Guidelines for Good Packaging

You can help to ensure that your package arrives safely and on time with these packaging guidelines and procedures.

  • Use a rigid box with flaps intact
  • Wrap all items separately
  • Use adequate cushioning material
  • Use strong tape designed for shipping
  • Do not use string or paper over-wrap
  • Use a single address label that has clear, complete delivery and return information
  • Place a duplicate address label inside the package

Guidelines for Pallet Shipments

  • Select a sturdy pallet that is strong enough to support the load of your shipment (quality pallets are typically made of either wood or plastic and can weigh between 20 and 70 pounds)
  • Choose boxes or cartons of proper strength and stack them in columns on the pallet
  • Use stretch wrap (60 gauge minimum) to secure all boxes in your shipment to the pallet
  • Secure individual pieces over 150 pounds to the pallet with either metal strapping or unbreakable plastic straps applied around the box or skid freight on all sides for all shipments to and from the United States
  • Label each pallet in your shipment with telephone numbers and complete address information, including the postal codes for the shipper and the consignee

For International Express Freight, the maximum size for export shipments varies based on the destination country. For international shipments, the maximum weight of a pallet may vary by destination or origin. Shipments that weight over 4,400 pounds require prior approval.

How to Determine Billable Weight and Size

Billable weight is the weight used to calculate the rate. The billable weight will be the greater of the dimensional weight, actual weight, and minimum billable weight.

Step 1.

Determine actual weight.
Actual weight is the weight of the items on the pallet and the weight of the pallet rounded up to the next whole pound.

Step 2.

Determine dimensional weight.
Dimensional weight reflects pallet density, which is the amount of space a pallet occupies in relation to its actual weight. Dimensional weight may apply to all international freight shipments.
Determine the pallet dimensions in inches. For each dimension, measure at the longest point, rounding each measurement to the next whole number (e.g. 1.00 to 1.49 will be considered 1, and 1.50 to 1.99 will be considered 2). Multiply the pallet length by the width by the height. The result is the cubic size in inches. For export and import shipments, divide the cubic size by 139 when measured in inches to determine the dimensional weight. Increase any fraction to the next whole pound.

Step 3.

Determine billable weight.
Compare the pallet’s actual weight to its dimensional weight and minimum billable weight. The greater of the three is the billable weight and should be used to calculate the rate.