Up until the middle of 2016, the past few years have been quite difficult for LTL carriers. As fuel prices and line haul rates dropped, as did business for the freight industry. As time’s progressed, the recession has since ended and LTL carriers are again beginning to thrive. While this is great for those who heavily rely on LTL shipping, there’s still plenty you need to consider as you seek a carrier and find the lowest possible rates for such. Plus, with the end of the recession, freight rates have increased, which can put more stress on you as the shipper.
To help reduce the stress of finding an LTL carrier, FreightorGator provides helpful tools and resources for shippers relying on LTL shipping. Having said that, we’ve laid out a few key considerations for shipping LTL freight. From finding the lowest rates to better managing inventory, the considerations below can help simplify your shipping process.
Shipping LTL Freight: Key Considerations
With the aforementioned end to the freight recession, costs for shipping LTL has increased. While this presents more options within LTL carriers, price remains a major factor. However, cost isn’t the only factor shippers need to consider when seeking a carrier. While we all want the lowest rates possible, there’s other important pieces to consider that will ultimately simplify the process.
Regional vs. National Carriers
Depending on where you’re shipping your LTL freight, you’ll want to consider regional and national carriers. If you’re point of origin and destination aren’t far, a regional carrier may be the better option, as freight rates tend to be lower. As you sift through prospective LTL carriers, pay attention to their geographic coverage and applicable services.
While transit times are never guaranteed, there’s always a general timeline to refer to. Similarly, regional carriers tend to provide quicker transit times for regional lanes, yet the services may be limited. While national or long-haul carriers will have higher costs, they may offer specific services that suit your needs.
Insurance and Liability
While virtually all carriers have liability insurance coverage, that’s not to say their standard policy will completely cover any and all issues. Depending on the type of freight at hand and how it’s stowed, you may need to add additional insurance to your freight, which will also cost more. This should be a major consideration as you compare prospective carriers.
LTL Shipping Prices and Fees
Of course, shipping prices are always the main concern in shipping LTL freight, as with any service. However, not only should you compare the freight rates for each potential carrier, but you should also pay mind to any additional fees and accessorial charges that may otherwise remain hidden until the deal is done. Pay close attention to detail as you assess the prices of each carrier and ensure there won’t be any unexpected fees.
Shipping LTL Freight: Managing Inventory
Despite the freight recession starting back in 2014, around this same time, the consumer market began to thrive. In turn, many manufacturers and shippers increased inventory and expanded warehousing to keep up with such demands on consumer products. Not long after, however, this demand decreased and shippers were left with more inventory than they knew what to do with. Considering all this, inventory management is crucial to not only shipping, but shipping LTL freight specifically.
Seeing as how LTL is necessary for many shippers, and the process therein can be difficult, managing inventory is essential. Whether it’s avoiding tracking what you sell and to whom you sell it or creating a better system for processing orders, there’s plenty you can do to keep your inventory dialed.
Simplify the LTL Shipping Process with FreightorGator
In addition to keeping these considerations in mind as you seek LTL carriers and manage inventory, you can use the tools provided by FreightorGator to further simplify the entire process. To get started, use our instant quote tool for LTL shipments so you can begin comparing costs and find the lowest possible rates.