Shipping the Pallet of Merch to the Fulfillment House

  1. Choose Fulfillment House — through a referral, I decided on ShipZOOM in Boise, ID. They charge a flat fee for up to 4 pallets plus a per package shipping and handling fee when product is sold.
  2. Hire a Shipping Broker — through a referral from ShipZOOM, I enlisted Activate Freight to hire a freight truck to pick up our pallet. They are able to schedule pickups any day of the week with trucking companies who move freight up and down the I-5 corridor, making multiple stops to dropoff and pickup.
  3. Prepare the Boxes — I pulled all of our merch out of storage into our garage and counted every DVD, T-Shirt, Hat and CD. I numbered and labeled each box with the contents.
  4. Inventory List — create a separate spreadsheet for the fulfillment house listing the contents and number of items in each numbered box.
  5. Purchase Shrink Wrap — for securing the boxes on the pallet.
  6. Source a Pallet — many businesses lease pallets from their suppliers so are not able to provide free pallets. But a kind employee at the hardware store told me he’d seen three clean, sturdy pallets behind a building at the other end of town. I tracked them down and loaded one in my car.
  7. Determine the Pickup Location — It was about $200 more for the truck to pick up at my residence instead of a business, so I begged our local feed store to let me use their parking lot. I stopped short of asking to use their dock or forklift since that would have led to additional liability concerns for them. Since we didn’t have access to a dock, our shipping broker had to schedule a truck with a liftgate instead of a standard semi.
  8. Schedule the Pickup — Once I had the pickup address and had readied the boxes, Activate Freight scheduled our truck to pickup within a 4-hour window this afternoon.
  9. Print the Bill of Lading — provided by the freight broker to give to the driver.
  10. Shuttle Boxes to the Pickup Location — it took me two trips.
  11. Assemble Pallet & Shrink Wrap — load all the boxes into neat rows and wrap tightly. Tip — do not stage the pallet too close to a wall or large object. This makes it nearly impossible to walk around when shrink wrapping. Oops.
  12. Wait for Pickup

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