LTL Freight and FAQs—The Shipping Costs and Process for Branded Packaging Explained
We’ve written a wide variety of posts both here as well as on Salazarpackaging.com explaining the order process and what to expect during all of the stages from art approval leading up through production of custom printed boxes. However, we realize there may be an equal amount of interest and questions related to what happens after boxes have been made and what the actual shipping process consists of.
How Are Boxes Shipped?
Your printed boxes will be shipped flat and unassembled on a pallet or pallets depending on the quantity ordered and size of the box. A pallet size will vary, but an average pallet dimension will look something like 40 x 48 x 60 inches for 1,000 boxes. This is important to know if you are planning on shipping to a residence or office address. One of the first questions we ask of a new customer is their intended ship to address, and if that location has a truck-level loading dock. Without a loading dock, you will likely need a truck with a lift gate to bring the pallet down off of the truck.
How Much Does Shipping Cost?
While we typically receive this question very early on from a customer, it’s unfortunately something we really can’t answer until after production when we have all of the information ready to quote shipment rates and relay them to you. As a rough estimate guideline, an average of about $200-450 per pallet is usually a safe assumption.
What are FTL and LTL?
If you are a first-time customer with us, you are likely ordering boxes in quantities that will not require a full truck to ship to you. As a rough guideline, full truckload shipments (FTL) generally come into play at quantities of 10,000 boxes or more, although again, this is largely dependent on the size of the box, as well as how many we can stack by themselves or side-by-side on a pallet.
If a full truck is not required, then we will be shipping using LTL (less than truckload) services. LTL generally is intended for shipping anywhere from 150 to 15,000 lbs of freight. LTL is a cost-saving method of shipping because you are only paying for a portion of a trailer used equal to the space your freight is occupying on the trailer. LTL operates on a hub and spoke model, meaning larger, centralized distribution centers are feeding the smaller, local terminals where freight is collected and consolidated. The benefits of LTL, aside from cost-savings, include the availability of the following services:
- Limited Access Delivery
- Liftgate truck
- Inside Delivery
- Appointment Delivery
- Expedited Services
**All of the above services are considered “upgrades” or add-ons that will incur additional charges.
How Long Does Shipping Take?
We are always careful to point out that our LEAD TIME on a first-time printed box order is 2 weeks from when we have approved artwork. However, lead time is not the same as transit time. The 2 weeks only includes production, and does not factor in shipping time. Once an order is prepared and ready for shipment, our process is always to secure several rates with various transit times to send to you to select from. This means you can know exactly how much you will need to pay to have the finished product shipped to you within a certain estimated timeframe. HOWEVER, there are many variables in LTL shipments, and unless you pay for a guaranteed delivery, transit times are never set in stone. This is the unfortunate nature of the freight world, but we will always send you a tracking number and communicate with you should we be made aware of any unexpected (weather or mechanical) delays with your shipment.
Please Contact Us Today
We’re happy to walk you through an initial consultation and find a custom packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging? Please call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at www.SalazarPackaging.com.