Pallet Shipping Costs Explained

Let’s face it, pallet shipping costs are a significant expense that all buyers would prefer to reduce – or eliminate and they are rising. Part of the rising costs have to do with fuel prices, and changes in the transportation, and logistics regulations. With more trucks now using electronic logging, trucks are driving fewer miles, extending the time for deliveries because layovers have become longer and fewer drivers are available to haul because longer hauls are now utilizing teams of drivers to keep the unit’s moving.

Rejoice! We’ve got helpful advice to help customers reduce pallet shipping charges and stretch their operational budget dollars to their fullest.

Cutting Pallet Shipping Charges

To know how to get the best freight charge for your pallets, it is important to understand the factors and variables that impact your total shipping charge calculations.

The main factors are:

  • Pallet Location
  • Pallet Specifications
  • Pallet Order Quantity
  • Shipping Timing
  • Delivery Location
  • Shippers

Read on to see how these shipping factors influence pallet freight costs.

Pallet Location

The shipping origin of your pallets is very important. The further away your pallets are located, the more you pay! The further the distance is from the origin the longer it takes hourly to ship them and it adds to more costs.

Tip: Choose a local pallet supplier close to your location can reduce your shipping charges and save money! It’s pretty simple math: fewer miles equal less expense.

Pallet Specifications

The smaller and lighter the pallet, the less shipping you pay. Furthermore, small pallets ship more compactly, allowing the shipper to pack more units into a stack position. The more pallets that can be put on a load means that the cost of the transportation can be divided by a larger number, so each pallet bears a smaller portion of the cost.  Example: If the transportation cost is $600.00 and there are 600 hundred pallets on the trailer load the cost per pallet is $1.00 per pallets, put 800 pallets on the load and cost becomes $0.75 a $0.25 savings per pallet.

Tip: Reduce your shipping charges by considering a smaller pallet to meet your needs. Especially if your products ship out less than full pallet loads. It will also reduce the number of carriers needed as well.

Pallet Order Quantity

Generally speaking, the more pallets you order, the smaller your “per unit” shipping costs are going to be.

Here are some examples of how adjusting your pallet order quantity can reduce your “per unit” shipping charges.

If your freight cost/delivery fee is $250.00 and you order 100 pallets the cost per unit is $2.50 per pallet. Double the quantity ordered (200) and the cost drops to $1.25.

Tip: Find the sweet spot on your pallet quantity to optimize your “per unit” freight charges.

Shipping Service Level/Timing

Did you forget to do inventory and need pallets in a hurry? It’ll cost you. Faster shipping services for your pallets are more expensive, especially when a courier is having to be called to make a small order pick up and delivery.

Tip: Monitor your inventory and place pallet orders before you run out. You’ll save at least 50% on shipping charges if you can afford to wait the standard 3-5 business day transit time (instead of using rush services).

Delivery Location

Your location, obviously, impacts pallet freight costs. If you’re far away from the pallet shipping point, expect to pay more.

Loading Dock

If you don’t have a loading dock, you’ll need a liftgate service from the shipper (unless you can somehow unload it yourself. Liftgates add approximately $50.00 to the shipping charges.

If pallets need to be shipped via a flatbed you can expect costs to be higher as well since it is harder to get freight that can be out in the elements and long deadheads are required.

Be Your Own Shipper

If you have your own fleet of trucks and are close to the pallet origin you may be able to pick up the pallets and use it as a backhaul for your trucks.

Tip: If you have an account with a shipping company, you may get a discount that will reduce your shipping charges if they are used for multiple projects.