Packaging & Shipping
Packing Materials Checklist
- Boxes - Boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Use a box that is strong enough to protect the contents and large enough to leave space for adequate cushioning.
- Packing Tape - Use tape designed for packing and be sure to cover all seams.
- Bubble Wrap - Can be used to wrap and protect fragile items. Be generous with cushioning material.
- Newsprint/Packing Paper and Peanuts - Can be used to help cushion items.
- Pallets - Pallets should be used as a base for products or shipments that weigh more than 150 lbs. or are a special size or shape.
- Foam - Can be used for cushioning.
RULE OF THUMB 1 Choose the right box size and strength.
To keep the contents of your shipment safe in transit, it’s important that you choose the appropriate box for the contents. The outer box should be a rigid carton in good condition with flaps intact; do not wrap it in paper. Compare the box strength guidelines with the box stamp (found on the bottom of the box, it specifies the maximum content weight allowed). Do not exceed the maximum weight specified. See Box Strength Guidelines below.
RULE OF THUMB 2 Cushion the product inside of the box.
Most products will require some type of cushioning (foam, bubble, peanuts, tissue, or paper) to make sure there is no movement inside of the box. Generously wrap and cushion your items – you can never overprotect them. Cushion fragile items inside one box, then put them into a larger box with a layer of at least 3” of cushioning material (bubble wrap, peanuts, or foam) around the outside of the inner box. Proper cushioning can reduce damage caused by the shock and vibration forces incurred during transportation and distribution operations. The cushioning material you select must be able to protect the product from these shock and vibration forces from the time of pickup until delivery.
- Place goods that might be affected by dirt, water or wet conditions inside a plastic bag before placing them inside of box.
- Place packing lists and invoice inside of carton with complete delivery and return address information.
RULE OF THUMB 3 Seal the package properly to keep the box intact and the contents secure.
Sealing the package is as important as cushioning. If the box flaps open in transit, the cushioning and the contents may be lost.
- Distribute the tape evenly across flaps and seams, using the H taping method.
- Apply at least three strips of tape to the top and bottom sides of the carton. Tape across all seams and flaps.
- Use pressure-sensitive plastic tape at least 2 inches to 3 inches width for lightweight packages.
- Use water-activated paper tape with a minimum 3” width or 60-pound grade, or water-activated reinforced tape to seal heavier packages.
RULE OF THUMB 4 Label the package with complete delivery and return address information.
Legible and complete labeling will help get your package to its destination quickly and safely. Here’s what you need to know about properly labeling packages:
- Provide complete sender and recipient addresses, including phone numbers and postal codes or ZIP codes. Identify floor, suite or apartment numbers for multi-unit addresses.
- Include your address and the destination address inside the package (business cards are ideal).
- Apply package labels and packing slips facing the same direction on the same side of the package.
- Avoid seams and closures when applying your address labels.
- Avoid photocopied or stenciled labels unless you cover them with clear pressure- sensitive tape; they can smear and cause delays in delivery.
RULE OF THUMB 5 If your shipment weighs more than 150 lbs or has a special size and shape, palletize or crate it.
The pallet must be forklift or pallet jack compatible. Here are tips for pallet loading and stacking:
- Each skid or pallet should weigh no more than 2,200 lbs.
- Pallet jack or forklift entry are required on two sides with a minimum of 27 inches.
- Attempt to follow all carton orientation symbols or verbiage (Arrows, “TOP LOAD ONLY,” “DO NOT STACK,” “THIS SIDE UP”).
- Distribute weight evenly on the skid or pallet to avoid excess weight being placed on box contents.
- Stack boxes squarely on the skid or pallet to the edge and corner-to-corner to maximize compression strength. (Do not overhang.)
- Top of skid or pallet must be flat to minimize chances of lost or damaged boxes.
- Pyramid stacking is unacceptable.
- Place angle board (corner protectors) along the edges of boxes to prevent crushing.
- Secure the pallet; band, bolt, stretch or shrink wrap.
- Use 70 gauge minimum stretch or shrink wrap.
- Banding material can include steel, rayon, polypropylene, nylon or polyester strapping.
- Use a minimum of two bands (tightly secured) through the skid or pallet voids and around all boxes.
- If applicable when bolting, consider using shock absorber connections or cushioned skids.
- Cover the top layer to protect the unitized load from the weather.
Small appliances: microwaves, toasters, mixers, food processors, irons, etc. Major appliances: refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, air conditioners, etc.
All appliances must be in new condition and packed in the manufacturer’s original packaging. If the original packaging is unavailable, contact the appliance dealer/manufacturer for replacement packaging and any special moving instructions.
- Pack each small appliance in original container or a sturdy box cushioned with foam or bubble wrap.
- For all large appliances, remove loose fittings and accessories and pack separately in appropriately sized box or poly bag.
- Tie down, tape or wedge all movable parts and doors on large appliances.
- Place unit inside of carton with packaged parts and accessories.
- Fill empty space with foam or packing paper for cushioning.
- Place packing lists and invoice inside of carton with complete delivery and return address information and seal with packing tape.
- Label the carton with complete delivery and return address information (See Rule of Thumb 4.)
- Attempt to follow all carton orientation symbols or verbiage (Arrows, “TOP LOAD ONLY,” “DO NOT STACK,” “THIS SIDE UP”, “FRAGILE”).
- For appliances or total shipments weighing over 150lbs, place unit on a pallet and secure with shrink wrap or stretch wrap. (See Rule of Thumb 5 for pallet specifications.) If necessary, you can crate the cartons for more protection.
Kitchen cabinets, pantry cabinets, bathroom cabinets, bedroom cabinets, office cabinets, family room cabinets (Built-to-Order or Ready-to-Assemble).
All cabinetry must be new. We will handle return shipments of cabinetry that are packed in the manufacturer’s original packaging on a forklift-compatible pallet. If returning new product, make sure you have a return authorization reference number or your shipment may be refused at destination. If your cabinetry’s original packaging is unavailable, contact the distributor/manufacturer for replacement packaging and any special shipping instructions — or purchase comparable new packaging.
The cabinets should be packed in cartons and shrink-wrapped on a pallet in order to provide maximum durability and minimize damage during shipping. Here are key packaging tips for preparing cabinets for transport:
- Select the right size double-walled corrugated carton for cabinet(s). Place on bottom protector.
- Pack loose fittings and accessories separately in an appropriately sized box or poly bag.
- Tie down, tape or wedge all movable parts and doors on cabinets.
- Wrap cabinet(s) in PE foam.
- Add edge protectors and tape to cabinets to supply additional internal carton strength.
- Place cabinet(s) inside of carton along with packaged parts and accessories.
- Seal carton with packing tape.
- Add Top/Bottom Protector and strapping to secure the protectors. Top/Bottom load protector can be corrugated, wood or heavy paperboard.
- Generate a shipping label online at LastMile Portal. Label the carton with complete delivery and return address information (See Rule of Thumb 4.)
- Follow the directions on all carton orientation symbols or verbiage (Arrows, “TOP LOAD ONLY,” “DO NOT STACK,” “THIS SIDE UP” and “FRAGILE”).
- Place unit on shipping pallet and secure with shrink wrap or stretch wrap. (See Rule of Thumb 5 for pallet specifications.)
Doors & Windows
When transporting windows and doors you must take into consideration the protection of the product from damage due to movement during transportation and/or from exposure to the weather (products must be completely covered when transportation is done in a flatbed in wet weather.) One or a combination of the following industry packaging and handling options should be used to prepare your product for shipment:
OPTION 1: CARTON AND CRATE PACKAGING TECHNIQUE:
- Select the right size 300lb psi double-walled corrugated carton and crate.
- Wrap each door or window in a poly-bag.
- Add edge protectors and tape.
- Place product in carton and seal with packing tape.
- Place sealed carton inside crate.
- Label the crate with complete delivery and return address information (See Rule of Thumb 4).
- Follow all carton orientation symbols or verbiage (Arrows, “TOP LOAD ONLY,” “DO NOT STACK,” “THIS SIDE UP”, “FRAGILE”).
- Store doors on a flat surface.
- Do not lean at a steep angle against wall.
OPTION 2: CARTON AND CRATE PACKAGING TECHNIQUE:
These products are suited for protecting the edges of all types and shapes of windows and doors during shipping, handling and storage and are cost efficient, environmentally sustainable alternatives to wood crates and other materials.
UChannel is a three-sided edge product designed to protect windows and doors. When banded to the edges of heavy patio doors and similar products, it prevents damage during shipping as well as when the components are dragged into place by workers at the construction sites.
VGuard, when stapled to the corners of window frames, keeps them from rubbing against one another in the truck during transport. These are the steps for packaging:
- Apply UChannel, Mega VGuard or Edge Protectors on all sides of doors and windows.
- Then add strapping to secure the protectors.
- For additional cushioning, add VGuard to protect against damage from strapping.
- Wrap each door or window in a poly-bag.
- If shipment weighs more than 150 lbs, place on pallet or plywood and secure.
- Label the crate with complete delivery and return address information (See Rule of Thumb 4.)
- Follow all carton orientation symbols or verbiage (Arrows, “TOP LOAD ONLY,” “DO NOT STACK,” “THIS SIDE UP”, “FRAGILE”)
Home gyms, treadmills, ellipticals, etc.
All products must be new and unassembled and in original or comparable packaging. If the original packaging is unavailable, contact the retailer for replacement packaging and any special shipping instructions. The cartons are often very heavy and bulky. Here are some key packaging tips for fitness equipment:
- Select the appropriate carton or crate size. (See Rule of Thumb 1). Depending on the kind of equipment, you might need several boxes in different sizes. Try to put each piece of equipment in its own box. For example, your workout bench and free weights should be in different boxes. Or the gym frame and the weight stacks should be in different cartons.
- Products should be unassembled to the point where the frame or pieces are small enough to fit into appropriately designed cartons or crates and to be moved safely.
- Pack weight stacks, benches, or frames in appropriate cartons or crates, observing weight restrictions.
- Tie down any parts that pivot or anything similar before placing in carton to avoid injuries.
- Place hardware (nuts, bolts, washers and screws) in a sealed envelope or poly bag and place in box with correct section of equipment.
- Fill the extra space in the cartons and crate with bubble wrap, styrofoam or peanuts to provide cushioning.
- Seal cartons with packing tape. Follow Rule of Thumb 3.
- Label each carton with complete delivery and return address information. (See Rule of Thumb 4.)
- If the shipment weighs more than 150lbs, place on pallet and secure with shrink or stretch wrap or strapping.
Sofa, couch, chairs, tables, and mattresses.
When you are shipping furniture, you want to make sure it arrives in the same condition as it leaves. To ensure that this happens, you must take extra steps to help prepare and package your items. The number one reason for freight damage is due to improper packaging. So packaging your furniture properly is very important in order to avoid damage. Keep the following hints in mind to help minimize your chance of damage during shipping:
- If you can dismantle the furniture (sofa, chair, tables, etc), you should disassemble legs and pieces.
- Pack the legs and arms in a separate box and use cushion material or foam.
- Put hardware (nuts, bolts, and screws) in small sealed envelope or poly bag and place in box with legs/arms. Note: When shipping couches, remove all slipcovers and cushions and wrap these separately.
- Place sturdy cardboard end caps or edge protectors for sofas and furniture on sharp corners.
- Then cover the piece of furniture in a poly bag to protect the fabric and wood. It is recommended that you use furniture poly bags (minimum of 1-mil thick) or padded covers to minimize soil and tears to sofas, couches and chairs.
- Label each box and bag with the product description along with complete sender and recipient information (see Rule of Thumb 4 above) which will specify the furniture piece to which they will have to be used.
- Then, place them together on a skid or other shipping base (or crate).
- Place mattresses and box springs in professional covers (plastic bags or specialized cardboard box).
- Be sure to entirely wrap and enclose your item in protective material.
- Label every individual box with the destination address.
- Use packaging or shipping tape to ensure a strong seal.
Medical and Scientific Equipment
We are aware of the contamination, vibration and condensation issues and the special handling and transport requirements associated with moving medical and scientific equipment such as X-Rays, CT scanners, MRI, PET systems, centrifuges and analytical devices. And since you know your medical equipment best, we collaborate with you to determine the best handling and shipping techniques for your specific type of shipment. We will work with you to prepare the equipment for shipment by doing the following:
- Determining the right container (cartons, crate design, platforms) for the machine, computer and other accessories.
- Determining the right cushioning and protection (blankets, pads, covers, blocking and bracing).
- Determining the right handling equipment (air casters, poly dollies, lifts) to safely and securely handle and move the equipment at origin and destination.
- Determining the right vehicle (air-ride, lift gate, climate control).
Office Imaging Equipment
Copiers, printers, scanners, etc.
Commercial imaging equipment is delivered directly to the customer’s office without packing or crating. In most cases, the initial supply of toner or ink will be packaged. All shipments are shrink wrapped, blanket wrapped and secured with logistics straps. The product is then rolled (using its own wheels) out of the distribution center and loaded onto a trailer equipped with a lift-gate. The trailers have air-ride suspension to absorb road vibration. Placing the equipment on pallets can damage the wheels. The equipment is blocked and braced on the trailer to prevent movement during transit. Every copier is double-checked before any vehicle movement begins. The final check ensures your equipment is ready to make the trip safe and sound.
Plasma, projection, and LCD TVs
All TVs must be in new condition and packed in the manufacturer’s original packaging. If the original packaging is unavailable, contact the manufacturer/ retailer for replacement packaging and any special shipping instructions. You may be able to purchase packaging from a moving supply company as well.
Take the following steps to prepare the product for transport:
- Place in original packaging along with manuals and accessories (remotes, cords, batteries etc).
- Ensure proper cushioning is inside of the carton (fill empty space inside of box).
- Seal carton with packing tape.
- Label the carton with complete delivery and return address information (See Rule of Thumb 4.) Properly placing the shipping label increases chance for the preferred orientation.
- Follow all carton orientation symbols or verbiage (Arrows, “TOP LOAD ONLY,” “DO NOT STACK,” “THIS SIDE UP”, “FRAGILE” “THIS END UP”).
Note: MOST PLASMA AND LCD TVS CANNOT BE STACKED OR SHOULD NOT BE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN
- Place upright on pallet, add end protectors and secure with strapping.
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