LTL or less than truckload freight, is one of the most popular shipping options for smaller companies. As the name suggests, companies can ship out cargo that doesn’t meet the full truckload requirement. This is done by “pooling” the goods of different companies together into a single truckload and delivering/pick-up goods along the driver’s route. Companies don’t need to wait until their load reaches the minimum required weight/volume for full-truckload delivery. This leads to better efficiency for smaller businesses and trucking companies. Shipping efficiency provides a double benefit for both the carrier and the shipper. Knowing how to maximize your efficiency as a shipper will accelerate all future shipments. As a shipper, reducing your cost and time spent is important. Simply by choosing the right shipping methods, you will increase LTL efficiency.
Why You Should Give LTL Freight a Try
So you’ve asked other small business owners in your area what shipping services they use and you got the same answer: LTL freight.
And they would be right. LTL freight is an excellent option for anyone who needs to ship goods that don’t quite meet the minimum load requirement for an entire truck.
But why do small businesses turn to less than truckload shipping services for their goods? Some of these reasons are:
The low cost
Instead of paying for the entire truck just to deliver a few boxes, LTL shipping allows shippers to pay only for the space their packages take up in the truck.
This results in a lower cost of shipping for smaller companies who do not frequently ship out enough goods to fill up the entire truck.
LTL shipping also means fewer trucks will be on the road to make deliveries. Small companies can now “pool” their packages together in a single truck.
Fewer trucks lead to fewer air pollutants. So if you are looking for the most eco-friendly way to ship out smaller goods, LTL services are the way to go.
Efficiency in shipping/deliveries
Instead of sending out half-empty trucks and vans, LTL shipping allows multip pick up and multi drop-off of goods along the driver’s assigned delivery/pickup route.
LTL companies take the safety of their clients’ products very seriously. Because clients are sending smaller loads, LTL shipping staff can better track each package.
This leads to few damages, lost packages, and lower changes of wrong deliveries. This saves the shipper and the LTL company money when making deliveries.
Drawbacks of LTL Freight
LTL freight is faster, more cost-efficient, and safer for the environment, but it has a few drawbacks to consider before turning this into your primary means of shipping.
Choosing LTL freight deliveries means your driver will make multiple stops to pick up or drop off other goods.
You will have to allot more time for the delivery and the coordination with the LTL staff.
Limited carrier availability
Not all freight companies offer LTL services. So you might face some difficulty finding carriers in your area to help with your shipments.
High demand for details
Choosing LTL freight services means that you need to know and inspect every detail related to your shipment.
Some of the things you will need to take note of are:
- Weight of each LTL shipment
- The space available in the truck
- All the stops your driver will be making
- What route your driver will be taking
You need to know anything and everything there is to know about the goods you are shipping out. Overlooking one detail can lead to delays, fees, wrong deliveries, or lost goods.
Despite these drawbacks, LTL freight is still one of the best services for small business owners who don’t meet the minimum truck-load requirement.
While there are some disadvantages you can’t avoid, you can still do things to make your LTL shipping much more efficient.
The next time you plan to ship LTL, consider these improvements:
Ship from an ideal location
Shipping close to a metropolitan area reduces the likelihood of delayed freight and reduces your costs. Metropolitan areas usually have a larger concentration of carriers and shipping terminals.
Have an open time frame
Giving your carrier more time to move your freight will save you money, simple, right?
Palletize your loads
Pallets not only keep your freight secure, but they also keep costs low. Pallets will be easy and fast for your carrier to load. Also, if your pallet can be stacked, it becomes a space saver.
Consolidate your freight
If you have multiple items going to a single location, try to ship them at the same time. This will reduce the number of shipments you have to create and reduce the amount of packaging needed.
Have your freight ready before the carrier arrives
Coordinate a system with a pick-up in mind to maximize the carriers time and reduce delays. Sometimes carriers are told to leave within 15-30 minutes with or without the load. Having a good system in place will put both parties ahead.
Choose a carrier that covers your shipping region
If you plan to ship far, make sure that the carrier reaches out to the destination. Some carriers will pass off your freight if they don’t cover the region. This is costly and increases time in transit. GoShip.com will help you save time and money, and improve your LTL efficiency. With a system backed by thousands of carriers nationwide, we have solutions to fit any shipping need. All you have to do is enter in your dimensions, place of origin, and destination, then you’re ready to receive multiple rate quotes. If you’re in a time crunch, our easy-to-use solution is here for you. Get your Free Quote to try it for yourself.