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 Freight Packaging Tips & Guidelines

Proper packaging is required by all freight carriers to ensure that your shipment is delivered safely, in the same condition as it was sent. You can easily protect your shipment from damage with good packaging.

We have provided the following basic guidelines to help you properly package your shipments. We also provide professional packaging and crating services if you would like us to take care of this important process for you. Please email: packaging for assistance or call us toll free:



Please note:

 ● Carriers will refuse to pick up a shipment that is packaged improperly.   ● Improper packaging may void the carrier's liability for damage.   
Please ensure that your shipment is safely packaged.

"Do it Yourself" Proper Freight Packaging Guidelines

Jump to topic

General Guidelines   Using Pallets
Determine your packaging type   Using Crates
Non Fragile/breakable Items   Taping & Labeling
Fragile/Breakable Items Professional Packaging
Products/items should always be safely contained within a box, carton, crate, or other protective container. Carriers will not pick up loose items, (ie: sofa wrapped in plastic). Shipments consisting of multiple boxes each weighing over 200 lbs, or heavy machinery or equipment, should be securely placed on a pallet or in a crate so the driver can load into the truck with a pallet jack. (see #5 & #6 below for pallet and crate guidelines)
2. Determine weather your items are Fragile/breakable, Non Fragile or need to be crated or palletized and follow the recommended packaging below. The following are some examples of fragile, non fragile and crate/pallet items.

Fragile Items

Non Fragile Items

Anything Breakable such as:

Anything Non-Breakable such as:


Glass items


Clothing and footwear


Computers (Cpu's, servers


Paper items
  monitors, flat screens etc)


Plastic items


Electronics (all types)


Machinery parts


Small furniture


Canned products


Household goods


Granular products


Personal Effects




Artwork/fine art & sculptures


Tools and hardware
  (see # 4 for packaging)   (see #3 for packaging)

Crate/Pallet Items

        The following are some examples of items that should be crated and placed on a pallet or boxed and shrink wrapped to a pallet.  






Heavy equipment






Washing machines/dryer










Lawn mower


Tables/Desks and chairs




Large Furniture & Televisions

see # 5 for using pallets and #6 for crating


3. Pack Non fragile/non breakable items inside sturdy new boxes or containers. Place items that may be affected by dirt or water or items that contain liquids (ie: shampoo bottle) in plastic bags inside the box/container. Use bubble wrap, foam pillows, rolled foam or other interior padding to fill gaps in box and prevent movement of items during transit. Do not over pack box. Securely tape the seams of box with durable boxing tape and label. See # 7 for Taping & Labeling below.
4. Pack Fragile/breakable items inside new sturdy boxes or containers. Wrap each item individually in bubble wrap or foam padding (with 2 inches of thickness around item) and place snuggly inside box. Leave room around the sides of box and pad with cushioning.
For extra caution: use a second larger box (about 5 inches wider and deeper) and place the first box inside it.  Fill the remaining space in the larger outer box with cushioning material (example A below). You can also bubble wrap the first box and then place in the second outer box. (example B). Do not use newspaper or other paper to wrap items or for cushioning. Do not over pack box. Securely tape the seams of box with durable boxing tape and label. See # 7 below for Taping & Labeling.

Example A

Example B

5. Pallets: For multiple boxes or heavy boxes that need to be placed on a pallet: Always use pallets that are in good condition and durable. Stack boxes squarely on pallet, corner-to-corner with no overhang (stack near the edge but don't go over). Distribute weight evenly on pallet and make sure the top surface is flat to minimize chances of damaged boxes. Make sure every box is labeled before stacking on pallet (see #7 below for labeling).


Secure the boxes/cartons to the pallet using shrink-wrap, aka "stretch-wrap" (industry standard thin, stretchable plastic film, 70 gauge recommended). Attaching the shrink-wrap: Take the shrink-wrap roll and peel out about a yard or more of the plastic. Squeeze about 8 inches of the end together into a loose rope shape and thread this around all 4 corners of the pallet. You do not need to tie a knot, just hold the end snug against the boxes and fold the rest of the yard over it, as the plastic sticks to itself and this should be sufficient to keep it from pulling loose when you begin to wrap.


Beginning to Wrap: This is the most important step to keep your boxes securely on the pallet. Your goal is for the entire pallet to feel like a solid unit. It should move as one piece without wobbling. Begin by tightly wrapping the shrink-wrap around the base/bottom of the pallet in same direction  Wrap the base at least four or five times.  A wrap to go underneath all the corners.  Pull  before going around each corner.
that you started with.  llow the edge of the  the roll tightly just

Work your way up from the base so that the next layer is joined securely to the first base layer and so on. Be sure to pull and take as much stretch out of the plastic, as possible, while you are wrapping. Stretch the plastic to the point of almost breaking. Wrapping too loosely will allow the shrink wrap to stretch while in transit.  The more "stretch" you can take out of it, the more firmly it will hold. Wrap each section 4 or 5 times. (Base, bottom, middle & top).

When you reach the top of the pallet you can either stop there or wrap back down the pallet again. To decide what is needed, try pushing the upper boxes to see if the unit is tight or loose. If you see the plastic ripple or the stack wobbles, you either didn't wrap tightly enough or it needs more layers. Go around it a few more times, working your way back down to the base. Additional Banding or strapping is recommended for heavy items to secure them to the pallet.

Once you are finished wrapping, tear or cut the plastic apart from the roll and fold the end of wrapping under the edge of one of the wraps at the side of the pallet. This will keep your wrapping from coming apart.

Helpful Tip: Do not tie the shrink-wrap to the pallet with a knot. Later down the line someone will have to use a knife to sever the knot or cut the plastic. The shrink-wrap sticks to itself, so knots are unnecessary and It's easier to unwrap the shrink-wrap then to cut it.

6. Crates: For Large items that need to be crated, we recommend you have this done by a professional crating company, unless you have experience in properly making a crate yourself. We can arrange professional packaging, crating and pallet services for you at discount prices. We can provide you with the following types of packaging as well as custom crates and pallets. Please call us at:(800) 541-0700 or email: packaging for assistance.

Pallet Box

Wood Crate

 Enclosed Crate



Specialized Crates


Pallets, Shrink-Wrapping and Banding

7. Taping boxes closed: For light boxes: Use durable plastic tape that is at least 2-3 inches in width. For heavy boxes use reinforced tape at least 3 inches in width. Do not use household scotch tape, masking tape, duct tape or kraft paper tape. Place tape evenly across the flaps and seams of the top and bottom sides of the box, as shown below:

Labeling: Every box in your shipment must have a label indicating the shipper's and consignee's complete address (just in case your boxes get separated). Additional information such as shipper and consignee phone numbers, bill of lading number, carrier pro # and date shipped can also be added to your labels to assist the carrier. The labels should be clear and easy to read, preferably printed. You can use any adhesive printer address label. Place the label on the top surface of every box in your shipment, as shown above. Avoid placing over flap seams.

If you have any questions about the proper packaging of your shipment, please ask your shipping representative.  Call us toll free:


We are more than happy to assist you to ensure your shipment gets packaged properly.


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