HOW TO SHIP AUTO PARTS THAT WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY 

Shipping auto parts can be challenging if the process is not done properly costing you unnecessary time and money.  There is an expensive way to ship auto parts, and there is an economical way.  The following information will guide you in the proper method to ship your auto parts. 

Dimensions:  If the auto part is too big or heavy for UPS, FEDEX, or USPS, then LTL (Less Than Truckload) freight may be your only option for shipping.  All LTL carriers have a rate that is based on class, whether density based (lbs/cu. ft) or NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification).  The greater the density, the lower the shipping class and freight charge.   Density is easily calculated by multiplying the three measurements (height x width x depth) and then dividing that total cubic inches by 1,728 (# of cubic inches in a cubic foot). Take the total weight (in lbs, including the pallet) and divide that number by the total cubic feet from the other calculations.  The result is the pounds per cubic foot (pcf), i.e., density.  You can use this number to find the freight class of your shipment.  Here is a chart of the density based classes:  

  • less than 1 pcf .......................

  • 1 pcf but less than 2 pcf ...

  • 2-3 pcf .....................................

  • 3-4 pcf .....................................

  • 4-5 pcf .....................................

  • 5-6 pcf .....................................

  • 6-7 pcf .....................................

  • 7-8 pcf .....................................

  • 8-9 pcf .....................................

Class 500

Class 400

Class 300

Class 250

Class 200

Class 175

Class 150

Class 125

Class 110

  • 9-10.5 pcf ...............................

  • 10.5-12 pcf .............................

  • 12-13.5 pcf .............................

  • 13.5-15 pcf .............................

  • 15-22.5 pcf ............................

  • 22.5-30 pcf ............................

  • 30-35 pcf ................................

  • 35-50 pcf ...............................

  • 50 pcf or greater ..................

Class 100

Class 92.5

Class 85

Class 77.5

Class 70

Class 66

Class 60

Class 55

Class 50

NMFC is another way to determine the class.  It is based on the item you are shipping which is not always density based.  The NMFC classifications are harder to find as a membership to the NMFC is required to obtain this information unless it is obtained from a second-hand source.  Access to this information can help you secure a lower shipping class resulting in potential savings.

Be sure to use accurate weights and dimensions.  If your weight is grossly over estimated, your density would be incorrect and you stand the risk of getting a re-class charge at a higher shipping class.  On the other end of that possibility, if your  package is heavier than stated,  you would likely incur a re-weigh fee as well as an inspection fee. 

Location: Location. Location. Location.  There are friendly areas to ship freight, and (saying this nicely) not-so friendly areas to ship freight.  Several things to consider when thinking about shipping and receiving locations; mileage in transit, distance from a major metropolitan area, business or residential address, and limited access locations to name a few.  Using a commercial business location will always be the cheapest to ship a pallet/crate.  This location must be commercial in nature but some rules apply to this as well.  Here is a partial list of exclusions from being considered a commercial location which could result in additional charges being assessed.

  • Home-based Business -- Any business, regardless of its size or type of business that could be considered residential due to residential zoning or has a dwelling located on the property, most likely will receive a residential charge.  This charge can easily be $100.

  • Airport

  • Cemetery

  • Church

  • Construction site

  • Country club

  • Farm

  • Hotel

  • Mall/Shopping Center

  • Military

  • Mine

  • Park

  • Prison

  • School

  • Storage Facility

  • Utility site

  • Almost any Government location

Prior to shipping, it is best to contact your carrier of choice to ensure you are not slapped with additional charges that can exceed $100.

 

Services:  Any additional services requested or rendered (whether authorized or not) can result in some hefty additional charges.  It's never fun to ship an engine for $100 only to find out that there are additional charges which took it to a $200 plus shipment.  Here is a list of the most common service charges you may encounter.  Be educated, be pro-active, and be prepared before dispatching a truck for shipping.

  • Lift-Gate -- If a lift gate is required to load or unload your shipment, there is almost always an additional charge.  Be sure that both the shipping and receiving locations have a forklift or loading dock.  This can be determined by making a simple phone call.  If a truck attempts pick-up or delivery and a means of loading or unloading is not present, they will often leave and attempt to re-deliver (another charge) with a truck that has the proper equipment.  You may think "we will just load/unload by hand".  This is at the driver's discretion.  With the stringent insurance regulations that exist, it is a liability for the carrier to allow someone to load/unload without proper equipment due to possible damage and/or injury.

  • Appointment Delivery -- If your shipment needs delivered at a certain time, or if dock hours are not the normal 8 am  - 5 pm, an appointment delivery should be selected.  If the truck shows up and no one is there to unload it, they will be forced to re-deliver your asset which again is an additional charge.

  • Inside Delivery -- If a pallet is needed to be hauled from a building to the truck, or from the truck to the building, the driver may assess an inside delivery charge.  Nearly all LTL trucks have a pallet jack inside of the truck.  For the carrier to use it outside of the truck to move your pallet to a desired location, you will likely incur an additional charge.

WeLTL, LLC | United States | Auto Parts LTL Shipping

Several other factors to keep in mind when shipping auto parts:

  • Insurance -- All carriers have what is called "Carrier's Limits of Liability".  What this means is that the carriers are accepting some responsibility for the safety of the shipment, but they only pay out a certain dollar amount per pound (often $0.60 per pound or less), which is based on the shipping class selected. It does not cover the price of the shipment.  There is nothing worse than shipping an asset, having it show up damaged, and you are expected to pay the freight bill.  Most carriers/brokers offer additional insurance which can be purchased for $20 or less.  This can be a good option to protect your asset from loss or damage and often times covers the price of the shipping.

  • Packaging -- Be sure to use proper shipping materials for your shipment.  Make sure you use a nice pallet that has strong end boards which can properly support the item you are shipping.  Forklift drivers are very hard on pallets. Knowing that your shipment may be loaded and unloaded up to 10 times before it arrives to its destination, should stress how important it is to use a quality pallet or crate for shipping.  Make sure the item is properly secured with plastic or metal banding (some people use ratchet straps) and is stretch-wrapped to the pallet as well.  This prevents the item from moving around and loosening up along its journey. 

  • Protection -- Certain auto parts are more fragile than others such as body parts and sunroofs/windshields.  I would suggest using bubble wrap or even an old seat cushions as a method of protection.  Seat cushions take minutes to take out of a scrap/salvage car and is a cheap resource for packaging material.  It is a good idea to put some signs on your pallet that read "Do Not Stack" as a reminder to the forklift drivers that they cannot take a heavy pallet and stack it them on top of your auto parts.  It is always a good idea to place "fragile" stickers or papers all over the outside of your product to make sure your item makes it from point A to B without any issues.

  • Fluids -- Make sure no fluids are visible if you are shipping an item such as an engine or transmission. A carrier can reject this shipment anywhere or any time along the shipping journey due to the presence of fluids.

  • Overhang -- Be positive that your auto part is completely contained within the perimeter of the pallet.  If there is overhang, the driver or terminal can reject it and you would be setting yourself up for damage or loss.

We hope this information will help you in navigating through the freight shipping of your auto parts.  It is provided as a general guideline and is not set in stone as each carrier has individual rules and regulations.   As with any business and shipment, there will be mistakes made along the way that may result in additional charges.  With time and knowledge comes savings. These guidelines, along with the additional knowledge, will help smooth the freight shipping process as well as save you money.  There are many websites available to assist you with additional information and rate quotes.  We pride ourselves in offering the most competitive rates available along with the quality platinum services our customers deserve.  If you would like additional information, need assistance with your next freight shipment (s), or would like a rate quote, please contact us at sales@WeLTL.com or call 269-501-9889. It would be our pleasure to be of assistance with your auto parts shipping needs.  

 

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269.501.9889

sales@weltl.com

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