LTL Shipping: Expert Tips for Safe Packaging & Freight Preparation

How to Safely Package and Prepare LTL Freight Shipment?

Posted on:
May 23, 2018

In the freight shipping industry, is very important to properly package and prepare your shipment. Knowing how to pack LTL freight can be overwhelming. Today we will help you gain a better understanding of proper and secure shipping techniques. Whenever you are shipping your LTL freight, it is important to keep in mind that your product will be on a truck with many other products. Carriers pack their trucks according to size and shape to save time and money. It is recommended to pack most of your shipments onto standard crates or pallets.

How to pack LTL freight shipment?

Step One:

The first step you want to take in packing your supplies is in choosing the right pallet for your needs. You want a pallet large and sturdy enough so that your supplies fit properly on the pallet.

Step Two:

You will want to consider the best way to stack your products or supplies on the pallet itself. Depending on what you are shipping, the best way to do this is by purchasing angular cartons that can be stacked in an interlocking/column method. If you are shipping with bags, you will want to stack them as best as you can with a cardboard protector on top and on the bottom.

Step Three:

Before you send your shipment, you will want to secure the stacked cartons or bags to the pallet. You can do this by using strapping or stretch wrapping. This will prevent pieces from getting lost or separated from the load.

Step Four:

Before you ship your item, you want to include the address of the company or the person your shipment is going to. The more visible and clear your labeling is, the better chance your package will have a smooth delivery. Once your shipment is all ready to go, you will need to find the best carrier for your shipment. Using a shipping service list can help your package get from point A to point B safely and securely.

LTL Package Techniques to Avoid Damages In Transit

How you pack your goods for shipping can make or break your business – literally. As the shipper, making sure that your goods are packed securely is your responsibility. Depending on how far you’re having your goods delivered to, it is likely that each one of your packages will be passed around by different hands. Your items will likely be transported from truck to truck, endure rough road conditions, experience rapidly changing temperatures, and more. Your packaging material needs to be sturdy enough to handle the drastic changes during transit. LTL packaging comes in different styles and materials. What you use will depend on the nature of the goods you are shipping out. Here is a list of the different types of packaging available to you:


One of the most popular and preferred packaging for LTL shipments is pallets. Available in different shapes, make, and sizes, pallets allow for an easier and quicker load-in using forklifts or pallet jacks. Pallets are both affordable and easily accessed as many local businesses have them for sale. 

Ideal use:

Pallets are perfect for both large items and stackable boxes. Because you need machinery to load them into a truck, it minimizes the handling of your shipment, allowing for easier loading and unloading with minimal risk of damage.

Package Labels 

Lost packages and wrong deliveries happen all the time in the shipping world. Printing out clear, legible labels, and easy-to-spot labels can help prevent this from happening to your shipments. Labels are also the only sure way to alert the LTL staff of how careful they need to be when handling your shipment. 

Ideal use:

When creating your prints, you ideally want to indicate the nature of the goods of your shipment. The types of labels you should be using are:

  • Fragile

“Fragile” labels indicate that the items in your shipment need to be handled delicately. This type of label is frequently used when transporting items like electronics and glassware. When printing out “Fragile” labels, you need to make sure that you make the colors as bright and striking enough so they are easily visible to the LTL staff.

  • Arrow/Directional

Arrow or directional labels do as their name says, pointing to a direction the package should be facing. Examples of these are “This side up” signs and bright red arrow signs pointing towards a certain direction.

  • Dots

“Dot” labels are used to indicate if the contents in your package are flammable, explosive, corrosive, poisonous, etc. These types of labels are crucial as the absence of these can lead to accidents, injury, and other life-threatening consequences. 

Corrugated Cardboard

Standard corrugated cardboard boxes are enough to properly stoer more durable items.But do make sure that there are no empty spaces so your item will stay put and not jiggle around during transit and handling. 

Ideal use:

To maximize the safety of your items, make sure that the cardboard box you are using is new. Even though the items you’re shipping out are durable, you still have to take extra steps to secure your items. To do this, you can use:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing peanuts
  • Other boxes

Shrink wrap and load straps 

If you’re shipping multiple boxes, aside from using pallets, you also have to secure your goods together to ensure they stay together during transit. Shrink wraps, load straps, and bands are great ways to further ensure the successful and efficient delivery of your shipment. 

The Bottom Line

While it is your carrier’s responsibility to ensure that your shipment arrives at its destination intact, you still have the responsibility as the shipper to ensure that your goods are appropriately packed. Feel free to use this list as a guideline for what you may need to secure your goods for your next LTL shipment.

Written by: