The biggest challenge in shipping low gauge foam products via an LTL carrier is the freight class.
Four key factors are involved in the determination of the freight class.
Liability, Handling, Stowability, and Density
While all the above factors are taken into consideration, it is the density of the shipment that is the largest contributor when shipping lightweight foams. Density is calculated based on the space taken up in the trailer and the weight of the shipment. It is quite common for low-density foam shipments to take up a large portion of the floor space with very little weight.
Unfortunately, this also means that the freight class will be higher as well due in part to the probability of damage while in transit. Very dense materials are less likely to have damage and are generally easier to handle which results in a lower freight class. Lighter shipments that require more finesse in the handling will be rated at a higher freight class and therefore will be more expensive to ship.
Some of the ways to reduce the effect of density are:
- Increase the volume in the packaging. Instead of shipping large rolls that take up a lot of space with little weight. Take into consideration utilizing shorter rolls that will fit in a gaylord. This will help to maximize the use of floor space.
- Use as much space as possible in the packaging. If shipping in gaylords, be sure to order in full gaylord quantities. By not using the full capacity of the packaging, you are shipping air which is contradictory to the goal.
- Utilize supplier shipping discounts. If you do not ship mass amounts of material via a carrier, chances are your negotiated rate is not as beneficial as that of your supplier.
Request a freight quote from your supplier and compare that to the rate you receive from the carrier. You might be surprised at the difference.
- Combine higher gauge foams with a lower gauge. The higher gauge items will help to offset the weight deficit of the lighter product.
Hopefully, these shipping tips will help you to reduce your freight costs when shipping low-density foam products.