Freight Shipping Guidelines:
The following guidelines are provided to help you understand our freight shipping policies. If you have any questions, please call the Freight Office at (401) 783-4613 ext. 118.
Freight is shipped on a first come, first served basis. All freight items must be accompanied by an invoice for security and billing purposes. If an invoice is not available, or the freight consists of personal items, blank shipment information forms are available in the freight office.
All shipment forms or invoices should include:
• Name of consignee
• Telephone number
• Contact person
• A detailed list of the contents of the package
For personal pallets, we recommend arriving one hour prior to the posted sailing time for the Traditional Ferry. Personal pallets are 36” x 48” x 36”, and the content of the pallet cannot exceed the top of the box. Larger items (those that cannot fit in a personal pallet) will be shipped as freight and charged accordingly. All freight travels on the Traditional Ferry out of Point Judith. The Hi-Speed Ferry does not carry freight.
General Rules for Carry-on Baggage:
Any item which cannot be reasonably and safely carried in hand by a passenger in a single boarding must be shipped as freight. The captain, security officer, or freight office staff may refuse transportation of any baggage consisting of articles which may jeopardize the safe operation of the vessel or safety of passengers. The State of Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) defines baggage as: Personal luggage or baggage consists of wearing apparel, toilet articles or similar effects in actual use, necessary and appropriate for the wear, use, comfort or conveyance of the passenger for the purpose of the trip and not intended for other persons or for sale.
Once on Board:
Once on board, personal carriers must not obstruct passageways or interfere with passenger space, deckhand work areas, or safety equipment.
Preparing Freight for Shipment:
It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that all items are packed securely for shipment. Prepare your freight as though you plan to check it for a flight or for shipment through the mail. Fragile items must be well wrapped for protection and clearly identified to the freight agent. Freight may be loaded on steep inclines, subjected to rough seas and inclement weather, or moved to a different shipping container. All freight must be properly packaged or it may be refused.
U.P.S. and Federal Express:
Both U.P.S. and Federal Express deliver to Point Judith Monday through Friday. Please use your island address, not the ferry terminal address, for packages. Lambs Package Service (401)-466-5390 delivers these packages once they arrive on Block Island.
No Gasoline or Propane:
U.S. Coast Guard regulations prevent us from carrying containers holding gasoline or propane on any of our scheduled runs. This includes the gasoline containers of any kind. These items can be transported to the island on hazardous materials charters. Please contact the freight office at (401) 783-4613 ext. 118 for information and scheduling.
Arriving at the Freight Shed:
Personal pallet boxes will be shipped on most trips. Personal freight must be unloaded and checked in no later than 30 minutes before departure. Late freight will usually not make the boat you prefer. Please check in with a freight agent and pay for your personal pallet before leaving the loading area.
Lumber, appliances, furniture, and commercial freight must be checked in at least one hour prior to departure and will be shipped on a space-available basis (usually the same day).
Label All Freight. All freight must be labeled with the name of the receiver. Interstate Navigation is not responsible for lost unlabeled freight.
All freight must be picked up and removed from the Block Island or Point Judith facility on the day of arrival. Interstate does not store any freight at either of its facilities and is not responsible for damage or shortages as a result of items left over night.
The freight shed is for dropping off and picking up freight only. There are forklifts and other freight handling equipment that are potentially dangerous. While unloading, marking, and paying for your freight, please direct other family members (especially children) to the waiting areas, or have them stay with your vehicle until you park. Likewise, we ask that you move to a designated waiting area after completing your freight transaction.
Commercial, Construction Materials, and Large Freight
All commercial, large, or unusual items must be accompanied by an invoice for security and billing purposes. All invoices should include:
• Name of consignee
• Telephone number
• Contact person
• A detailed list of all materials
Building supplies are charged at either a per item rate or, in the case of lumber, at a board foot rate. Freight rates vary according to the nature of the goods, including size, and weight. Please keep in mind that freight tariffs cover transportation of goods only to our facility on Block Island. Please refer to the Commodity Rates on the freight page of our website for details on individual commodity charges.
Due to liability for damage and the cost of transport, all items must be packaged to the following standards. If the items do not meet these minimum standards, they will not be accepted for shipment until packaged appropriately. Lift trucks are used to move freight on and off of vessels. Removing freight from vehicles with lift trucks is a customer service, and is not included in the shipping charges or posted commodity rates. Interstate personnel may refuse lift service if freight is not secure or properly prepared for shipping. Freight that requires lift trucks for loading should arrive on pallets. Left over pallets may be available for use on a first come first serve basis. We recommend contacting the freight office at (401) 783-4613 ext. 118 for information and scheduling large items.
Freight may be loaded on steep inclines, subjected to rough seas and inclement weather, or moved to a different shipping container. All freight must be properly packaged or it may be refused. All freight must be loaded safely aboard our vessels, which have finite space for freight items. This is why we encourage customers to label every item with stickers including their name, as items may be repackaged in order to facilitate efficient loading of our boats.
Due to the size of ramps and vessel loading areas, all freight is limited to 24 feet in length. Material that is longer may be shipped to the island by truck. most local lumber suppliers have regularly scheduled trips to the island.
All items on wooden pallets must be securely attached and less than seven (7) feet in height. Standard 3×4 foot pallets with side cut-outs for straps are preferred. The weight restrictions for palletized goods is 3,500 pounds. This restriction allows us to use our forklifts or pallet jacks to move freight.
All trailers must be securely hitched to a vehicle. Trailers cannot be shipped as freight under any circumstances.
Drywall, finish plywood, hardwood flooring, and other weather-sensitive items must be packaged to allow protection from the elements. Weather may change rapidly from sun to rain, fog, or snow between delivery and shipping time.
All drywall, long plastic, or metal sheets should have stiffening reinforcements under the lift.
Hay delivered to the freight shed should arrive on pallets and stacked safely and securely for prompt unloading by lift trucks. Pallets can be provided at the dock if available.
Appliances and barbecue grills must be boxed, crated, or securely strapped to a pallet.
Mopeds and motorcycles that are not accompanied by an operator must be crated.
Furniture: Protective packaging is required. Moving blankets secured by pallet wrap is optimal. Drawers must be empty and legs must be wrapped or removed. Finished surfaces must be protected from scratching. Glass must also be protected. Furniture packaged improperly will be refused or will be shipped at the consignee’s own risk.
Marble thresholds and stone countertops must be crated and secured to a pallet.
Engines: All oil and drips must be contained. Leaky engines will not be accepted.
Mattresses and box springs should be wrapped in plastic for protection.
To avoid disappointment, and to help us keep on schedule, please limit holiday and midsummer weekend freight to personal and grocery items. Ask a freight agent for suggestions.