Freight Shipping Guide
What is Freight?
Freight (otherwise known as cargo) is the transportation of goods by land, air or sea. Methods of freight can be road, rail, air or sea freight. Goods shipped via sea or ocean freight, and even sometimes air freight requires strong protection of the goods. Metal shipping containers are often used to protect goods during sea freight, and pallets are used for air freight. Airfreight is the most popular strategy of freight due to its speed, however, can be one of the most expensive forms of transporting goods.
Different loads require different environments, such as temperature-controlled goods or dangerous goods. Measurements can be taken to protect goods that require special care, such as refrigerated packages, or protection against perishables, and temperature, humidity and pressure which is usually concerning vibrations during air freight.
How to Package Freight
You will usually pack your goods into a crate or on a pallet. Make sure your package is packaged well and protected from being crushed or affected by moisture, pilferage and breakage. If you pack too many items into one crate or pallet, you may risk your goods being damaged, or being too heavy. If you have too much excess space in your crate or pallet, you may risk your goods moving, crashing or denting. You can fill the excess space with space filler such as foam, airbags or newspapers. Using space fillers will also protect your goods from impact by cushioning and absorbing the shock. Finally, you will need to make sure your cargo is secure and protected from tampering. Tamper-evident tape, stretch wraps and strapping seals are ideal.
You will need to label your packages so the recipient can identify your load. However, be careful not to give away too much information (especially in the case of expensive items), as it may attract theft.
In order to meet the international shipping regulations, you must label your packages with the following:
- Name of the Country of Origin
- Name of Port of Entry
- Number of Packages
- Size of Each Case in Both Inches & Centimeters
- Shipper’s Mark
- Handling Marks
- Weight in Pounds & Kilograms
- Precautions to Be Taken with the Package Such as ‘Fragile’ or ‘This Side up’ in Both English & the Language of the Country of Destination
- Universal Symbols for Hazardous Materials
- List of Ingredients for Comestible Products If Required in the Destination Country, Both in English & the Receiving Country’s Language
You will also need to provide the right shipping documents for your load.
- Bill of Lading or Air Waybill: A contract between the carrier and owner of the cargo. This must contain a destination control statement.
- Commercial Invoice
- Certificate of Origin: Official document stating the origin of the goods. May be required for some countries. NAFTA countries have their own certificate of origin.
- Consular Invoice: Required in some countries, certifies the shipment and has the name of the consignor, consignee and value of the cargo. Must be certified by a consular official from the country of destination.
- Inspection Certificate
- Dock Receipt & Warehouse Receipt
- Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED)
- Packing List
- Insurance Certificate
- Export License
Just like any other insurance, cargo insurance will protect you from theft, major weather conditions (e.g. hurricane), collisions and other risks. You will need to consider your method of freight and the destination of your goods, however, it is strongly recommended to take out insurance of your goods due to the nature of these risks. Some All-Risk cargo insurance further includes protection against damage of external cause, such as a crash, burning, sinking. It is important to note that Shipment by Shipment insurance does not include all of the above listed, including major weather condition risks.