They say knowledge is power, and in the LTL freight world, “they” could not be more right. When you’re working with carriers to arrange shipments, the more you know, the better chance you’ll have to get good rates and save on shipping. LTL know-how shouldn’t stop with your shipments: understanding LTL carrier networks is crucial to streamline your entire shipping process. FreightorGator is here to drop some knowledge on carrier networks to make you a smarter LTL shipper and get you paired with the right carriers for your business.
In the Fast Lane
LTL carrier networks are composed of “freight lanes.” Freight lanes are routes that carriers develop into a service network—some carriers are regional, with dense lanes in a particular geographic region, others span the entire nation’s highway, rail and air infrastructure. Lanes are often broken into legs of different distances and directions. For instance, one lane might have three segments: A to B (500 miles), B to C (700 miles) and C to A (1,200 miles), for a total lane distance of 2,400 miles.
Freight lanes are important in the LTL quoting process. Remember, a carrier’s base rate depends on the lanes required to complete your shipment. Its important to understand which lanes a carrier truly services before choosing them for your shipment. If you don’t compare carriers and quotes, you might be using the “wrong” carrier for your shipment. Trust us, choosing the “right” carrier is key…
Focus on Selecting the Right Carrier
Our friends at Logistics Management said it best: “astute shippers should use a Right Carrier approach” when adding carriers to their shipping portfolio. This is where the freight lanes come into play: it benefits you as a shipper to have a stable understanding of the carrier’s shipping network before opting into shipping contracts. Here’s why:
Businesses often build a core selection of trusted LTL carriers who they contact to service all their shipping needs, regardless of the shipment. The problem with this core carrier approach is it often forces carriers to use shipping lanes that don’t align with their network competencies (i.e. using a national carrier for a regional shipment, when a regional shipper has more efficient lanes), which results in higher shipping rates.
The core carrier approach sounds like the easy route to take, and if you still contact carriers directly to get quotes and schedule shipments, it probably is. But, its 2015—there’s a new way to ship LTL freight. Welcome to FreightorGator, the intuitive online LTL freight exchange.
FreightorGator.com is no Match.com, but we do want to help you find the right carrier for your LTL business needs. You’re losing money by limiting yourself to a few carriers—FreightorGator lets you compare quotes from dozens of trusted carriers so you can take the Right Carrier approach to LTL shipping and get the best rate, custom tailored to your shipment specs. So there you go, knowledge and power—Ship on friends!