What you need to know about shipping

We’ve learned a lot about shipping BIG! Here are some things you need to know about shipping when it comes to our portable walls.

shipping big items crating

For many of our customers, our crated walls will be the largest shipment they’ve ever received. While other vendors may have delivered large items such as furniture or artifacts, we find that many customers haven’t worked with 18-wheeled common carriers you often pass on the highway. Receiving a shipment this way has some key differences you’ll need to know about before receiving your shipment.

What is “LTL/Common Carrier”?

You may notice that on your quote shipping is listed as “LTL/Common Carrier”. LTL stands for “Less than Truckload”. Unless your order consists of 150 portable walls or more, your shipment will require less than a full semi truck. Most of our customers’ orders are shipped LTL/Common Carrier. This means the delivery is shared with other items on board during its transit. The semi trailer will have different stops at hubs along the way as it unloads and re-loads heading toward your destination to make the trip as efficient as possible.
“Less than Truckload carriers use “hub and spoke” operations where small local terminals are the spokes (‘end of line’) and larger more central terminals are the hubs (also called Distribution Centers or DC’s). Spoke terminals collect local freight from various shippers and consolidate that freight onto enclosed trailers for transporting to the delivering or hub terminal where the freight will be further sorted and consolidated for additional transporting (also known as linehauling). In most cases, the end of line terminals employ local drivers who start the day by loading up their trailers and heading out to make deliveries first. Then when the trailer is empty they begin making pickups and return to the terminal for sorting and delivery next day. Because of the efficiency of this order of operations most deliveries are performed in the morning and pickups are made in the afternoon.” – see the full article on Wikipedia

How long does a shipment usually take?

Most of our LTL/Common Carrier shipments take about 2-5 weekdays, although this can vary according to location, weather, road conditions, or other possible interruptions. Most customers find it’s best to build in about 5 days for your shipment in their total portable wall installation or project plan.

Why is crating necessary?

Since transport requires a pallet and fork lift to move things around, we build sturdy crates to protect the walls. Strapping the walls or palletizing them would be much cheaper, but only in the short run. That’s because with those palletizing methods we run the risk of the walls arriving dinged, damaged, or scratched – especially if they have an applied finish or graphic wrap on them.

Packing

When you order a finish for your walls (paint, graphics or vinyl wrap) we carefully wrap them to protect them during shipment to prevent scratches. Bare walls ship well without this extra wrap, so we use only as much as needed to protect areas like the adjustable feet in transit. (Incidentally, we work hard to create an environmentally friendly product, so we re-use corrugated boxes whenever possible to reduce waste. Consequently, chances are your joiners will arrive in recycled boxes.)

Why are crates expensive?

Due to the weight of the walls in shipment (usually 900 lbs. or more) the crate needs to be strong enough to both protect them and prevent any movement. Our crates are unusually strong, and designed to be reused.

What is “Guaranteed delivery”?

In the trucking industry, “Guaranteed Delivery” means you pay additional money to have an expedited shipment, but that’s with the assumption that all goes well each step of the way. Trade show displays are generally shipped as a guaranteed delivery shipment. Most guaranteed shipments arrive on time and without problems, but we’ve seen a few shipments delayed due to dangerous weather (anywhere in the country, thereby affecting all transit times and connections) or other, rare logistical reasons. Be sure to note the following situations which can affect your guaranteed shipment:

The terms and conditions of most bills of lading release transportation providers (and therefore Pareti Mobile Walls, LLC from liability for loss or damage arising from:

  • an act of God,
  • a public enemy,
  • the authority of law or
  • the act or default of the shipper.

In addition, except in the case of negligence, a transportation provider will not be liable for loss, damage, or delay caused by:

  • the property being stopped and held in transit at the request of the shipper, owner or party entitled to make such request;
  • lack of capacity of a highway, bridge or ferry;
  • a defect or vice in the property; or
  • riots or strikes.

Receiving a large shipment

Large shipments are generally received at your dock, and a forklift is used to remove the crate from the truck. Many of our customers do not have docks or forklifts. Since our crates are too large for lift gate service (where the crate is lowered from a hydraulic lift on the truck to the ground) some crates must be hand-unloaded from the truck. We provide instructions on how to do this efficiently, and have designed our crates for easy access and fast unloading.

Will the truck driver unload the shipment for me?

Most drivers do not assist with unloading.

What if I don’t have a dock or forklift?

As a receiver, you must either have a dock and/or forklift to move the crate, or you must hand-unload. At 900-1200 pounds the crate generally cannot be scooted onto a dock, so even with a dock you must have a pallet jack or forklift to remove it from the truck.

How to hand-unload?

Please contact us – we’ll send you a packet on how to efficiently hand-unload and set up your walls.

Timelines

Be sure to factor in ample time for shipping when figuring your timeline. A general rule is to allow a minimum of 5 business days for shipping + 2 weeks for Pareti’s production process.

Since our walls are custom built for your order, and shipments entail moving very large crates, ample planning is important, so be sure to build in as much time as you possibly can for your order. While we strive to help customers in a deadline pinch, when it comes to manufacturing and shipping, it’s best to allow as much time as possible for safety, accuracy, and ultimately less frustration on your part!

Situations that can make shipping more expensive

Proper planning is the best way to avoid additional fees. In some cases, such as trade show display deliveries, or delivery to a college or university, some fees are unavoidable. But you can also do your part to be sure there are no additional penalties by planning your receiving.

Unavoidable shipping fees may apply to the following:

  • Delivering in downtown areas or businesses that do not have a shipping or receiving area
  • Using lift gate service (if applicable – generally for walls 7 feet tall or shorter)
  • Delivery to a college or university or other limited access areas that make it tough or impossible for semis to turn around, park, or back in/out
  • Delivery to a trade show (which is a different shipping class and requires guaranteed delivery)

Additional fees or penalties which are optional or add-on, but mostly avoidable:

  • Guaranteed delivery if not shipping a trade show exhibit
  • Poorly planned receiving, such as situations where no one is there to hand-unload, or no fork lift available
  • Turning away, or requesting a shipment re-delivers another day because no one is there to unload or remove the crate. This can add substantial fees to your original shipping amount.

To avoid unnecessary charges and fees for shipping, be sure to plan ahead, allow ample time for production and shipping. Be sure to discuss the size of your dock (if you have one), whether or not you have a forklift or pallet jack available, or whether you need to hand-unload your order. We can offer tips to help your receiving go smoothly!

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