How to Prepare for a Freight Shipment

June 11, 2019 by Erin Behan

At Distinct Packaging we get excited every time a customer designs a box and the order ships out, whether it's for 10 boxes or for 10,000 boxes—but it's that larger number that brings us to the ins and outs of shipping. 

Distinct Packaging shipping boxes

If you're getting just a few (or a few hundred) boxes, they'll arrive at your doorstep flat (unfolded) in a cardboard parcel and may include some padding for protection, typically via UPS Ground or UPS GFP (Ground with Freight Pricing) for heavier orders.

For large, extra-heavy orders—generally orders of more than 850 medium- to large-sized boxes or more than 1,000 pounds of product—Distinct Packaging may ship UPS LTL (Less Than Truckload), which will be delivered via a large truck to a loading dock or curbside. This means that your boxes will be packed onto a large 48-inch by 40-inch wooden pallet instead of in a cardboard parcel. Fully loaded, each pallet could weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds and may top 6 feet.

Here are a few things to know about preparing for a dockside or curbside LTL shipment:

You’ll set an appointment for delivery.
With UPS LTL freight, someone from the shipping company will call you to coordinate an appointment for delivery. Depending on availability, this may delay your delivery (typically by 1 day).

Your order will arrive on an 18-wheeled truck.
Most freight deliveries come on an 18-wheeler. If you feel uncomfortable or are otherwise unable to have large vehicles in your neighborhood, please contact us at before placing an order for a large quantity to coordinate alternative arrangements.

Pallet deliveries are designed for a loading dock.
Pallet deliveries are ideal for commercial businesses with loading docks. The pallet will be delivered directly to the dock, allowing for easy transfer of the pallet from truck to delivery destination. Most commercial receiving docks have a forklift or pallet jack, which make moving a pallet a breeze once they're in the warehouse.

Pallet deliveries work for a small business or residence too.
If your shipment is to a residence or small business, a truck with a lift gate, which takes the pallet from truck level down to the ground, will be needed to deliver the goods curbside. At Distinct Packaging, the shipping price you see on the checkout page includes freight with liftgate or curbside delivery only.

If you plan on moving the entire pallet to your door without unloading it first, you'll need to have a pallet jack to move it. Many customers choose to unpack the pallet at the curb, using a hand truck or dolly (and perhaps a friend or two) to help take the boxes into their home or business. You can choose to keep the pallet or return it to the truck.

If you want the pallet delivered to your door, contact immediately after placing your order. Keep in mind that pallets are 48-inches by 40-inches and won't fit through most standard doors, so you may still have to unload the pallet to get your goods inside your home or business.

Your goods will ship within 10 days of your order.
Distinct Packaging processes every order as quickly as possible. We guarantee to ship boxes within 10 days of receiving an order (this does not include actual shipping time). Note that orders received after 2 p.m. EST are processed on the following business day.

You'll get tracking for all shipments.
As soon as we ship your order, we will email you a Shipping Confirmation that will have your order details and tracking number so you can track delivery.

Distinct Packaging is available to answer your questions.
At Distinct Packaging, we're here to help. If you have any questions about creating or shipping your order, contact or call our U.S.-based agents toll free at (877) 464-1959, Monday to Friday, EST, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Erin Behan

Written by Erin Behan

Erin Behan is an L.A.-based writer and editor who considers fine paper one of life's little pleasures.


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