Finding the right LTL freight provider can be difficult. There are hundreds of LTLs which makes selecting the right carrier an overwhelming task. Finding the right provider is important. A good choice can mean the difference between deliveries showing up on-time and intact, which helps preserve your professionalism and reputation.
To make sure you find the best LTL freight provider suited to your needs, always ask yourself the following questions:
What’s Their Reputation?
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t support any business with a terrible reputation. However, while it might be common to look at restaurant or product reviews before becoming a patron, people often don’t think to do the same for services. Any potential LTL customer should always look at reviews before taking any other steps. If you see that a carrier has 3 stars or less and former customers only have negative things to say, you should probably avoid them.
What Do Their Employees Have to Say About Them?
Happy drivers make for better shipping. If you notice that several employees have spoken negatively about a specific LTL freight carrier, consider choosing a different carrier. Truckers that are overworked, undertrained, and underpaid make mistakes, and when it comes to your cargo, you want to make sure that it is in the best hands possible.
What Does Their Network Look Like?
A carrier’s network could mean the difference between your delivery showing up on time and being late. So what is a network exactly? A network is a carrier’s established driving routes, the carriers they are partnered with, and the depots they have along those routes. A great carrier has a strong regional network and then is also partnered with other reputable carriers to take your deliveries the extra mile when needed. Good networks mean great deliveries. So make sure your carrier has one.
What Are Their Service Offerings?
Many LTL carriers do more than just deliver items for a storefront or garage. LTL carriers may offer one-day or two-day shipping, in addition to standard shipping. Other carriers may offer moving or white glove services which allow customers to cater their shipping service directly to their needs.
If you need your delivery to arrive in two days and if it requires any special delivery requirements, outside of traditional loading dock or inside delivery, make sure the carrier you are working with provides 2-day deliveries and white glove services. Ask for what you want, and make sure the company has the ability and reputation to back up their services.
Are Their Rates Industry Standard?
The saying “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more accurate for LTL freight. Carriers with lower prices may seem enticing, but there is a good chance that their reputation is full of complaints regarding late or damaged deliveries, unfriendly drivers, or even lost deliveries.
If you find a carrier with low prices, check them out before your sign up. Look at their reviews and examine their network, delivery and error rates. If the company’s reputation checks out, you just found yourself a deal. Note, deals certainly can be found within the carrier’s “hot lanes.”
There are many LTL freight providers to choose from, and finding the best one for you in your area can be overwhelming. Many third-party logistics, or 3PLs, will often boast that they offer the best carrier prices, but these companies often come with unpredictable charges and deliveries. If you do choose to work with logistics firm, consider working with one that offers flat rate shipping and has a solid reputation, like FreightorGator. These types of companies don’t come with hidden charges, and generally only work with carriers that have the best reviews from their customers.
For best practices, don’t be afraid to shop around before choosing the LTL carrier that is right for you. Ask questions. Inquire about pricing and shipping practices. Don’t be afraid to look at the carrier’s network and partners who may wind up carrying your delivery for part of the trip. Knowing what a carrier has to offer makes you an informed customer which means you are less likely to be taken advantage of, and will get the service you expect.