How to ship flooring and coverings.

When shipping flooring, packaging is everything. The mode and carrier you choose may have a significant impact on your overall shipment, but effective packaging is the best way to ensure your flooring makes it to you in one piece. Freightquote by C.H. Robinson can help you find the safest way to package your shipment while also connecting you with a carrier you can rely on.

Crates. Wooden crates will help organize and protect your floor coverings. Separate fragile and non-fragile items into their own crates to avoid the floor coverings hitting or scratching each other when on the road. Wrap fragile freight in protective material (such as tissue paper or bubble wrap) and fill each crate as high as you can to leave no room for any potential movement or damage.

Pallets. Wooden pallets should be used regardless of whether the shipment is fragile or not. Pallets protect your freight and make loading and unloading much easier for the carrier. 

First, neatly stack your entire shipment on a large enough pallet. Next, secure your shipment to the pallet by strapping or shrink wrapping your freight to the pallet’s forks. If you choose to use straps, use at least two and firmly tighten them to the pallet. If you choose to shrink wrap your pallet, make at least 5 full wraps to ensure the flooring and pallet feel like one solid shipment. Use banding if you need to tighten your shipment further and keep it from moving.

Place a crush cone on the top of your shipment to avoid your pallet being crushed from other shipments. This small symbol notifies carriers not to stack anything on top of your shipment. Lastly, make sure you have a pallet size big enough to support the weight of your shipment and allow for easy transportation.

Although there is no catch-all to protect your flooring, there are steps you can take to ensure your shipment makes it to your destination in the best possible condition. When you work with a freight service provider, like Freightquote, you have access to a network of reliable carriers and industry experts to help optimize your shipping strategy for your exact type of freight.

Floor coverings commonly shipped through Freightquote.

  • Tile (such as cermaic, marble, limestone, granite, etc.)
  • Hardwood
  • Carpet

Common questions when shipping flooring. 

What freight shipping mode should I be using?

Less than truckload is the most commonly used mode when shipping floor coverings because it allows you to save money by sharing truck capacity with other shipments. When using LTL, you want to pay extra attention when packaging to ensure your shipment won’t be damaged in transit or danger other shipments on the truck.

Truckload shipping may be a more cost-friendly option for larger shipments. Additionally, flatbed can be used if you have extra-long or oddly shaped floor coverings that don’t fit in a regular truck.

Do certain floor coverings need more protection?


The material of your flooring will determine just how careful you need to be. For light and fragile flooring, such as ceramic tiles, many shippers will double box the stacks of tiles and use packing peanuts to fill in any empty spaces and prevent movement. For fragile and heavy flooring, such as marble, shippers often make custom crates that leverage plastic, metal, and wood to tightly hold the shipment in place. 

When shipping carpeting, fold the rug in half and roll it up as tight as possible. Similar to wrapping a pallet, you should wrap the entire carpet while leaving extra plastic at the top and bottom. Wrap the extra plastic around the ends of your roll of carpet to make sure nothing can damage the carpet from the inside. 

Working with a freight 

service provider allows you to ship various shapes, sizes, and materials of flooring with a safe and efficient shipping strategy. In the past, our team even managed to ship a basketball hardwood floor.

How do I determine the freight class of flooring?

Once your shipment is secured with a crate or pallet, determine how it stands up against each of these factors to estimate your freight class:

Density. Includes the space your shipment takes up along with its weight. Use our freight class density calculator to calculate the density of your shipment.

Storability. Shipments that are more difficult to store receive a higher freight class. This could be due to weight, shape or hazardous materials.

Handling. Shipments requiring more handling receive a higher freight class.

Liability. Shipments that are more likely to be damaged receive a higher freight class.

How can I track my floor coverings throughout their journey?

Almost everything our customers ship allow for easy and frequent tracking—flooring is no different. Use your Bill of Lading (BOL) number to track your shipment from dock to destination.

Ready to ship flooring and floor coverings?

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