When executed correctly, LTL freight shipping can be a cost-effective shipping option. However, shippers, especially new shippers in the industry, deal with a significant amount of discrepancy between estimated costs and actual costs. Sometimes, the extra costs can be frustratingly high and create a misunderstanding between shippers and carriers. The cause is due to the hidden costs of LTL shipping.
Nobody is ‘hiding’ costs from you, intentionally. All the extra fees that shippers pay are generally due to misinformation about a shipment or misrecognizing the need for additional services necessary for a particular shipment. Knowing these intricacies comes with experience, but can be avoided by following some simple advice. Here are a few common services or errors that lead you to overpay.
Top reasons for hidden LTL shipping costs
1. Incorrect information
The most common reason for extra costs in LTL shipping is misinformation, which causes a headache for both parties. Misinformation involves a wide scope of possible mistakes.
- Incorrect address on the bill of lading
- Over-length, overweight, inaccurate freight class
- Leaving out the required additional services
The list goes on. Charges can range anywhere between 30$ and 400$, depending on the importance of the mistake. Always thoroughly check all the information you place on BOL before the pickup.
2. Liftgate or remote access
A liftgate is a special loading service that is required for some shipments. Often, shippers are not aware that they need this service, which results in an additional charge when the bill is received. A remote-access location is an area that is beyond the usual range of reach for your carrier. Many shippers assume a ‘remote location’ to be the desert or the end of the world when actually, a school territory or a private residence is considered remote.
3. Sort & Segregate
Sorting and segregating is another additional service shippers forget to practice. This happens when shippers do not pack, stack, or sort their freight in the right way. When it comes to unloading your freight, sorting it can take away a significant amount of the driver’s time.
Ultimately, educating yourself on the topic of LTL freight shipping and communicating with your carrier about the shipping process is the best way to avoid hidden LTL shipping costs.