A freight is anything that is too large for conventional parcel shippers such as FedEx or UPS to ship. Freight shipping process is slightly more complicated than shipping of regular parcels. So, if you have ordered something large and heavy from your packaging partner, then, you will be receiving a freight shipment instead of a standard parcel.
Make Sure You Have Space
Now, before you make orders, you need to make sure that you have the space to take in a freight shipment. Loaded pallets cannot fit through the regular doors. You cannot also lift them using regular elevators. They are too large and heavy for that. If you need to carry it to a higher floor, make sure you have access to a freight elevator. For easy unloading and moving the pallets around, you will you will require a forklift. Having access to loading docks and freight doors will make it easier to move around your loaded pallets.
All these are not compulsory, but they can really cut down on the effort you need to make on accepting your freight shipment. Eventually, these will also save time and money.
If you do not have a forklift, you can lease one for the day of the freight arrival. Another good option is a pallet jack. It is a massive reduction in cost and a good replacement for a forklift. In case you cannot afford that, then even a dolly will do. You need to haul both the pallet jack and the dolly manually. Hence, none of these are a permanent replacement for a forklift.
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Keep The Day Aside
If you are receiving a freight shipment on a certain day, then try to keep your calendar free of any other events on that day. Freight shipment is not just a simple Amazon delivery, it has a bunch of formalities and it takes time to unload your shipment and move it to the desired place.
When you are ordering a thousand corrugated boxes, it might seem like a small amount for your business. But it will require a freight shipment to make the delivery to your place. Before delivery, the shipping company will call you up for the delivery. You will have to be present when the delivery is being made. If you are not there to take the delivery, then the truck will leave and will charge again to come back and make the delivery. So, make sure that you fix a mutually convenient time for the appointment.
When you order something that will be shipped as a freight shipment, the shipping company will first bundle your product. Then, they will load them onto pallets. Finally, using a forklift, they will load your order onto a truck. On your end, you should also have a forklift for unloading.
In case you do not have a forklift, then you will have to let the shipping company know in advance. They will include something called a “life gate” with your delivery. The shipping company will attach a lift gate to the back of the truck. It allows unloading of the pallets from the truck without the help of a forklift.
Make Sure Everything Is Alright
Once unloaded, you will have to inspect the package and sign a document confirming the receipt of the order before the driver leaves. Shipping companies refer to this document as the Bill of Lading or BoL. The Bill of Lading confirms the receipt of the items at the correct time and in the correct conditions.
Before you sign, you need to check if your order has arrived correctly or not. You may want to have a couple of other people around you to help you out with the inspection process. In case there is a shortage in the order, or the order has arrived with some damage, then you should contact your vendor at once. It is also a good option to take photographs of the freight shipment in case you see some damage.
[Image Courtesy: www.unitrans-us.com]3