Pallet Shipping Costs – What You Need to Know


Numerous variables influence shipping expenses. These consist of customs duties, fuel surcharges, and freight class.


Freight class is a standardized code that helps carriers categorize and price your shipment. To calculate freight class, measure your shipment’s length, width, and height in inches.

Less than truckload (LTL) freight often wastes space in cargo containers, but pallet shipping can help reduce that problem.


The weight of your pallets and the items they contain determines the pallet shipping cost. Heavier items and more oversized pallets cost more to ship, and you will also need to pay for fuel surcharges, which vary based on the carrier.

The type of material used for your pallets is another factor. Wood is a heavier material and can make your freight more expensive, but plastic is impervious to moisture and easy to clean, making it more economical.

Domestic shipping costs are often determined by calculating the freight class, a standardized method for categorizing your goods based on their dimensions and weight. This enables carriers to compare prices on a per-pallet basis and avoid misunderstandings leading to inflated charges, invoice discrepancies, and claim complications.


The shipping price will vary depending on the distance your pallet travels. Typically, local pallet freight transport costs less than international pallet freight shipping. This is due to shorter distances and lower customs clearance fees, taxes, and duties.

The size of your shipment is another factor that affects the cost of shipping a pallet. Using smaller, lighter pallets will make your shipment cheaper to ship. However, it would help to ensure your cargo was packed correctly to prevent any damage to the items inside.

Air cargo is the fastest and most secure way to ship a pallet and the most expensive. Aircraft are more costly, and specific cargo safety rules must be followed when sending your goods to the airport.

The good news is that many carriers offer bulk discounts when you ship in larger quantities. If you have several pallets to send, try to group them whenever possible. You can use online tools like uShip to connect with providers that offer volume-based discounts.

Fuel surcharges

Besides the freight costs, pallet shipping prices may also include fuel surcharges. These charges are usually added to account for fluctuating fuel prices. These costs can also increase if the shipment requires expedited service.

Another factor that affects pallet shipping costs is customs duties. These are taxes imposed on goods that cross international borders. They depend on the type of goods and prevailing trade agreements and governmental policies. To avoid surprises, it’s essential to research the HS code of your products before you ship them to ensure that you’re paying the correct customs duty.

To minimize your freight costs, try to ship items in bulk whenever possible. Many carriers offer discounted rates for shipments that are sent in large quantities. Additionally, you can save money by utilizing refurbished pallets. You can find these at most shipping centers and warehouses. Alternatively, you can instantly use online resources to get quotes for your shipments. Provide the dimensions and weight of your freight pallet, the shipping origin, and the destination to receive pricing estimates.

Custom duties

Shipping pallets can be a great way to keep items secure and stable during transportation. However, they can also be costly depending on what you’re shipping and where. Using suitable packaging materials and adequately securing your goods can reduce shipping costs.

Shipping to international destinations can be expensive because of customs duties and tariffs. Researching your destination country and determining what you can expect to pay before submitting your shipment details is essential. Then, you can prepare accordingly and minimize any unexpected charges.

Domestically, freight rates are based on the NMFC freight class of your goods. The correct freight class will help avoid unnecessary fees, carrier re-billing, invoice discrepancies, and claim complications.

Jumping between phone books and websites to find local pallet freight companies can be time-consuming. You can use a trusted shipping platform to streamline your search and find the best rates. With a few simple details about your shipment, you can receive quotes from vetted transporters specializing in pallet shipping. You can browse profiles and ratings to learn more about their experiences, services, and equipment.


Depending on the origin/destination of your shipment, you may be charged for packaging. For instance, if your shipment goes to an international destination, it may require specialized customs packaging. This is typically done to prevent items from falling or breaking during transit.

If your shipment is domestic, figuring out its freight class helps you understand shipping rates. To get the total cubic inches, you can multiply your shipment’s height, width, and length. Then, divide that number by 1,728 to find the shipment’s density in pounds per cubic foot.

Pallet shipping may be more expensive than individual parcel shipping, but it can be a good option for specific shipments. For example, e-commerce businesses that sell various small tools or mechanical parts in one place can benefit from palletizing their entire order to save time and money. Just make sure to follow proper stacking patterns for increased strength and stability. For example, it’s best to use column stacking when shipping on pallets and add corrugated pads between each tier to increase load compression strength.

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