How Pallet Shipping Rates Can Save You Money on Freight Transportation

Several factors determine the cost of pallet freight shipping. You can estimate freight rates and get quotes using a shipping calculator. The NMFC freight class of your items is an important consideration. It helps carriers price your shipment according to a standardized system. 

Consolidating your shipments into single pallets has significant shipping cost benefits. You may also save money by optimizing the cube of your freight to take fewer pallet spaces.

Less-than-truckload (LTL)

Whether your company’s freight is in boxes, envelopes, or varying containers, pallet shipping can help you save on overall costs. Unlike package or parcel shipping, palletized goods stay together on one base to offer strength and additional protection from damage during transportation and storage. 

In addition, consolidated pallet shipping reduces handling and transit times and may help you avoid higher rates often associated with individual shipment weight or distance.

The most common way to determine domestic LTL shipping rates is through the freight class your product falls into based on its specifications. This is important because the more your product weighs, the more it will cost to ship. The number of pallets in a shipment also plays an essential role in the rate calculation as it impacts storage and a truck’s capacity.

Factors that impact rates

Other factors that impact rates include your shipment’s origin and destination zip code. The further away your goods are from the point of origin, the more it will cost to get them there as hourly labor and fuel charges increase.

Additionally, utilizing best practices can significantly reduce your domestic LTL shipping rates. This can be as simple as optimizing your products’ cubes and stacking them. 

Hence, you take fewer pallet spots or are as involved in training warehouse and packing/loading staff on proper packaging/palletizing techniques. This can save your company 15-20% off standard rates, which is worth the effort.


One of the ways how to calculate freight shipping costs is by using weight-based rates, which means shipping costs depend on how much product is shipped on each pallet. This can help save money when your products are very dense and take up minimal space, such as oil drums or cases of food. 

On the other hand, if your products have a low space-to-weight ratio, like flat-pack Ikea versus an antique living room set, they will likely have higher shipping costs due to their volume and weight. One way to minimize shipping costs is to use software to optimize your packing pattern to fit as much into each pallet spot. 

This can reduce your dimensional weight (a calculated value that measures how much space the shipment will take in a container), lowering your freight class and, ultimately, your shipping rates. 

Another approach is to utilize a ” flat pallet rate” with your carrier, where shipping costs remain the same regardless of how many drums are shipped on each pallet. This helps you control your shipping costs and avoid costly surprises from oversize fees.


Shipping consolidation is one of the most effective ways to cut freight transportation costs. This technique allows companies to bundle multiple smaller shipments into a single larger shipment, reducing the number of trucks and drivers needed for transport. This helps businesses save on fuel, shipping rates, and labor costs. 

Consolidated freight shipments are a great option for shippers who send small shipments or have numerous e-commerce customers. In these cases, it may be more efficient for the logistics department to combine these shipments into a single shipment instead of having the shipping department do this independently. 

When companies use pallet shipping to consolidate shipments, they can typically benefit from flat-rate pallet pricing with their carriers. This means that a pallet’s weight and dimensions will fall into one price bracket, which makes it easy to compare prices between trucking companies. 

It also eliminates the need for daily quoting and reweighing. This can be an excellent way to keep transportation costs down and ensure that a business accurately charges its customers for freight.

Other factors that influence palletized freight costs include the mode of transportation and the distance that the consolidated load will need to travel.


As the name suggests, time-definite freight delivers your goods to the customer at a predetermined date and time. This delivery mechanism is increasingly becoming a key part of business operations and customer service. 

It’s used by many industries, including automotive manufacturers for just-in-time, life sciences companies to speed up product release, e-commerce and last mile solutions from truckers and cross-border express providers, disaster recovery institutions like the Red Cross to get critical supplies in and out quickly, and more. 

Time-definite shipping rates can save you money on your overall freight transportation costs by avoiding unnecessary extra charges such as detention and layover fees. This option also reduces the risk of shipment damage resulting from multiple handling points in a delivery which drives up handling and labor costs. 

In addition, it’s important to work with your carrier to ensure that your freight is properly categorized for its dimensional weight and other charges. This will prevent several costly errors like billing mishaps, carrier re-billing, invoice discrepancies, claim complications, and more.


To put it in a nutshell, pallet shipping is an economical and practical method for freight transportation. It stands out as a cost-effective strategy that yields significant savings, primarily when correctly implemented.

Understanding the factors impacting pallet shipping costs – such as Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping, freight class, location, and weight-based rates – is crucial. By consolidating shipments, optimizing loading techniques, and utilizing flat pallet rates, businesses can better control these costs and maximize savings.

Moreover, the power of consolidation cannot be overstated. It allows for bundling of smaller shipments into one larger shipment, significantly reducing the cost associated with the number of trucks, drivers, fuel, and even labor.