Gather Information

Like other areas in life, if you plan well, the shipping process will tend to go more smoothly. First gather as much information as you can about the proposed shipment.

What you are shipping

  • Freight — government properties or records and more than 150 lbs
  • Household Goods (HHG) — personal effects of government employees or their dependents

Amount of cargo

  • Know the size and weight of shipment.
  • Know if it qualifies as a small parcel.
    • is less than 150 lbs for domestic
    • is less than 300 lbs for international
    • meets the TSP’s size restrictions and
    • is not shipped on a pallet

Origin and destination

  • Pick-up and delivery
  • Facility hours
  • Facility requirements for access
  • Time-definite delivery
  • Consider the speed of the mode

Special Characteristics

Note whether the cargo has any of the following characteristics requiring special steps to ensure it is shipped properly.

  • Classified — cargo that is deemed to be sensitive in nature
  • Temperature sensitive — cargo must be shipped within a temperature range
  • Valuables — cargo consists of articles or things or representatives of value. See regulations below.
  • Artifacts or museum pieces
  • Bulk shipments — cargo is shipped in large quantities and is not packaged (e.g. grains, oil, etc.)
  • Perishables — cargo that is easily spoiled or has a short shelf life
  • Hazardous materials — referred to as HAZMAT for domestic shipments or dangerous goods for international
  • International — cargo with a destination or origin outside the United States (may include U.S. territories)
Last Reviewed: 2023-02-24