This is to ensure that you get the most from whatever shipping services you may need, and also prevent you from paying more than may be required of you.

First, you need to know the total weight of your shipment. You also need to know its size and dimensions. There are different categories based on the value, size and shipment difficulty. A lot of times, the size and dimensions of your shipment will go a long way to even determining the type of freight to use. More essentially, the volume of the shipment also determines the cost of the shipping.

Also, ensure you have a complete pickup address. You don’t want your goods to be found elsewhere. Again, a complete address is a must to obtain a rate. The rates you are charged is dependent on the distance the goods will be travelling.

Third, palletizing your freight ensures that your shipment stays together, providing protection and preventing damage of your goods as well.

Pallets are platforms made of either wood or plastic, used to consolidate your shipments, minimizing difficulty in movement and transportation of the goods. When shipping, make sure you know the exact number of pieces in your shipment just in case they get separated from their pallets.

In addition, the dimensions of the pallets are also important to know. This is because you want to be sure that they do not exceed any limits set by the freight company. Don’t forget to strap the shipment to the pallet, so that no part of it is lost. It won’t hurt if you strap up to 5 or 6 revolutions to be sure of the safety of the shipment. You can also place the telephone number, address of both consignee and shipper on the pallet; any other details could also be placed there.

Another thing you need to know is the weight of the pallet.

Just like the dimensions, they have to be within the limits of the freight carrier. Sometimes, you may need prior authorization for shipments beyond a set weight before shipping.

Along with the description, the value of the shipment determines duties and taxes to be paid on the goods. The value of the goods is declared based on their current market costs and value – even if they are not sold. This declared value has to be consistent and accurate to avoid disputes over duties and taxes to be paid on them.

When you know the type of equipment that you require for shipping your goods, you will be able to negotiate better with shippers. It’s also going to help you know how much money you will be spending on equipment before you start shipping.

With the shipping equipment comes the dock. You have to decide whether you need a dock for your shipping needs. If you do, then it must be ready to receive your shipment; but if you don’t, then your shipping company will definitely have alternatives for delivery of your shipment to even your doorstep.