The Yellow Team | July 5, 2022
Are you new to freight shipping and wondering how to get started? If so, or even if you’re an infrequent shipper who needs a quick refresher on the dos and don’ts for preparing your next less-than-truckload (LTL) shipment, we’ve got some helpful tips.
Here are five simple steps you can take to successfully ship LTL freight and avoid costly delays and damages.
Proper packaging prevents damage and saves money. All freight needs to be protected with proper packaging in compliance with the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC), which sets the standard for moving commodities throughout the United States.
How NOT to Stack and Load a Shipment
Improper stacking of cartons can lead to serious damages to your shipment. These images illustrate what poor stacking, loading and the dreaded “overhang” of cartons look like:
Every piece of your shipment should be labeled in places where they can be easily identified. Complete names and addresses must be visible on each piece to ensure your entire shipment arrives intact. The shipper and consignee information must match the Bill of Lading (BOL) information exactly, and your labels must be legible and complete.
Label Placement Tips:
The most important document in any LTL shipping process is the Bill of Lading. It is a legal contract between the shipper (you) and the carrier (Yellow). The BOL states exactly what is being shipped, where it’s coming from and where it’s going. It is a receipt for goods, a contract of carriage and a document of title.
You can buy BOLs from office supply stores. The Yellow BOL is available at no charge from your Yellow customer terminal, or you can complete one on our Bill of Lading page online and print a copy.
Call your Yellow customer terminal to request a pick-up for your shipment. Or you can request your pick-up online on our Pick-up Request page. When your Yellow driver arrives to pick up the shipment, give him or her the completed Bill of Lading.
After pick-up, use our online Track Shipment page to follow your freight as it moves through our system to final delivery. Your entire shipment moves through our system with only one tracking number (called a PRO number) to follow. If shipped on a pallet, your freight will remain on the pallet. Individual boxes are not separated from the rest of your shipment.
There’s a lot more to know about LTL shipping, but the above steps will get you started on moving your freight safely and efficiently. This basic guide is a handy resource that you can quickly reference to successfully complete the process and avoid cost incurred due to delays and damages.
As you ship more LTL freight, you may want to up your game on trucking industry knowledge. For more information about shipping, please refer to our glossary of commonly used shipping terms here.
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