Freight shipping flooring can be frustrating, but with the right freight shipping partner on your side, you won’t have to worry about a thing. R+L Global Logistics makes it easy to transport all kinds of flooring around the U.S. Whether you’re shipping to a construction site, or just to your home for a home improvement project, we’ve got you covered.
Freight shipping flooring involves many different considerations depending on what kind of flooring you are shipping. Carpet can be large and heavy, and oftentimes requires a flatbed to haul. Hardwood, on the other hand, is easily damaged by too much moisture. And tiles must be handled with care if you want them to arrive at their destination intact.
Carpet can be a real hassle to transport. It’s large, it’s heavy, and it’s difficult to move. Without the proper strategy, you’re going to find yourself struggling to handle this particular type of flooring. Unlike with many other types of flooring, carpet is shipped as one large piece instead of several smaller parts like tiles.
Thankfully, with a good Third Party Logistics Company (3PL) like R+L Global Logistics on your side, you can have access to a wide range of expertise and professional equipment that will make transporting carpet a breeze.
Carpet is often shipped as one large piece so that it can cover an entire floor without seams. This makes it look nicer once it’s installed, but it also makes it much more difficult to ship. Even getting a large roll of carpet ready for shipping can be a challenge!
The first step for shipping a carpet is to roll it up tightly so it is easier to handle. This often requires using specialized machinery, since a large roll of carpet is heavy and difficult to work with. These machines can be controlled to roll out a specific length of carpet and cut it to the appropriate size, so all you need to do it keep it from unrolling again. Once a carpet has been rolled, it must be tied with twine or nylon straps to keep it from unrolling.
Now that the roll of carpet has been tied up, the entire thing should be wrapped multiple times with stretch wrap to help keep it together and protect it from the elements. This will also help to protect it from dirt, as well as protect it from any minor damages that could occur during the shipping process. The fibers of the carpet could get nicked, pulled, or torn without the plastic wrap, but with the proper wrapping, you won’t have anything to worry about.
The methods used for transporting rolls of carpet depends on several different factors. Size is the most important factor, but other factors like the shipper’s budget and preferences can play a large role as well. Even weather can help determine how a carpet gets shipped.
The most common option for freight shipping rolls of carpet is with an enclosed trailer. This is a great option because it protects the carpet from the sun, moisture, and other damages. It should be shipped as Full Truckload (FTL), because a heavy carpet can cause lots of damage to other freight if it rolls around or comes unrolled during the trip. However, not all rolls of carpet are going to fit in the back of a standard freight truck trailer. Sometimes, carpet can be awkwardly shaped or long. In that case, a different option should be used.
When your roll of carpet is too large to fit in the back of a standard trailer, then you can still ship it on a freight truck. However, instead of using an enclosed trailer, your carpet would have to be strapped down to a flatbed, which is a different kind of truck with no walls or top. You can even ship multiple rolls of carpet together on a flatbed! However, this method of shipping really requires you to do a good job when preparing the carpet for shipping.
There are a lot of things to consider when shipping hardwood flooring. There are a lot of things that can go wrong during the process, including physical damages and distortion. If you don’t take the time to prepare this kind of shipment properly, you could be in for a disappointment upon delivery. And, if your wood isn’t from the United States, then it could even be subject to special regulations!
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that moisture is your biggest enemy when you need to ship real hardwood flooring. Too much moisture will cause wooden floorboards to buckle, bow, and even split along the grain of the wood. It can also cause unsightly discoloration, and lead to more severe problems like mold and mildew.
So, the question then is how do you protect your shipment of hardwood floorboards from moisture? Most of the time, wooden boards are shipped on a flatbed, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be protected from the weather or relative humidity outside. There are several methods you can utilize to ensure your shipment stays flat and moisture-free.
The first thing you’re going to need to do is lay the boards out on a flat surface, and stack the boards in such a way that they remain as flat as possible. The weight of the boards on top will help to compress the boards on the bottom and allow them to keep their shape, while the flat foundation will encourage the boards on top to keep their shape as well. This stack of boards must then be strapped down so that they do not go flying off the back of the truck at high speeds.
Next, the stack of boards should be covered with a waterproof material like plastic wrap. Hardwood flooring is already treated so it is as dry as possible, but you should still ensure the environment you are wrapping the boards in isn’t humid, otherwise, you could inadvertently trap moisture inside the packaging with the boards. If you do this well, you can feel confident knowing your hardwood floor shipment will be protected from both bad weather and humid air, and arrive at their destination intact.
There are no specific federal regulations for transporting hardwood flooring as long as the wood was sourced from the U.S. For the most part, the only regulations apply to firewood or imported hardwood.
With that said, there may be state-specific, or even city-specific laws in place for delivering or driving through with a shipment of hardwood. Always check with the specific areas in which you will be picking up the wood, driving through, and delivering the shipment.
That’s just if your wood was sourced from somewhere in the U.S. There are a ton of regulations involved if your wood came from overseas. You’ll need to comply with the Lacey Act, which protects against illegal or unsustainable harvesting of endangered hardwood trees, and you’ll need to make sure that your shipment has been treated appropriately before it will be allowed into the U.S. And all that is on top of the normal customs clearance requirements.
Needless to say, you could save yourself a lot of trouble if you call up the state Department of Agriculture for the different places you need to go, rather than assuming anything.
Tiles are a notoriously difficult commodity to ship. If you’ve ever tried to lay tile for a home improvement project, you know how easy it is to chip and crack tiles just carrying the box around. If the tiles are packaged improperly, then the risk of breaking them is even higher.
Now imagine those tiles being moved around by forklift, loaded and unloaded from a freight truck, and transported around construction sites. There are so many opportunities for tiles to break that it might seem surprising that any tiles could survive the trip at all! Thankfully, however, the process of protecting tiles for shipping is not as difficult as you might imagine. As long as you take the time to package them carefully, you won’t have to worry about losing any part of your shipment along the way.
The first step in packaging tile for shipping is to select a durable, reasonably-sized box for a single stack of tiles. You’ll want to make sure that there is almost no room for the tiles to shift around inside the box. That may require getting custom boxes for shipping, but it’s worth taking the extra care to make sure you do this part right.
Once you have your boxes, you will want to stack a single stack of tiles into each box. However, since tiles are made of brittle, rough materials like stone or porcelain, they can damage other tiles around them. You need to make sure that between each and every tile, you place a layer of corrugated cardboard. This will not only prevent the tiles from scuffing each other, but it will also provide a bit of extra cushioning in case they bump around during the trip. You can also opt to wrap each individual tile in paper instead, but that can take more time.
Then, you will need to fill in the gaps around the edges of the tiles to remove any possibility of them shifting around. For this, you can use paper, styrofoam, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or anything else that could add cushioning between the edges of the tile and the box. Once you have filled in all the remaining space, including any space on top, seal up the box with a liberal amount of packing tape and set it aside until you have enough boxes to fill a pallet.
If you’ve ever palletized boxes before, then you should know that palletizing boxes of tiles is going to be a very similar process. You just need to be extra cautious about how you go about it.
Before you can start loading the pallet, you need to lay down a sheet of plastic or durable fiberboard to cover up the holes in the pallet. This step is especially important for smaller boxes, but obviously not quite as important for long or large boxes.
Then, when you start to stack the boxes, make sure you stack them in columns. There should be no overlap between the boxes—their corners should all be lined up with the corners of the boxes above and below them. Every few layers, you can add a new sheet of plastic or fiberboard to add a little extra stability, but that is an optional step.
Remember that tiles are heavy and brittle, so avoid stacking them too high. If you stack too much weight on the pallet, the tiles at the bottom may end up cracking under the pressure. In addition to that, you need to clearly label your pallet to inform the carrier that it cannot be stacked on under any circumstances. The weight of another pallet on top of it would likely crush many of the tiles, even in their boxes.
Once you have stacked the pallet up to a reasonable height, then you need to wrap the entire thing multiple times with shrink wrapping to hold it all together. Durable nylon straps can also be used to tether the boxes to the pallet. Just make sure you don’t cover up the forklift holes in the pallet.
Now that your tiles have been palletized, all that’s left is to get them on a freight truck so they can be on their way.
You probably have questions about what it’s like to move freight with a 3PL—or you may have questions about what a 3PL even does. If you haven’t considered working with a 3PL before, you could be holding yourself and your shipment back from the best value option in the transportation industry.
Essentially, a 3PL works by acting as a liaison between shippers who need to move freight and carriers who need freight to fill their trucks. A 3PL has connections with an entire network of different carriers, so when someone requests a shipping quote to move their freight, the 3PL can match them up with a carrier that will already be in that area, saving everyone involved time and money.
There’s more benefit to working with a 3PL than just conveniently finding a carrier to move your freight. They also handle documentation, payment, insurance, and many other aspects of shipping freight. If your shipment requires special attention or has unique handling specifications, then you can count on a 3PL to enforce any and all requests for you. Most 3PLs have refrigerated trucks, heavy haul vehicles, and many other types of specialized trucks in their carrier network. And as an added bonus, if anything goes wrong during shipping, the 3PL will also be able to handle everything so you wouldn’t have to.
In addition to that, many 3PLs also have connections in different industries, such as warehousing, product fulfillment, customs clearance, consulting, auto transport, and much more. Any time you have anything to ship, a 3PL should be the first option you consider!
Freight shipping flooring doesn’t have to be hard. With R+L Global Logistics, you can get any kind of shipment delivered anywhere in the U.S. As a 3PL, we can get you in contact with only the best, most reliable shippers, help you save money by getting you the best deal, and guarantee that your freight arrives exactly on time.
Our reputation speaks for itself, but if you need more reasons to consider working with us, take a look at some of the great benefits we offer in addition to world-class logistics services:
Not only do we make freight shipping flooring easy, but we also make it easy to ship just about anything! If you need to know how to ship eggs, how to ship cheese, or how to ship isopropyl alcohol, we can be your trusted partner no matter what!
Call us today at (866) 353-7178 to get your free shipping quote, or visit our freight quote page to submit your information online! In no time at all, you can get your shipment in motion.
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