In many aspects, shipping LTL freight can pose quite a few challenges for the shipper. Whether it’s finding a cost-effective LTL carrier or determining your freight class, these less-than-truckload shipments can often be a pain to carry out. However, seeing as shipping freight this way is often necessary for those who can’t fill an entire trailer, overcoming these challenges is a must to maximize efficiency and find the lowest possible rates for your shipment.
Here at FreightorGator, we seek to take much of the stress out of LTL shipping so our customers can get their goods delivered on time at a reasonable, if not the most reasonable, rate. In addition to providing customers with instant quotes and an easy-to-use freight class calculator, we’ve laid out the common LTL challenges below and ways to overcome them to keep you and your shipments on track. Let’s take a look.
Common Challenges with Shipping LTL
Despite acquiring estimates, planning shipments, weighing freight, etc., it’s not uncommon to run into issues when shipping LTL freight, or any freight for that matter. From damaged shipments to weather delays and other embargos, the unexpected can occur at any time. For the most part, however, there’s a number of common challenges many face when it comes to LTL freight. We’ve detailed some of these challenges below:
Finding LTL Carriers
The main issue with LTL shipments is finding a carrier. Not all carriers can or will handle such shipments, and those that do will often have specifications you must abide by, such as a minimum freight load or something similar. In this regard, it can also be difficult depending on the type of freight you’re shipping. If it doesn’t have great stow-ability or if it includes perishables, you’ll have a tougher time finding a carrier.
Getting Reasonable LTL Freight Rates
Of course, you then must consider costs. Also, depending on the type of freight and the size of the load, freight rates, in general, can get quite high, and this holds truer for LTL. Not only will these factors impact your freight rates, but a range of others do as well. For instance, your freight class, pickup and destination areas, and stow-ability will also drive your rates.
Determining Freight Class
A common hurdle for many shippers is correctly determining the freight class for their shipments. Determined by the type of freight, it’s weight, stow-ability, and more, the freight class directly affects your rates. However, in determining some aspects of freight class, such as the weight of your items, some issues can arise. Reweighs aren’t uncommon and will add to costs, so shippers must be sure of the shipment’s gross weight and ensure it’s exact on the BOL.
Dealing with Transit/Shipping Times
Quite often, LTL shipments can be given lower priority, seeing as they’re not a full load. This obviously affects the transit time and can be a hassle if you need a shipment to arrive at a specific time. Fortunately, there’s a variety of ways to avoid such issues, as well as those mentioned above.
Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing Efficiency
As mentioned, you can take a variety of actions to avoid the aforementioned challenges and maximize efficiency in carrying out LTL shipments. For the most part, such practices include extensive research and close calculations to ensure factors like your freight weight is dialed in. However, the tools offered by FreightorGator can be of great help in the process. Regardless, take a look at the tips below overcome the common LTL carrier and shipping challenges:
- Ensure you’ve determined the correct freight class for your shipments. FreightorGator’s freight class and density tool can help you easily select the appropriate freight class, as well as the density of your items.
- Those with LTL shipments often use a transportation management tool to ensure they’re getting the lowest possible rates, but again, you can use FreightorGator’s instant quote tool to find and compare the best rates from various LTL carriers.
- Start planning early! Consider any holidays coming up and the potential for storms and other embargoes that could delay the destination time. In this regard, you should also closely track your shipment once it departs
- Ensure you have the exact weight of your shipment—including the total weight (gross weight) of the packaging, pallets, and items being shipped.
- Consider the insurance policies available and be sure to select one that suits your needs. If you have items that can be easily damaged, you’ll want to consider this in selecting a policy.
Easily find LTL Carriers with FreightorGator
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider as you seek LTL carriers and strive to attain the best rates for your shipment. Not only that, but there’s also several challenges you may face in shipping your freight, and the better you plan, the easier it will be to overcome such challenges. Of course, the best way to maximize efficiency in finding LTL carriers and shipping your freight is using the tools offered by FreightorGator. Our instant quote tool and freight density & class calculator can simplify the process and help ensure you’re finding the lowest rates.