The key to efficient LTL shipping lies in implementing the shipping fundamentals every single day.
Transportation Management System (TMS) facilitates efficient shipping. It is important for employees of LTL freight companies to be knowledgeable about procedures and practices for maximizing your LTL efficiency:
LTL Shipping Best Practices
- Know How to Differentiate the Different Shipping Modes
There are three modes of shipping based on shipment packaging and size.
- LTL Shipping
This mode of shipping is designed for freight weighing between 150 and 10,000 pounds. LTL freight are normally wrapped in small pellets and transported by smaller trailers. The small pellets allow for easy, rapid freight loading and unloading during multi-stops and adjustments that occur when shipment is in transit.
LTL shipping is all about combining several freights from different firms into a single truck. The shipments are too large to be sent as small packages.
- Truckload Shipping (TL or FT)
Although TL is similar to LTL, only one shipment is transported in a trailer. It is mainly used for freight distribution between manufacturers and distribution centers for fast shipments of more than 10,000 pounds.
- Small Package Shipments
Freight less than 150 pounds are shipped via small package shipments. The fact that different packages from many shippers destined for different customers are loaded on the same truck or trailer increases the risk for delivery errors, damages and more loading and unloading of shipments.
- Know When to Use LTL Shipping
Shipment speed and budget should help determine when to use LTL shipping. When a few pallets are destined for more than one location, LTL shipping should be used. Freight consolidation is used to convert LTL shipping to TL shipping for long-haul shipments.
- Know When to Combine LTL and TL Shipping
When several shipments need to be distributed over a long distance to different locations, TL shipping would come in handy. LTL works for short distances.
Using the Carrier Scorecard
A carrier scorecard helps to determine the most suitable carriers for shipping needs. It helps to track particular performance metrics.
A carrier scorecard should feature:
- On-time performance
- Billing accuracy
- Damage-free shipments
- Driver performance
- Load preferences per carriers
- Customer service responsiveness
- Accessibility during auditing procedures
- Equipment maintenance
- Re-evaluation timeline for carrier scorecard updating
- Carrier service levels for freight movement
- Overall score per carrier
Understanding LTL Freight Shipping Rates
Although freight shipping rates are decreasing, LTL freight shipping rates are increasing. It is important to understand how freight shipping rates are calculated to survive in the industry.
Change in pricing models, scarce LTL space, demand for speed by customers, increased need for better compensation for drivers, lower risk and the Amazon Standard are some factors that determine freight shipping rates.
Increased LTL shipping rates translates to higher payments by customers for shipping and enhanced rate of customer satisfaction.
When the freight is either too small or too large for certain shipping modes, the need for rapid delivery makes LTL shipping the most cost-effective.
Know How to Save with LTL Freight Shipping
Liability insurance, customer satisfaction and performance reviews are some great ways to save with LTL freight shipping. You can also make your booking more efficient by avoiding an LTL middleman. Your LTL shipping costs will drop simply because there won’t be another person trying to profit from your shipping needs.
Know LTL Shipping Accounting Options
Inbound and outbound Add-in and Prepaid LTL shipping are the major accounting options for LTL shipping. The use of 3PL (third party logistics providers) and TMS should help eliminate any confusion in the LTL accounting options.
Avoid Common LTL Mistakes
- Use freight brokers
- Stop avoiding insurance to reduce costs
- Use delivery schedules as ‘guarantees’
- Use pallets
- Validate addressee information during shipping
- Pick the right service
- Stop estimating sizes and weights
- Use ground transit
- Compare carriers
- Monitor shipments for timely delivery
Know the Consequences of Freight Misrepresentation
Misrepresenting freight risks cost charges, truck overloading, accidents, and infrastructure damages. LTL carriers should be educated to inspect and weigh shipments and verify information provided by shippers.
Adopt the Use of TMS in LTL Freight Shipping
It reduces training costs, enables warehouse management, integrates with existing systems, supports freight consolidation and provides stronger cash flow control, among other benefits.
FreightorGator is a new way to ship LTL shipments. We’re saying “Later” to the LTL middleman, giving you direct pricing and saving you the overhead.