not have a large warehouse with a dedicated shipping station. 

You can, however, strategically store all of your packaging materials in a convenient location. This means you never have to waste time searching for shrink wrap, bubble wrap, or multiple boxes. 

And in business, time is money. As such, consider storing freight shipping materials in a storage bin or other storage solution. Common packing materials you can consolidate include:

  • Packing peanuts
  • Individual boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Shrink wrap
  • Stretch wrap
  • Duct tape
  • Box cutters
  • Scissors
  • And more

Contact On Track Freight Shipping

At On Track Freight Systems, we are the top full truckload and LTL shipping company in the New York area. Since we opened our doors back in 1991, we have consistently delivered on-time LTL freight shipments for business owners throughout New Jersey, New York, and more. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems today for fast freight shipping and affordable LTL shipping rates.