It is well-known that sometimes shipping operations can be stressful and challenging. When it comes to less than truckload (LTL) shipping mode, it is important to be familiar with all the key points of this transportation service.
What Is LTL Shipping?
LTL, or less than truckload shipping mode, is one of the options for effective delivery of your items without spending extra costs. This shipping service is popular among retailers and small business owners since it allows them to move even small amounts of goods without booking the whole truck. Instead, you share the trailer with several partners and only pay for the space you need to locate your orders. Less than truckload shipping is a suitable logistics solution for those business owners whose products are small in size so that they don’t usually need to fill the entire truck. LTL is also a great starting point for those who have just begun their logistics activity and want to gradually increase their sales.
When choosing to ship your items via LTL, you should know that this transportation mode usually takes more time due to multiple deliveries that have to be complete one by one. However, advanced planning can help you avoid possible delays and shipping disruptions. Here are some great ways that you can help make your next LTL shipment easy and stress-free.
Making yourself a plan is the best solution to keeping your LTL shipping experience easy. We recommend organizing your shipments by date of departure and considering leaving yourself a little extra time for completing all the principal shipping operations. It’s beneficial to plan for worst-case and best-case scenarios such as the holiday season and weather since they are one of the most powerful factors that influence traffic processes. Make sure you also plan your transportation budgeting to prevent any hidden costs situations or other undesirable expenses.
The best way to make your experience easier is to create a simple and efficient packaging solution for your LTL freight shipping. Palletizing is one of the highest recommended packaging methods. When put onto a pallet, your cargo will remain totally safe during loading, transportation, and unloading processes. Besides, consider condensing your goods into shipping crates and boxes to prevent any freight damage.
Technology is a strong facilitator for all your logistics managing operations. Use it as much as you can and take advantage of what you have available. Addressing a good online LTL shipping service is a great way to get started. The best services offer an online portal to easily book and schedule your shipment. Online shipping platforms are helpful both for early shipment planning and last-minute booking. These online portals simplify much of the work and automate a lot of the regular logistics process. Additionally, they provide customer support services to answer all the questions you might have.
Another great way to make your LTL freight shipping smooth is to find a delivery service that has a wide range of carriers. Having your options open can make your shipment organization and management way easier. Instead of being stuck with one or two carriers and only working around their availability, you can have up to thousands of them at your fingertips. More carriers mean better pricing and easier availability around your planned shipping schedule.
At GoShip, we thrive to meet all your logistics needs. Our team has put together one of the most advanced customer support services on the market. Don’t hesitate to compare shipping rates and get an instant free quote using our online tool.
Finding the Right LTL Carrier
Whichever LTL carrier you choose can greatly affect your own business. The right LTL provider can help you rise up to success, an LTL provider that can’t meet your needs can cause your business to sink.
We don’t want that to happen. So here are some of the best tips for finding the perfect LTL carrier:
Note the service area
LTL shipping mode providers don’t have the same service area. You need to find an LTL shipping mode provider that can deliver all your goods to every location you might be delivering to.
Some carriers are able to easily cross from California to New York, while others only serve around their state.
Find the right price
Each LTL provider will have their own pricing. Naturally, you would want to save on cost as much as you can without sacrificing the quality of the services.
So it is important that you are reaching out to multiple freight providers and comparing their perks and rates in order to find the best option that fits your budget.
Factors like the volume of your goods, the transportation lanes, the type of freight, and all that can affect your pricing.
So always be sure to get as specific as possible when describing what type of goods you want to be shipped out.
Ask about additional charges
Machinery and other extra services like a lift gate can drastically change your prices. So make sure to ask for a quote and maybe make negotiations in order to somewhat lower the fees.
Some companies allow negotiations if the client agrees to use their freight services for an extended period of time. So don’t hesitate to haggle a little.
Look into their track record in terms of customer service
You want an LTL shipping mode provider that not only treats you right but also your customers. Remember, as soon as you start working with a shipping company, they instantly become an extension of your business.
Clients who had a bad experience with delivery services are far less likely to make another purchase. Yes, even if it isn’t the seller’s fault.
So choose an LTL provider that is known for excellent customer service.
Liability and Insurance
When dealing with cargo, damages and some lost packages should be expected. Although, you will want a company that has little to no incidents of losing or damaging goods.
But it is still crucial that you are able to thoroughly discuss the carrier’s limits of liability and the insurance you have for each box you have loaded in. This protects you from financial loss and entitles you to some degree of compensation should something go wrong in transit.