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Packing guidelines

Please read these guidelines prior to booking your service.

These guidelines have been developed to assist Freight Save customers in assessing the suitability as well as the correct weighing and measuring, labelling and packing of goods booked through our services to avoid damaged, lost or delayed freight and also minimise additional or incidental fees and charges incurred for goods incorrectly measured, packaged or labelled.

Correct labelling is one of the most important steps in ensuring your goods to arrive safely and without unnecessary delays.
You will need to attach the labels emailed to you after finalising your booking. If you don’t have access to a printer you could forward the email to a friend or family member to print them for you or you could visit your local library or other printing station and print your labels there.

An individual label is needed for each item you are sending. Labels indicate the delivery location, number of items in the booking and other specific information relating to your booking. Without labels securely fastened to each of your items, you will most certainly encounter delays, lost items and even manual consignment fees for labels that need to be prepared for you.

If you are reusing cartons or other packaging, remember to remove all old labels and other barcodes. This helps to minimise goods being lost due to shipment to the wrong location.

All labels should be in good condition once secured to the package (ie: not creased or folded) so all information is clearly visible. Labels should be attached to a clean and dry surface to ensure they do not peel off whilst in transit.

Ensure the barcode and other details are clearly visible and that they are no smudges on the label once they come off the printer.
Secure the labels to the packaging with strong clear tape. Ideally the entire label should be covered with tape which will help to prevent the label from peeling off, prevent damage to the label/details during transit and prevent ink from running during wet weather.

It is best to secure your labels to the sides of any packaging rather than the top to ensure details remain visible even if other goods are stacked on top of yours.
It is also useful to clearly write the pickup and delivery addresses (including postcodes) and telephone numbers on the carton or other packaging as well as the unique consignment/booking number. This will prevent delays in the event the label has become damaged.

For any items a label is unable to be securely fastened, use a tie-on label. If you choose to do so, please remember that the tie must be durable ie: cable tie and that labels are as damageproof and waterproof as possible.

If any items require careful handling, it is a good idea to write ‘fragile’ on the packaging.

All items MUST be packaged for transport. Any items that are not packaged may be excluded from being collected, be subject to delay or return and you will likely be charged a futile collection fee by the carrier plus Freight Save’s administration fee.

Packaged items must be suitably packaged to withstand the rigors of transportation including multiple handling and a short drop. Suitable packaging includes items packed carefully into/onto strong and durable cartons or pallets with sufficient interior padding and protection to easily carry and support the item/s weight.
If the item is not packed in its original packaging, it should be the same standard as the manufacturer’s.

Drivers and freight handlers have work and safety limitations. Items weighing over 25kgs must be packaged on a pallet or crate and be easily moved by forklift. It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure there is suitable lifting equipment available at both pickup and delivery addresses. If not, please ensure you choose the ‘tail lift’ option when booking or contact Freight Save for your options in this regard. It is advised to do this prior to booking your service.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting the correct packing type for your item/s;

All packaging MUST be able to retain your items without tipping, rolling, sliding or leaking. Any spare room in the carton should be filled with packing materials including foam, air cushions/bubble wrap or scrunched paper to prevent items from moving around during handling and transportation.

When selecting the most appropriate packing type, consider the item/s weight, dimensions, and other properties. (This also includes the weight and dimensions of the pallet itself).

No part of any item should protrude from its packaging. Protruding items pose a safety risk to handlers as well as a risk of damaging other items during transit.

Select packaging that is strong and durable enough, especially if you are sending breakable items. Where possible, use the original carton your item/s came in as these were designed with the safe transportation of that item in mind.

Items with a combined weight of over 25kgs should be separated into multiple cartons if possible.

Travel cases and suitcases are able to be transported without additional packaging but will need to securely fastened and labelled properly.

Cartons should not be fixed together. On booking you will indicate the total number of items in your booking and you will be sent a label for each. Strapping cartons together presents a risk of the cartons becoming separated and no way in tracing its delivery location which is why a separate label needs to be placed on each individual carton in your booking.

It is important to remember not to overfill or overload cartons. In the case your carton is too full, separate your items into multiple cartons. Cartons should be secure and sealed at all times. Cartons that are overfull present a risk of opening during transportation and your item/s becoming lost or damaged.

When selecting the correct carton size, it is recommended to ensure there is a minimum of 5cm of padding around all sides of the item/s. This protects your item/s from moving around in the carton and becoming damaged in transit.

Strong and sturdy cartons are available to purchase online and from most self-storage sites and hardware stores.


All items that require a forklift must have standard forklift access points and be packaged in a stable and upright position. Top heavy items are likely to become unbalanced during transportation resulting in damage.

Pallets fixed with cross boards at the base of the pallet will provide greater support and stability during transportation and reduce the risk of your items becoming damaged.

Palletised freight must be placed squarely on the pallet and not overhang the sides of the pallet at all.

When sending multiple cartons on a pallet, it is important to make sure;

  • the pallet is not already cracked or broken
  • the pallet is strong and capable enough of supporting the load during transportation
  • there are no items overhanging the edges of the pallet
  • that heavier cartons are placed on the bottom and lighter cartons on the top which adds stability to the pallet
  • all items are securely fastened to the pallet.

Depending on the goods loaded onto the pallet, you may choose to use strapping or shrink/stretch wrap or a combination of both. It is also recommended to use sheets of cardboard around the outside (especially edges) to prevent damage by strapping, any other damage that may be incurred during transit and also to provide additional support and stability.

Items on wheels requiring transportation on a pallet should be adequately and suitably fastened to the pallet to reduce likely movement and damage during transit. Strapping the item to the base of the pallet is an easy way of securing the item.

Tyres being transported on a pallet are required to be laid sideways, stacked and wrapped/strapped.

Large reels, spools and drums must be placed standing on their stable base and strapped and wrapped. Large spools should be placed in the centre of the pallet and only if no parts of the spool base/surface overhang the edge of the pallet may spools be palletised together.

Appliances should be wrapped in cardboard prior to being strapped down to provide protection from damage in transit. Where whitegoods and appliances are not in their original packaging, packaging should be of a similar standard to the manufacturer’s.

Timber crates

All items that require a forklift must have standard forklift access points and be packaged in a stable and upright position. Top heavy items are likely to become unbalanced during transportation resulting in damage.

Any items requiring a pallet plus additional protection should be packaged inside a crate to restrict movement within the crate and prevent damage to the item.

When packing your item/s into a crate it is important to remember to ensure the item/s are not top heavy, that the item/s weight can be distributed evenly inside the crate and that the crate can at all times be handled and transported safely.

Crates should be of sound structure to ensure its integrity when strapped and restrained during transportation. Once the crate is restrained, it is also important that the item/s do not move around which may cause damage to the item or damage to the crate itself.


Lengths of materials such as metals and pipe etc will require to be tightly bundled together using straps or braces or a combination of both. Stretch/shrink wrap can also be applied to ends of the lengths to prevent injury and avoid damage. Securing the bundle well will ensure the goods stay together and prevent lost and damaged freight.

When packaging bundles, metal strapping or banding is preferred.

Please contact Freight Save prior to booking any lengths through our service as some couriers will not accept these.

Most freight is measured in centimetres and kilograms.

Courier companies charge by weight (kgs) and cubic volume (m3). It is important to accurately enter your item/s correct total package weight and dimensions at time of booking to avoid additional manual measurement fees once your package is collected or reaches the depot. If items exceed the specifications entered at time of booking, courier companies will re-weigh and/or re-measure items and charge you the difference in the balance calculated, so measure, measure, measure!

All packages should be measured with a measuring tape prior to making your booking to ensure you are charged for your correct size and weight and avoid additional fees for incorrectly measured freight.
If you are booking freight on behalf of someone else or do not have access to the packages, (although it is not recommended), it is better to overestimate the measurements rather than underestimate as additional fees relating to incorrectly measured freight can be significant. Please remember you as the Customer/sender are responsible for any additional fees that may be incurred.

Taking photographs of your packages prior to sending can be used as evidence to support your measurements in the event additional charges are applied. If you are taking photographs, it is recommended to hold a ruler or measuring tape so that dimensions can be clearly seen.


When measuring cartons, you are required to measure and enter the width, length and height in centimetres as well as the weight (carton, contents and all packaging) in kilograms. The diagram to the right can be used to illustrate the correct dimensions.


Some couriers have an additional fee for large or heavy items which Freight Save’s quote calculator will automatically take into account for you. However, these charges can be significant and you should aim to avoid these by entering correct weight and dimensions at the time of booking.

Loaded pallets are correctly measured (in centimetres) by measuring the depth, length and the total height of the package which includes the total of both the pallet itself plus the item/s on top.

The maximum depth and length of pallet dimensions should always be the length and depth of the pallet itself as overhang is not acceptable.

The diagram to the right illustrates the correct dimensions for measuring a pallet.

When sealing your package, it is important to ensure that all items are sealed securely and strongly enough to remain closed for the entire journey and withstand multiple handlers along the way. Items not securely sealed or fastened pose of risk of becoming loose, damaged or even separated from other goods.


To avoid cartons from opening in transit, securely tape all openings with a reinforced layer (double layer) of packing tape. Sealing along the centre opening as well as along the edges provides extra reinforcement and strength.


Items should be securely fastened and shrink/stretch wrapped to the pallet (including the pallet itself).

Items should be secured so as not to move around in transit and the best way to achieve this is by strapping the item down to the pallet, strapping over the item and underneath the bearers and cross boards of the pallet.

Ideally, pallets should have 2 vertical and 2 horizontal straps per pallet with enough strength to support the item/s in the event a strap becomes loose or breaks.

You should always check the integrity of strapping ie; that these have not become loose or frayed prior to collection and that any strapping does not obscure forklift access.

When transporting items on pallets, remember to use cushioning materials to support item/s during transit.

Please refer to the National Transport Commission’s Load Restraint Guide (2018) https://www.ntc.gov.au/codes-and-guidelines/load-restraint-guide for additional information about the safe transportation of goods.

Timber crates

Once the crate is restrained, it is also important that the item/s do not move around inside the crate which may cause damage to the item or damage to the crate itself.

When using crates to transport your items, screws or staples are preferred as well as sufficient strapping as additional strength and reinforcement. You should always check the integrity of strapping ie; that these have not become loose or frayed prior to collection and that any strapping does not obscure forklift access.

Ensure the construction of the crate is solid and suitably able to withstand the transportation of heavier items.

When transporting items in crates, remember to use cushioning materials to support item/s during transit.

Please refer to the National Transport Commission’s Load Restraint Guide (2018) https://www.ntc.gov.au/codes-and-guidelines/load-restraint-guide for additional information about the safe transportation of goods.

Avoid packing delicate and breakable items together with heavy or incompatible items.

Small and/or delicate items should be well wrapped and packaged well clear from the sides of the carton or in separate cartons if possible.

Free space between breakable items and the sides of the box should be well packaged with suitable packing material such as packing foam or bubble wrap etc.

Remember to mark the outside of the carton/s to alert handlers your package requires careful handling. However, Freight Save does not offer transport for fragile items and carriers at their discretion may store, stack or transport items in their network in line with their own policies and processes under relevant transport codes.

For fragile, delicate and irreplaceable items, Freight Save recommends seeking the services of specialised fragile items handling courier services with insurance cover.


If packaging several items into/onto a single carton or pallet, items should be individually wrapped to afford suitable protection during transit. Unoccupied or free space between items within cartons or on pallets should be packed with sufficient packing material to prevent movement in transit and damage to the item/s or their packaging.

Heavy items

Heavy items should be suitably packaged in respect to their centre of gravity. Having a stable/low centre of gravity will prevent items from becoming top heavy and moving in transit, causing damage to the item, its packaging or to items being transported around it.

Additional fees can be incurred for items weighing over 25kgs and not packaged onto pallets.

Consider additional packing materials to support/cushion heavy items and also consider the weight of the item in respect to the integrity of the packing materials. Packaging must be able to safely support the item during transit and prevent injury to handlers and damage to the item or the other items around it.

We know you dislike additional fees and surcharges and so do we (especially the hidden ones!) So here is a description of all possible fees and charges set by the couriers in Freight Save’s courier network which may be applied (even after delivery). Only the maximum charge possible is displayed in that category. Not all couriers set all additional charges. For specific cost of additional fees and surcharges for your nominated courier, please contact Freight Save directly on 1300 696 001 or email your query to contact@freightsave.com.au

After hours deliveries -for deliveries requested before 7am & after 5:30pm weekdays & weekends a maximum after hours surcharge of up to $240 may apply. For deliveries requested on Australian public holidays, the maximum surcharge is up to $320. Some couriers charge double the applicable hourly rate for services scheduled after hours.

Cancellation fees – apply for bookings cancelled whilst in transit or after allocation for collection with driver. Maximum charge of up to the full cost of booking.

Book in freight – for deliveries required to be booked in with the receiver. Please note not all couriers offer this service. Please contact Freight Save directly if you require pickup or delivery at a specific time. 

Driver wait time for waiting time at either pickup or delivery above the allocated time included. Maximum charge of up to $65 p/30mins after first 30 mins (Rigid), up to $95 p/30 mins after first 30 mins (Semi). Most couriers have a driver wait time charge applicable after the first 10 minutes.

Extra drop – Maximum charge up to $4.20 p/leg after first drop.

Extra weight – for items re-weighed by driver or at depot and found to be underdeclared. Maximum charge is up to $5.31 + difference calculated on correct weight. Couriers charging on an increments basis may charge the full cost of the next increment.

Freight cages – for freight received loose and requires transporting in cages, rental of cages will be charged. Maximum charge of up to $1.90 p/day.

Futile pickup – For a booked pickup where the consignment is unavailable at the location or time. Maximum charge is up to the full cost of the shipment (courier) or up to $15 + 1.5 times the hourly rate (taxi trucks).

Futile delivery – For deliveries unable to be made due to the receiver being unavailable (and no ATL leave order has been made). Maximum charge of up to the full cost of the shipment (courier) or up to $15 + 1.5 times the hourly rate (taxi trucks).

Hand unload/break pallet – For deliveries requiring hand unloading. Maximum charge of up to $36.88 p/hour (min 1 hour) for couriers charging p/hour and up to $90 p/pallet for couriers charging per pallet. Please indicate that hand unload is required when booking for pickup/delivery locations without suitable facilities ie: loading dock/forklift for large & bulky goods including pallets/skids. 

Home deliveries (not booked through website) – of under 22kg to over 100kg maximum charge range between $10.60-$250. For incorrectly declared commercial addresses, the above maximum charges may be applied. Home deliveries above ground floor may incur additional surcharges of upto 25%.

Manual connote – for labels required to be prepared by courier/driver. Maximum charge of up to $30. Please note not all couriers offer this service. Please contact Freight Save directly if you have any difficulties printing your shiping labels. 

Manual handling fee/Depot handling fee (commercial deliveries) – applies to deliveries requiring manual handling for items not compadible with courier conveyor systems. Items include but not limited to items of poor packaging or of unusual shape and composition ie: drums, tubes, wooden crates, liquids, glass, highly fragile items, flat packed items and items 100cm or over in more than 1 dimension. Maximum charge of up to $25.00

Manual measurement fee – freight that is reweighed or remeasured and found to be under declared may incur a manual measurement fee of up to $5.31 + difference on calculated freight.

Minimum charge pallets/skids – Some couriers have minimum charges for skids & pallets. Maximum minimum charges of up to 175kg (skids) and 350kg (pallets). **

Minimum pickup fee – applies when freight despatched at any one time is less than the minimum pickup fee. Maximum minimum pickup fee of up to $31.26. **

Over length – items that exceed 1.2m in any direction may attract over length surcharges. Please contact Freight Save to discuss these prior to booking your service.

Oversized pallets – pallets greater than 1.2m x 1.2m x 1.4m and/or weight of 500kg may incur a maximum charge of any additional pallet spaces occupied (charged in full pallets).

Palletising freight – for freight that is received loose and is required to be palletised for delivery. Maximum charge of up to $90.00.

Pallet jack – for deliveries requiring the truck to transport and use a pallet jack for loading/unloading. Maximum charge of up to $41.20.

Placcarded load – for deliveries requiring specific signage to be displayed due to the nature of the goods being transported.  Maximun charge of up to $180 p/job.

Redelivery – where delivery cannot be made due to the receiver being unavailable, a redelivery charge may be applied. The maximum redelivery charges are up to $48.00 (cartons) and $35 (per pallet).

Road tolls – for tolls incurred on direct or point to point courier services, the maximum charge is the toll amount + a 10% administration fee.

Taillift pickup/delivery – For deliveries requiring hydraulic tail lifts due to the size and nature of the goods. Maximum charge is calculated on locations and types of vehicle required. Please contact Freight Save to discuss suitable options if you require a tail lift service.

Time sensitive delivery – for deliveries needing to be delivered at a certain time a maximum charge of up to $112 may be applied. Please note not all couriers offer this service. Please contact Freight Save directly if you require delivery at a specific time. 

Time slot delivery – for deliveries needing to be booked into a certain timeslot ie distrubution centres, a maximum charge of up to $150 may be applied. Please note not all couriers offer this service. Please contact Freight Save directly if you require delivery at a specific time. 

Two person deliveries – it is the responsibility of the customer to ensire suitable assistance for drivers at both pickup and delivery locations. Jobs requiring additional labour (two man jobs) may incur a maximum charge of up to $75.00 p/hour (minimum 1 hour).

Wide load deliveries – For deliveries requiring additional measures due to the size of the load. Maximum charge of up to $20 p/hour + applicable hourly rate.

** For bookings apart from website bookings where relevant details are not entered at time of booking.


All quoted prices via the website and Freight Save business account portal are inclusive of GST and fuel surcharges.

Requests for hard copy PODs will incur a charge of $25.

Freight Save Manual Booking Fee – A charge of $8.00 will be applied for bookings processed manually by Freight Save for a service available via the website or Member Account Portal.

All fees indicated on this page are exclusive of GST. Any additional fees as indicated above will also incur Freight Save’s $25 administration fee, apart from Freight Save’s Manual Booking Fee which is incurred at time of booking.

Additional fees are billed directly to Freight Save from each Courier. These will be onforwarded to the customer who made the original booking (despite whether it was the point of collection or delivery responsible for the charges incurred) and charged to the same credit card used for the booking. Freight Save will make every effort to contact the customer prior to the card being charged for any additional fees incurred.

Any motors, engines including their parts as well as other industrial equipment must be drained of all fluids and/or oils prior to transportation.

Motorbikes must be crated and drained and flushed of all fluids. Motorbike stores may be able to assist you with this preparation.

These items must also be securely fastened to a pallet to prevent them from moving or tipping over during transit.

For safety reasons, all metal objects are required to be very well secured and protected during transit. Bare metals, without suitable and adequate package should never be sent through our services.

Dangerous goods are classified into nine hazard classes by the United Nations and are substances or articles with hazardous properties which, if not handled correctly, may explode, asphyxiate, burn, poison, corrode skin or metals, pollute the environment or become unstable with other products.

Our partner courier trucks transport items from several customers at once therefore restrictions placed on the transportation of dangerous goods is in place to protect all customers’ items from potential contamination. It is solely your responsibility to determine if the goods you are sending could be classified as dangerous. Freight Save accepts no liability and will seek full compensation for any damages or associated fines caused by the unauthorised shipment of Dangerous Goods.

Regulations around the transportation of dangerous goods are very strict and there are heavy fines and penalties for non-compliance. If in doubt please check with Freight Save prior to booking that any items included in the service/consignment are not dangerous, prohibited or restricted.

Dangerous goods classes are listed below and you MUST NOT send these through our services.

  • Class 1 – Explosives
  • Class 2 – Gas
  • Class 3 – Flammable liquids
  • Class 4 – Flammable solids
  • Class 5 – Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
  • Class 6 – Poisonous (toxic) and infectious substances
  • Class 7 – Radioactive materials
  • Class 8 – Corrosives
  • Class 9 – Miscellaneous substances: any liquids or solids containing anaesthetics, asbestos, cigarette lighters, dry ice, environmentally hazardous substances, gas and butane gas cylinders, life-saving devices; machines incorporating internal combustion engines; magnetized material, polymeric beads, self-propelled vehicles, zinc dithionite.

Please refer to the National Transport Commission’s Australian Dangerous Goods Code (2020) https://www.ntc.gov.au/codes-and-guidelines/australian-dangerous-goods-code for additional information.

Restricted and prohibited Items

The list of items that are unable to be sent through our service without prior arrangement and written authorisation in writing from Freight Save management is below.

Please ensure you read through this list prior to booking and if your item/s appear on the list, please do not book your service and contact Freight Save directly.

  • Alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and spirits.
  • Animals & livestock
  • Any items over 2.4 metres in length
  • Any items requiring refrigeration
  • Art work, paintings or sculptures
  • Assembled bed packages and mattresses not suitably packaged
  • Biological products including medical samples, diagnostics specimens, blood, urine, bodily fluids, tissue samples and human remains
  • Bulk materials such as sand, bricks, mortar, soil and bags etc
  • Cash, gold, jewellery or other negotiable products
  • Dangerous goods, explosives and radioactive material including firearms or ammunition
  • Drugs/Narcotics (illegal) and pharmaceutical products
  • Furniture which is not in its original packaging or flat packed
  • Glass
  • Machinery, engines that are not in their original packaging and not free of fluids, oils or are unclean
  • Paint and other liquids
  • Packaging
  • Perishable items including flowers, dry ice, foodstuffs, plants and other items requiring temperature control or special handling
  • Personal belongings including suitcases, clothing and books
  • Pipes, masts or lengths of any type
  • Surfboards and kayaks
  • Tiles
  • Tyres
  • Unpackaged goods.

See Freight Save’s Terms and Conditions for a full list of items not covered under warranty

Freight Save offers a national food transportation service, however perishable items are not suitable to be sent through the website’s automated booking service. If you have perishable items to be sent, please call and speak with a member of our helpful team directly on 1300 696 001 for immediate quotes and bookings.

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with;

National Transport Commission’s Load Restraint Guide (2018) https://www.ntc.gov.au/codes-and-guidelines/load-restraint-guide

National Transport Commission’s Australian Dangerous Goods Code (2020) https://www.ntc.gov.au/codes-and-guidelines/australian-dangerous-goods-code

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (2014) https://www.ntc.gov.au/laws-and-regulations/heavy-vehicle-national-law

Freight Save’s Terms and Conditions (2021)

For any questions relating to packing your goods or any dangerous, restricted or prohibited items, please contact us via email to contact@freightsave.com.au or call 1300 696 001