Freight Info

As the lifeline to the islands, Casco Bay Lines ships thousands of pounds of personal and commercial freight every year. The following guidelines are provided to help you understand our freight shipping policies. If you have any questions, please call the Freight Office at (207) 774-7871 ext. 116.

Personal Freight:

When Should You Ship?
Any item which cannot be reasonably and safely carried in hand or in one of the allowed personal carriers (described below) by a passenger in a single boarding must be shipped as freight. The captain may refuse transportation of any baggage consisting of articles which may jeopardize the safe operation of the vessel or safety of passengers.

Because the safety of our ridership is our first concern, we enforce the following restrictions:
Items longer than 8 feet (lumber, pipe, etc.) or wider than the gangplank (30 inches) must be paid as shipped freight.

  • A passenger may only use one of the following wheeled carriers (Carry-on Devices) to carry personal freight on board a boat:
    • a two or four-wheeled personal cart
    • a 2-wheeled (only) personal wagon
    • a 2-wheeled (only) dolly (hand-truck) w/secured load
    • a baby carriage
    • a normal suitcase caddy
  • The personal carrier (carry-on device) must fit within the dimensions shown below:*
    • Length: maximum 25” from front to back, excluding handle (as may be applicable)
    • Width: maximum 25” outside of wheel to outside of wheel
    • Height: maximum 43” from ground to top of handle.

* Exception is normal dimension of a baby carriage.

The carrier must be reasonably loaded and exclude fuel tanks, heavy motors, or unduly heavy or unwieldy objects. Items in the carrier must not protrude beyond the dimensions of the carry-on device, or above the handle, as applicable.

Four-wheeled dollies are NOT allowed as personal carry-on devices and must be shipped by freight.

Policy approved by Board of Directors on January 22, 2009. 
Download and print a copy of the General Rules for Carry-on Items

The vessel captain or CBITD freight agent may, at his/her discretion, waive these requirements from time to time when the safety of passengers will not be impacted, such as during the off season or low-ridership runs, or if the vessel size and configuration permit.

Once on board the vessel, personal carriers must not obstruct passageways or interfere with passenger space, deckhand work areas, or safety equipment. It should not be placed near the paid freight, as it could be mistakenly put off at an island.

No Gasoline

U.S. Coast Guard regulations prevent us from carrying containers holding gasoline on any of our scheduled runs. This includes the gasoline contained in lawn mowers, weed whackers, chainsaws, etc. Please run these dry before arriving at the terminal.

Before You Arrive: Packaging

It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that all items are packed securely for shipment. Although the trip is not a long one, prepare your freight as though you plan to check it for a flight or for shipment through the mail. Fragile items must be especially well wrapped for protection and clearly identified to the freight agent.

Keep in mind that your freight may be loaded on steep inclines, subjected to rough seas and inclement weather, or moved to a different shipping container. Groceries and personal items should be packed in banana boxes or other suitable stackable containers so they may be shipped without damage on pallets or in cages. Improperly packed groceries and personal items are transported at the owner’s risk and may be refused shipment or require a liability waiver at the discretion of the freight agents.

At the grocery store, remember that plastic bags are not a secure means of shipment! Many local grocery stores keep banana boxes on hand for island customers; just ask at the checkout.

Here’s a hint from those “old pros” who have been visiting for years: mark your freight when you pack it. It’s easier than waiting until you’ve unloaded it, and it speeds things up so you have time to catch up with old friends!

Arriving at the Freight Shed: Check-in

For your safety, access to the freight shed is restricted to employees only. However, carts are available at the entrance. If you don’t see a cart, or you have more than a few items, check in with a freight agent, who can find you the equipment you need.

Groceries and personal freight (luggage and small household items) 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.

There may be occasions when space constraints will cause an early cutoff. You are not required to travel with your freight; consider carrying on perishable items and sending the rest on the next boat. Passengers traveling to Diamond Cove, Long Island, Chebeague Island, and Cliff Island with a lot of personal freight are strongly encouraged to ship on the 10:00 AM or 2:15 PM boat.

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).

Mark Your Freight

If you haven’t already, mark your freight with your name, island, and boat time. If shipping later in the day (or tomorrow), check with the freight agent for special instructions. Markers and tags are provided at the freight office window.

Count Your Freight

Most personal freight falls under the categories of groceries or personals (clothes, small household items, etc.). Anything else is identified as itself. Example: Mrs. Jones notes that she has 2 groceries, a case of beer, 3 personal items, a vacuum cleaner and a chair as she unloads her vehicle.

Check In with a Freight Agent

At the freight desk, the freight agent will ask:

  • Is this a cash transaction? (Some frequent shippers get billed monthly.)
  • Your name
  • The island
  • The departure time
  • What you are shipping and quantities

With limited exceptions, freight is paid for one-way. Anything shipped back to Portland at the end of your stay must be paid for at pick-up in the freight shed (see Upfreight below).

After 6:00 PM and Off Season

At slower times we do not have a designated person in the freight shed. If you arrive and do not see anyone in the freight shed, go through the pedestrian door marked Freight Office (next to the garage bay doors) and proceed to the freight window. Someone will be right with you. He or she may be selling tickets or on the phone.

Please, Please, No Waiting

The freight shed is for dropping off freight only. There are fork trucks and freight handling equipment that are potentially dangerous in such a small space. 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.

Upfreight

Upfreight is anything being sent back to Portland. In order to make sure that the equipment you need is available on the boat you prefer, please call ahead! If you are at the dock, let a deckhand know you have upfreight and he or she will load it onto the boat. If you cannot be there when the boat arrives, clearly label your items as upfreight and put your name on them. If a third party will be retrieving these items in Portland, indicate that on your labels as well.

Upon arrival in Portland, check in at the freight desk to pay the freight charges.

As with outbound freight, upfreight must be properly packaged or it may be refused.

U.P.S. and Federal Express

Both U.P.S. and Federal Express deliver to CBITD Monday through Friday. Please use your island address, not the ferry terminal address, for packages. These shippers have employees on Peaks Island, Long Island, Chebeague Island and Cliff Island to deliver packages to your home and will pay the shipping charge. Little and Great Diamond Island customers will be called to arrange shipping time. Please be sure that your phone number is on your package or that we have it available. For COD packages, you will need to leave a check made out to the company you ordered from (not U.P.S.) at CBITD. The driver will not leave a COD without payment.

As a rule, DHL does not deliver to CBITD. Small packages and letters shipped through DHL will arrive on the island through the U.S. Postal Service. Heavy and oversized packages from DHL may be delivered to CBITD. The customer pays the shipping for these packages.

Grocery Day

Hannaford on Forest Avenue and Shaw’s Westgate both offer grocery delivery service on Tuesdays. When you finish your shopping, the store will box your groceries and deliver them to CBITD. We deliver them to the island. Paul’s Food Center offers a call-in delivery service. Whole Foods delivers daily. Contact the service desk at the store of your choice for specific shopping times and fees.

Automated Phone System

During busy times or after normal business hours, you may get a recording when calling CBITD. The extension for the freight counter is 116. If it is extremely busy, and the phone is not answered within 6 rings, then you will be placed into voice mail for freight. Leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Pre-payment of Freight Charges

Due to the high volume of freight handled, it is necessary to pay for all freight before shipment.

When having items delivered, keep in mind that most shippers do not pay for shipping on the ferry, even if you paid them a delivery fee. Be sure to clarify this with your shipper to avoid delays.

The easiest way to handle a shipment that will arrive while you are on the island or away is to pre-pay the shipment. Stop by the freight office when you’re in town, or call us with a Visa or MasterCard number. The freight agent will ask when the shipment will arrive and which boat you want it shipped on. We will keep the pre-payment on file until your shipment arrives.

Beyond Personal Freight

Building Supplies: Building supplies are charged at either a per item rate or, in the case of lumber, at a board foot rate. When ordering from the lumber yard, give the freight office a call and we can quote the total freight rate to you.

Furniture, Appliances, Soil, and Other Large Shipments: If you are expecting a large shipment, please contact us beforehand. Although we are currently unable to take reservations, it will help speed things along if you pre-pay your freight or leave a credit card on file and give us contact information so further arrangements can be made as necessary when your freight arrives.

As with U.P.S. and FedEx packages, use your island address, not CBITD. If we cannot determine the destination of an item, it may be refused.

Ask in the ticket office or freight shed for a list of packaging guidelines for lumber, furniture, and other large freight.

Peaks Island Vehicle Freight

Any vehicle with commercial plates is ticketed through the freight system. Fees are based on the Registered Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), with an additional charge per 100 lbs. for freight on board. Rental trucks usually list the GVW on the door, and commercial drivers can find this information on their registration. See our Vehicle page for more information on shipping vehicles.

Busy Weekends

To avoid disappointment, and to help us keep on schedule, please limit holiday and midsummer weekend freight to personal and grocery items. You should hold off moving your wood stove or new furniture until mid-week or a quieter weekend. Ask a freight agent for suggestions.

Commercial and Large Freight:

Casco Bay Lines appreciates your business! We strive to deliver your freight in a safe and timely manner. 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, as outlined below, and returned.

Please keep in mind that all shipments may be subjected to the vagaries of rough seas, inclement weather, and tides. Because of these conditions, advance notice of freight shipment is required both to arrange shipping times and payment.

The following are basic guidelines to assist you. If you have items which are not mentioned here, or you have any questions, please contact the freight department at (207) 774-7871 ext. 116.

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
  • Island address (minimally island or stop)
  • Shipper
  • Contact person

Please notify us as soon as possible with these shipping details.

Freight rates vary according to the nature of the goods, including size, weight, and value (for liability issues). Please keep in mind that freight tariffs cover transportation of goods to the islands; they do not pay for a specific method of conveyance (cart, cage, or otherwise). 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 name and trip time, as items may be repackaged in order to facilitate efficient loading of our boats.

General Dimensions

  • All items on wooden pallets must be securely shrink-wrapped and less than six (6) feet in height. Standard 3×4 foot pallets with side cut-outs for straps are preferred.
  • The weight restrictions for palletized goods is 2000 pounds. This restriction allows us to use our crane, forklifts, or pallet jacks to move freight. Lighter pallets may be transported on our smaller vessels on a tide-dependent basis.
  • Heavy individual items including but not limited to brick, stone, ceramic tile, and asphalt shingles must not exceed 2 and 1/2 feet in height and must be accompanied by a weight slip.
  • All freight over twelve (12 ) feet may require special handling. Separating lengths over 12 feet will allow us to expedite shipment of lengths shorter than 12 feet.
  • All pallets must comply with both height and weight restrictions.

Additional Restrictions: Lumber, Plywood, Drywall

  • All lifts must be securely strapped and must not exceed 3000 pounds.
  • Plywood and drywall must be securely strapped and must not exceed two (2) feet in height.
  • 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 to CBL and shipping time.
  • All drywall should have stiffening reinforcements under the lift.
  • Peaks Island: There are some restrictions on lumber longer than twelve (12) feet owing to the width of the deck on our car ferry. Lengths greater than 12 feet can be accommodated, but will be shipped when the tide allows.

Miscellaneous Items

  • 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.
  • Carpeting and pads must be wrapped in plastic for protection.
  • Engines: All oil and drips must be contained. Leaky engines will not be accepted. Gasoline is prohibited on all vessels.
  • Mattresses and box springs should be wrapped in plastic for protection.

Groceries

  • All groceries are charged per piece according to the freight tariff. Some suppliers provide us with orders that arrive already packaged on pallets, with the weight of the goods noted on the invoice. These pre-palletized orders are preferred as they allow us to efficiently unload freight and keep the CBL driveway clear of traffic. Only orders which provide the weight of the goods will be charged the bulk rate (per 100 pounds). If the weight of the order is not provided by the supplier, the freight will be charged per piece.
  • Refrigerated or frozen goods should be separated from dry goods to allow us to expedite shipment of these items.

If there are any large items that you would like to ship which are not covered here, please contact us at (207) 774-7871 ext. 116 or info@cascobaylines.com.

General Rules for Carry-on Items

Any item which cannot be reasonably and safely carried in hand or in one of the allowed personal carriers (described below) by a passenger in a single boarding must be shipped as freight. The captain may refuse transportation of any baggage consisting of articles which may jeopardize the safe operation of the vessel or safety of passengers.

A passenger may only use one of the following wheeled carriers to carry personal freight on board a boat:

  • Allowed Personal Carriers (Carry-on Devices)
  • a two or four-wheeled personal cart
  • a 2-wheeled (only) personal wagon
  • a 2-wheeled (only) dolly (hand-truck) w/secured load
  • a baby carriage
  • a normal suitcase caddy

Allowable Dimensions for All Loaded Personal Carriers (Carry-on Devices)*

  • Length: maximum 25” from front to back, excluding handle (as may be applicable)
  • Width: maximum 25” outside of wheel to outside of wheel
  • Height: maximum 43” from ground to top of handle.
  • * Exception is normal dimension of a baby carriage.

The carrier must be reasonably loaded and exclude fuel tanks, heavy motors, or unduly heavy or unwieldy objects. Items in the carrier must not protrude beyond the dimensions of the carry-on device, or above the handle, as applicable.

Four-wheeled dollies are NOT allowed as personal carry-on devices and must be shipped by freight.

Once on Board

Once on board, personal carriers must not obstruct passageways or interfere with passenger space, deckhand work areas, or safety equipment. It should not be placed near the paid freight, as it could be mistakenly put off at an island.

U.S. COAST GUARD REGULATIONS PROHIBIT THE CONVEYANCE OF ITEMS WITH GASOLINE ON ANY OF OUR SCHEDULED RUNS. THIS INCLUDES GASOLINE CONTAINED IN LAWN MOWERS, WEED WHACKERS, CHAIN SAWS, ETC. PLEASE RUN THESE DRY BEFORE ARRIVING AT THE TERMINAL.

Policy approved by Board of Directors on January 22, 2009.
Download and print a copy of the General Rules for Carry-on Items.