Less than truckload shipping is a great and cost-effective option to move relatively small amounts of freight. However, there is a high demand for LTL capacity, and it is often higher than the supply. Shippers that don’t know how to prepare LTL freight and make it more attractive to the carriers may miss out on the opportunity to land a place in an LTL trailer. There are several practices for LTL shipments that can improve your freight’s status and also affect the price you are paying for LTL shipments.
What are the best practices for LTL shipments?
Consider freight measurements
To make your freight a top priority for carriers, you should look at the shipping process from their perspective. To plan the load, they need to know exactly how many shipments they need to fit in the trailer. Consequently, the more accurate the dimensions, weight, and density is of your shipment, the less chance there is to be charged for wrong information. This way carriers can correctly arrange space and deliver all the shipments on time.
If you have ever shipped LTL, the importance of freight class is not a secret to you. Shipment density is a huge concern for carriers. Large and lightweight freight is hard to plan, so it costs more to ship these types of freight and it is not the first priority for LTL carriers. Combining your loads is also a good way to save on the per-pound price.
Discuss special requirements
Often additional services like shipping to private locations, liftgate, or other special requirements, lead to poor shipment performance and extra charges. To avoid paying more and facing any form of shipment disruption, discuss all your freight handling requirements in advance.
Different carriers, different tariffs
There is a difference in how various carriers define their pricing for the same loads. Mainly, these tariffs are based around freight class, density, weight or dimensions. To see the diversity in pricing, it’s recommended to try different LTL carriers. It gives you more flexibility in terms of shipment planning and certainly increases the chances of getting the necessary capacity.
Ultimately, the key to successfully shipping LTL is getting shipment information as accurate as possible, fitting in the carriers’ preferred weight limits, and not making additional requirements a surprise to the driver.