Personal & commercial freight 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. On weekends during the high season (Memorial Day-Columbus Day) we suggest arriving 1 1/2 hours before sailing time to ensure your freight gets loaded on the ferry you are traveling on. 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. Personal pallets are $10.50 per pallet, with a limit being placed on 2 pallets per customer. The Freight office will have the discretion to decide based on available space, how many pallets will be loaded on the ferry, especially those loaded within an hour of ferry departure.
ONCE ON BOARD:
Once on board, personal carriers must not obstruct passageways or interfere with passenger space, deckhand work areas, or safety equipment. All personal carriers must be reasonable in size and are recommended to have a brake mechanism on them.
PREPARING FREIGHT FOR SHIPMENT: FOR ALL NON-UPS/FEDEX/US MAIL ITEMS
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. Please use your name ( or customer’s name) and telephone number and our PJ Freight terminal shipping address: 304 Great Island Rd. Narragansett, RI 02882.
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. Freight agents may also require a limited liability waiver be signed if these guidelines are not followed.
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. Please follow this guide otherwise UPS may refuse your package with an undeliverable address. We hope to avoid this.
NO GASOLINE OR PROPANE:
U.S. Coast Guard regulations prevent us from carrying containers holding gasoline or propane on any of our scheduled passenger runs. This includes 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. Diesel or Kerosene in tight containers or drums may be shipped on passenger ferries. Only brand new never used gas cans or new empty propane tanks may be shipped on passenger ferries.
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 one hour 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 (generally 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 overnight.
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 passenger waiting areas, or have them stay in your vehicle until you park. Likewise, we ask that you move to a designated waiting area after completing your freight transaction.
WEEKEND / HOLIDAY SHIPMENTS
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.
Commercial, Construction Materials & Large Freight
All commercial, large, or construction 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
According to the US Department of Health we are not responsible for the safe transportation of refrigerated or frozen food items. These must be loaded in a proper insulated bin by the distributor accordingly. Perishable freight might be refused if the distributor does not properly prepare food for shipment on an hour long ferry ride.
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. Keeping freight rates per piece in mind, large shipments may be more feasible to ship on a tractor trailer or straight truck. For rates and availability for truck please call Janette our ticket office manager at 401-675-1250.
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.
We are not responsible for damage that occurs during the unloading or loading of trucks.
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. We encourage customers to label every item with stickers including their name, as items may be repackaged 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 40″×48″ foot pallets with side cut-outs for straps are preferred. The weight restrictions for palletized goods is 5,000 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. Vehicles with trailers must make a vehicle reservation. For this type of reservation please contact Janette our ticket office manager at 401-675-1250
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. We reserve the right to refuse acceptance of freight during inclement weather, ESPECIALLY if the ferry is not running due to adverse sea conditions.
All drywall, long plastic, or metal sheets should have stiffening reinforcements under the lift. The same is required for Azek/Trex plastic lumber or fragile molding.
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. Rule #40 states that 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.
When ordering furniture items please ask your shipper to keep the goods in the original box or to rebox “deluxe” furniture.