When it comes to shipping cargo, palletized shipping is one of the safest and most popular methods. It ensures your goods arrive safely and in good nick and is a cost-effective option for businesses big and small. In this guide, we look at all things palletized freight, including how to ship a pallet of freight and a breakdown of freight pallet costs via air, road, and sea transportation methods.
A pallet is a flat structure used to store or ship freight. The process of piling cargo packages on top of a pallet is known as palletizing.
It’s regarded as one of the safest ways to transport goods as it secures cargo in place and minimises overhandling, which in turn prevents damage and losses.
In traditional order fulfilment, 3PL warehouses pick up one or more items, box the order, and ship it to the customer. In the case of palletized shipping, multiple products or cases are loaded onto pallets and secured for bulk shipping.
Palletized shipping is usually required for freight that is too bulky to be transported via regular carrier services.
So, how do you ship a pallet of freight?
Let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to get your pallet ready for shipping.
Firstly, you’ll need to choose a type of pallet to load your freight onto.
Start by setting a budget and note whether your freight is light or heavy. These factors will help to guide your choice.
There are three types of pallets commonly used in shipping, each with its pros and cons.
Wooden pallets are made from plywood, presswood, or standard timber. They are cost-effective, very easy to repair, and are also environmentally friendly. However, wooden pallets are not as durable as other pallet types, so you may incur costs down the line if you need to repair them.
Metal pallets are more durable than wooden pallets, so they’re better suited to heavier cargo consignments. They can also withstand the natural elements without rotting, which wooden pallets cannot do. However, they’re also more expensive and difficult to repair.
Plastic pallets are durable, lightweight, and will not become contaminated by moisture or bacteria like wooden pallets. They’re much cheaper than metal pallets but can be expensive to repair and can’t be recycled.
The pallet size required will depend on what you’re shipping, where it’s going, and how you plan to load and unload the cargo.
Generally, businesses in the same industry use the same pallet size because the size of packages tend to be consistent across the board.
We’ll take a closer look at pallet dimensions and their costs below.
Palletizing can be shipped via FTL or LTL shipping.
FTL refers to full truckload shipping. For FTL shipping, your business fills the entire container storage capacity.
This is usually a cheaper and more time-effective option, as your items are shipped in bulk and you’re working on the one schedule.
An FTL truck fits 26 to 30 pallets, so you would need to ship that many pallets to justify going with an FTL shipment.
LTL refers to less than truckload shipping. Freight is typically considered less than truckload if it consists of one to six pallets.
For LTL shipping, you will share the truckload space with other businesses.
If you need to ship one to six pallets, LTL shipping would be the right choice for you.
The downside is that because the container is made up of multiple smaller shipments, every company with freight on board can expect longer transit times.
Next, you’ll need to prepare your pallets for shipping. This involves several steps.
Step 4: Book Your Freight Courier
Lastly, you’ll need to send your pallets off for shipping.
You can quote, book and track your pallet with Couriers & Freight Pallet Couriers Services. We offer door-to-door same day shipping, as well as overnight, express, and general courier services.
We will also be able to offer you advice on which mode of transport will be most cost-effective and efficient for you.
There are a number of factors that come into play when determining how much it will cost to ship a pallet of freight.
Let’s take a look at rough cost estimates of each transportation mode.
Transporting via air is the most time-effective but expensive option.
It’s incredibly efficient because airlines operate on strict time schedules with designated arrival and departure times.
Air freight is also a safer option for your cargo, as there tends to be less handling of goods during transit and there are specific cargo safety rules enforced at airports.
However, aircrafts are expensive to operate and fuel prices are on the rise, so it’s also the most costly way to ship pallets (especially if you’re shipping internationally).
The exact cost will depend on the type of cargo being shipped and its dimensions, but you can expect to pay between $2 and $8 per kg.
Sea freight is most commonly used to ship huge quantities of cargo.
It’s a cost-effective option that allows you to move large amounts of goods, or large sized goods, internationally. However, you can expect lengthy delivery times.
Shipping sea freight pallets can cost between $2 and $4 per kg.
Road freight is the cheapest way to ship freight and allows you to ship to rural areas, where other types of freight shipping cannot.
You can expect to wait longer for road freight deliveries than air freight deliveries.
Road freight costs vary significantly depending on distance, delivery requirements, and the cargo onboard.
You can use our freight quote calculator to get an idea of how much your road freight pallet will cost.
At Couriers & Freight, we use a system that allows you to bring your own interstate courier services providers onboard, as well as connect with our network of over 60 road freight companies across Australia.
Our pallet-freight shipping services for interstate delivery include:
Now that you know how to ship a pallet of freight, it’s time to get planning.
You can use our pallet courier quote tool to find the right shipping solution for you.
Have a question for us? We’re here to help! Get in touch with all of your freight and pallet shipping queries.