Guaranteed Delivery in LTL Shipping: Ensuring Timely Shipments

What is Guaranteed Delivery in LTL, and When Do You Need It?

Posted on:
Jul 24, 2019

Transit time is a common concern among shippers that offer LTL services. Often, carriers give you the estimated delivery time, and it is assumed that the actual delivery date may be slightly delayed. Each carrier defines its own transit times that mostly depend on the route, distance, lane, freight size, type, and other factors. Therefore, sometimes there are situations when a shipment doesn’t arrive strictly upon the mentioned date. But what should you do if you need the shipment to be there at the right time or place? If you want to ensure that you receive freight on a certain date, you should request guaranteed LTL delivery.

What is the difference between standard LTL delivery and guaranteed delivery?

The main difference between these two delivery types is that a small delay is expected and considered normal for standard delivery. It doesn’t mean your shipment will necessarily be late, but there is a chance it could be. When you request it, the carrier guarantees that your freight will definitely arrive upon the requested date. In the case of delay, you will get your money back in most cases. Essentially, the guaranteed delivery option comes with an extra fee, but that way, you play it safe.

When should you use guaranteed delivery?

The main reason why companies should use it is when they or their customers need freight delivered strictly on a certain date. This service can be a reliable shipping option for many causes, including:

  • The retailer or customer requires freight on a certain date
  • Your freight arrival is crucial to keep the supply chain running
  • When on-time delivery is urgent for the receiver

However, guaranteed delivery doesn’t cover all shipments and destinations. To make it work, your transit times should fall on business days and business hours. Shippers should also remember that guaranteed delivery will not work on holidays. Carriers also won’t provide guaranteed delivery for oversized and hazardous freight and shipping to remote areas.  Ultimately, discuss this service directly with your carrier and all the shipment details to ensure it is handled accordingly.

Ensuring On-Time Delivery

As the business owner, you also have your own part to play in ensuring that your clients receive their orders on time. Any delays will not only cost you money, but you are more likely to receive unpleasant reviews of your store. Here are ways to stay on schedule:

Share Your Production Schedules

You need permits and route surveys to deliver goods from one location to another. Giving your courier your true production schedules tells when and where their freight is needed. Plus, it avoids issues such as expired permits and delayed paperwork. 

Share Your Site Plans

Site plans show your delivery team the layout of your warehouse or office. This will serve as their reference to determine if their trucks will be able to freely move around on site. Nothing is worse than arriving at the pick-up location only to see that their truck can’t even fit through the entrance gates. This will cause unnecessary stress and delays to your shipment.

Set Realistic Award Times

Acquiring your permits, and conducting route and site surveys all take time. So it is crucial that you allot a realistic deadline to get all of your paperwork in order. Stay five steps ahead of your shipping time by coordinating with your couriers as early as possible. 

Communication and Collaboration

Arguably the most important part of on-time LTL delivery is communication. Clear communication is key to making sure that everyone, from the courier service to the clients, is on the same page. Especially during mishaps. If a delivery is going to be a few hours late, inform your clients. 

If there are unavoidable circumstances, such as a storm, make sure to inform clients so that they can adjust their delivery schedules. When it comes to on-time LTL deliveries, everyone has a crucial part to play. The courier company is in charge of making sure your items arrive at your clients’ doorsteps on the exact arrival date. As the seller, it is your responsibility to make sure that you finish production on time and have all your paperwork in order before the pickup date. 

Selecting Guaranteed LTL Delivery

Nowadays, the faster you are able to deliver your packages, the happier your clientele. Customers are more likely to return if you offer quick, efficient, and convenient delivery services.

This is where guaranteed LTL delivery shines the most. They will ensure that your items arrive on your set dates. So, how do you choose the right guaranteed LTL delivery? Here are features and services that you should be looking into before you sign off your goods to a freight company:


The availability of sales representatives is a crucial part of selecting a courier. In case of any mishaps during transit, you should be able to immediately read out to your courier. This way, any issues you or a customer may be facing can be solved swiftly.

Track Record

Does the carrier have a high on-time delivery record? There will be unforeseen circumstances that can cause your items to arrive late. But as much as possible, you will want them to get to their destination on the set date. Your carrier’s on-time delivery percentage should be close to 100%. 

Customer Care

The team in charge of your shipment is an extension of your business. Your deliverymen will more often than not, be the ones to interact with your clientele. That is why you need to make sure the people you are working with have great customer service. Your carrier’s drivers should understand that they serve as an extension of your business, albeit indirectly. 

Window Options

Finally, your carrier should offer flexible schedules in order to meet your delivery dates. The company you choose to work with should offer multiple delivery options and windows. Swift and on-time deliveries are crucial for any company. But it is most important for smaller businesses, where ensuring client satisfaction is the determining factor for success.

Late deliveries and damages to cargo can result in poor reviews and chargebacks. Not every company can afford multiple chargebacks. So ensuring that the LTL company you work with can fulfill your business’s needs will save you on costs in the long run. 


Offering guaranteed LTL shipping gives both you and your client assurance that the items shipped will arrive right on schedule. It increases the chances of customers making a repeat purchase from your store and fosters customer loyalty. If you have access to guaranteed LTL shipping services in your area, it is worth trying out. 

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