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shipping tiles

updated fri 1 sep 00


Stephani Stephenson on thu 31 aug 00

Heed previous advice posted re: packing tiles closely, with some kind of
spacer and double boxing. We use squares of cardboard as spacers between
tiles. We often use boxes very much like the Laguna clay or standard
clay box. We also collect and reuse empty boxes from a local tile
glazer who buys commercial bisque tiles . Sometimes we buy boxes from a
local packing company. We also use rolls of thin foam, in 1/4 inch and
1/2 inch thickness. The foam comes in a roll perforated every 12 inches
so you can tear it off easily. 1/4 inch is useful for wrapping small
groups of tile or trim. 1/2 inches useful as a liner .

One alternative we often use, on medium - large size orders is to ship
via truck and ship freight collect. You can get a quote from the
trucker. Check around. Rates from company to company vary . Check short
hauler companies as well as long haulers.
When you ship this way, versus UPS or FEDEX or USPS, there are some
Generally you do not need to double box, as long as the tile is well
packed. Do not stack layers and layers of tile in the same box. Better
to keep boxes of 4X4 at between 15 -30 pounds, single layer deep,
stacked on edges. Stack boxes on a pallet. Maximize the breadth of the
pallet. We buy large size rolls of cling wrap and wrap the pallet..
Place CLEARLY visible large instructions that nothing is to be stacked
on top of pallet.
We use a trucker that provides a truck with a lift gate. They pick up
.The cost is usually equal to or less than other ways of shipping, plus
each box goes through far less trauma and we spend less time packing.
Your decision may be based on where your client is. The longer the
distance , the higher the shipping. Shipping this way is usually viable
,( and these are my own general guidelines) if:

You are in a population center, (such as Phoenix.)
Client is within 500 miles or near another major population center.
it is a very large order that must go cross country.
you are shipping a dozen boxes or more to the same address.
Client is served by the same trucking outfit. I will ask client if they
have a preferred hauler.

Trucks will not always deliver to a residence, but sometimes they will.
Order can be picked up at the terminal or delivered to a commercial
address. Freight collect is nice because you don't have to pay out for

We also factor in packing time and materials into the shipping charges.

We have had excellent success with the above. Of course it is a little
nerve wracking every time you deal with a new company. It is a relief
when you find a good one you can stick with, so check around. Also have
good success with UPS and FEDEX, I like their tracking systems, just
consumes more time and material to ship large orders this way.

Recently we shipped 3 tons of tile and trim for a custom fireplace for a
very famous person's Manhatten apartment. We shipped it all Fedex
Overnight, that's how they wanted it shipped. Double boxed, paked very
well. It was charged to the clients FEDEX account so I have no idea what
it cost. It is amazing to think that it left San Diego at 5 PM and was
delivered to the apartment by 9 AM the next morning. What a world we
live in. Glad I didn't have to foot the bill for that one!

Stephani Stephenson