Simply put, finding LTL freight carriers for your shipments is often a difficult process. Whether it’s finding the lowest possible rates or ensuring you’ve correctly determined the weight of your items, there’s several moving pieces in LTL shipping. Because many freight carriers pay more mind to FTL shipments, priority for LTL freight can also be an issue. No matter the issue, however, there’s a variety of ways to simplify the process of finding an LTL freight carrier, as opposed to 3PLs, and FreightorGator can help.
While our instant quote tool and freight density/class calculator will be of great help as you seek LTL carriers, there’s other aspects you need to keep in mind as you seek the best carrier for your goods. For help, we’ve compiled a list of tips to keep in mind as you sift through prospective carriers and avoid the pitfalls of 3PLs. Let’s take a look.
Selecting LTL Freight Carriers: 10 Key Tips
As mentioned, there’s plenty you can do to find an LTL carrier that suits your specific shipping needs. Of course, you’ll need to consider the stow-ability of your freight, its freight class, weight, and several other factors. Yet, the tips below can provide much-needed assistance in this regard. Practice the following tips to ensure you find the best rates and more for your LTL shipment:
- Depending on the destination of your shipment, consider regional carriers. Quite often, the density of their truckloads is higher and, in turn, they’ll offer lower rates. Plus, they’ll have more insight as to embargoes and other potential issues in their region.
- When considering various LTL carriers, pay mind to the quality of their customer service. They should always notify you with any changes, issues, or anything else related to your shipment.
- Ensure you have access to tracking. From pickup to drop off, you should always be able to view the status and whereabouts of your freight, so be sure the carrier you consider offers easy tracking.
- Seek carriers who offer multiple options for transportation. Certain modes of transportation may be more suited for your freight, and the carrier should give you the best options available.
- Pay close attention to detail in filling out the bill of lading (BOL). Any discrepancy here can become an issue down the road, so ensure the contract includes all the right details, whether in regards to how the freight is shipped or what exactly is being shipped.
- Be sure to appropriately prepare your shipment to avoid any accessorial charges and fees. Whether you need to secure your goods to a pallet or correctly determine your freight class, any issue in this regard could result in additional charges from the carrier.
- Speaking of freight class, you need to have a firm grasp on what freight class is and the freight class for your goods. There are 18 different freight classes, so do your research. Of course, FreightorGator can help in this regard. You can even use our freight density and class calculator for help.
- Similar to avoiding accessorial charges, shippers need to correctly package their items. And, the better you package your freight, the lower the rates will be. If your freight can be placed on pallets, be sure the items are stacked securely and tight, and wrap them well. By increasing pack density, you’ll also lower the risk of having your items damaged when in transit.
- Try negotiating. Some carriers may be willing to work with you on freight rates, especially if the shipper is willing to enter a contract with the shipper. Either way, don’t be afraid to ask. It could even be as simple as reducing or omitting accessorial charges.
- Always compare carriers! Whether you need to make a spreadsheet or utilize a transportation management system, either can help you compare costs, transit times, insurance policies, and more.
Bonus Tip for Seeking LTL Carriers: Avoid 3PLs
Though 3PLs (third-party logistics) can be advantageous for some, that’s often not the case for those with LTL shipments. Having said that, many shippers seeking LTL freight carriers still consider 3PLs, yet the upfront costs and typical lack of control over deliveries can be a major pitfall. While this is often due to warehousing, in addition to distribution, 3PLs aren’t always a viable option for LTL shipments. In short, if you aren’t going to require warehousing or don’t have a high volume of shipments. 3PLs aren’t a great option for you as the shipper.
Find the Best LTL Freight Carriers with FreightorGator
When it comes to shipping LTL shipments, you need an LTL freight carrier. However, given that the selection process and finding the lowest rates can be a daunting task, FreightorGator seeks to simplify the process for shippers. As mentioned above, you can use our instant quote tool for LTL shipments to find a list of potential LTL carriers and select the one that suits your needs best.