Importance of Proper Freight
Proper packaging is a must!
Many claims and damages arise from improper
packaging. Use this guide to help you package
your freight properly so it arrives in perfect
• Internationally Recognized
• Specifies minimum packaging requirements
• Provides a comparison of commodities
Item 680 - Packaging or Packing General
Item 265 - Pallets
National Motor Freight Classification
Additional information can be found at: http://www.nmfta.org/pages/NMFCPackaging
Proper packaging is a must!
There are a variety of inner packaging materials that can be used
for many different applications.
(NMFC Item 680 - Packaging or Packing General)
Selecting the Proper Inner
Bubble Wrap is ideal to protect fragile and
irregularly shaped objects. It serves as good
protection against shock and can also fill the voids
inside the shipping container.
Foam Cushioning performs well in situations
when your freight may need protection from
vibrations and shocks. For maximum
effectiveness, this material may require custom
Paper Honeycomb is effective
at many types of protection. It is
regularly used in both inner and outer
Loose Fill such as “packing peanuts” is a very
flexible packing material that can fill the gaps around
freight and offer shock protection.
Paper Pad is considered a blocking, filling,
and wrapping material that is perfect for
irregular shaped products and fragile parts.
Edge Boards are a very effective means to
stabilize the load and reduce the risk of
damage to the edge of boxes. Remember to
keep the freight within
the pallet dimensions.
Corrosion Protection should be used in
situations where you might be transporting non-
treated metals to prevent corrosion
● Heavy, bulky items should be placed on pallets.
● Cartons should be stacked squarely with no overhang.
● To maximize carton strength, stack cartons on the pallet vertically.
● Secure cartons to a pallet with banding or shrink-wrap.
● Box flaps should always be properly sealed with packing tape.
Packing your Freight on a Pallet or
In general, freight should be shipped on a pallet or skid. Verify that the pallet is in good condition and
will not risk damage to freight.
• Covered with solid, undamaged deck and runner boards.
• 4 way access.
• Free of protruding nails, staples, or
large wood splinters.
• Dunnage such as cardboard between
pallet and freight.
Pallets or Skids (NMFC Item 265)
• Cartons are aligned in columns and not in an interlocked pattern. It is a common
misconception that interlocking cartons increases strength. It can actually
decrease compression strength by up to 50%.
• Cartons do not overhang the pallet edge.
This can reduced a carton’s strength by up to 32%.
• Cartons are not stored in high humidity, which can reduce
carton strength by up to 60%.
Cardboard Cartons: Stacking on the
Don’t: An interlocking
pattern puts the strongest
part of a box on top of the
weakest box below it,
Do: A column pattern
places the strongest points
directly on top of one
another. Use slip sheets
between layers and/or
shrink wrap for stability.
Do: A combination pattern
can be used if the pallet is
double height (no risk of
double stacking) for added
strength and stability.
• Use three strip “H” taping method across all seams and flaps.
• Tape both top and bottom seams.
• Rub entire tape surface to ensure contact adhesion.
● Tuck the lead of the wrap between the pallet and the bottom box.
● Wrap in an upward direction, overlapping each layer of wrap by at least 50%.
● Twist the wrap every other time around to increase wrap strength.
● At the top, stretch the wrap diagonally over the top corners with a three inch overlap, then spiral
back down to the bottom.
● Ensure the freight is secured to the pallet by
finishing with a three inch overlap of the pallet
base with several layers of wrap.
● If additional strength and support is needed,
metal, plastic, or nylon banding can be used
to secure freight to the pallet.
Wrap and Secure to Pallet or Skid
• Each individual package must be legibly and durably marked with the name and
address (including ZIP code) of the shipper and consignee.
• The shipper and consignee information on the freight must match the shipper and
consignee information on the bill of lading.
• Address labels should be located in obvious locations as illustrated.
Marking and Labeling Packaging
• Should be highly visible and displayed on all
sides of the package.
• Both pictorial and text markings should be used.
• Symbols can be printed or adhered as a label.
• Marking symbols should be within a border
or have a contrasting background color
• Ensure all relevant HAZMAT markings
Precautionary Handling Markings