Preparing Your Donations for Shipping

You have worked hard, and you have collected ALOT of donated supplies to distribute to the disaster victims who need it…

Now comes the next step… Preparing it all for shipping to location for distribution! Should be easy, right? Just stack it up on a pallet and call Trucks With Room, right? Not so fast…

Yep, there’s a few rules and regulations that, as truckers, we have to follow to ensure public safety.. and the safety of your shipment.. So, there are a few rules to follow, to be certain we can accept your shipments.

  1. Cleaning supplies and ANY KIND of CHEMICAL can NOT go onto the same pallet as food. They also can not be on the pallet NEXT to food, you will have to find a way to separate them. A plywood or particle board sheet will work in certain instances. Separation by another non food pallet is preferred by most people. (example: diapers, paper products, ect)
  2. Most refrigerated trailers won’t haul ANY chemical inside the trailers. These are usually “food grade” trailers, and cannot be used for anything but food.
  3. Know what you have! I know, We ask alot of questions, but this is to ensure the supplies are properly packed and to help us decide the type of trailer that will work for the shipment. (More on trailers in a min..) Having a packing list or manifest for each pallet not only helps us to know what is on the pallets and best way to transport, but it also provides a detailed accounting of items and count for inventory purposes. So please have a manifest ready… we will need it.
  4. PLEASE USE SHRINK WRAP ON PALLETS. There is nothing worse for a driver, than to open the back doors and see donations scattered on the floor. Proper wrapping of pallets will keep your items clean, intact and undamaged.
  5. HAVE A PLAN! We know you excited, and these supplies need to go, but…
    1. Do you have a loading plan? (forklift, volunteers, ect)
    2. Location sufficient size for a semi?(Semi’s can be 70 to 80 ft long or more. Do you have room?)
    3. Can the driver get in and out safely?(Low power lines or trees?
    4. Can driver make turns to get to your location?)
    5. Do you have Delivery location set up and location contact?
    6. Do you have an unloading plan?
    7. If in disaster zone, do you know the cleared route? Is it a solid road and passable for trucks?
    8. Do you have an unloading location and plan for delivery and unloading?
  6. TRAILERS.. There are many types of trailers, and they all have their own uses..
    1. Dry Van- basic enclosed trailer, good for just about anything except refrigerated or perishables.
    2. Refrigerated Trailer – Trailer capable of transporting refrigerated or frozen items. Cannot haul chemicals.
    3. Open Deck Trailers- These come in many styles. (flatbed, stepdeck, lowboys, ect) These trailers are mainly used for donations that consist of building supplies and equipment, but can be used to transport some palletized shipments if driver will tarp (or cover) items. These trailers are good in areas without docks because they can be loaded or unloaded from the side.
  7. CLOTHING- These items need to be boxed, and stacked on pallet.

These are just a few items that come to mind quickly, I’m sure we can add more to this list later. We just wanted to try to make your donation shipment move easier and faster. Following these few key points will help us and your logistics team work faster and safer.

Thank you and be safe!