What is LTL?
First, let’s define what LTL is. LTL stands for Less than Truckload shipments that typically weigh between 150 and 15,000 pounds. Typically, an LTL shipment will be palletized and will contain anywhere from 1-7 pallets.
If your company is involved in e-commerce, wholesale, or manufacturing, chances are your products are shipped via LTL or a mix of LTL, FTL (Full Truckload), or Parcel. Depending on the quantity of each shipment, LTL can be the best way for your goods to be shipped. This area of your business is often overlooked but can be a strategic advantage for your clients and overall customer experience.
1. Verify your Shipping Information
In order to avoid any hidden fees or accessorial charges, be sure to always have the correct information on the freight you are trying to move. It is very important to have the correct dimensions, weight, freight class number, and product description of the products that you need to ship. Having this information verified before asking for quotes with carriers will help to avoid any confusion and extra charges at the time of invoicing for the freight movement.
2. Quote with Multiple Carriers
The best way to maximize your LTL shipping is by quoting your shipment with multiple LTL carriers . It is important to keep in mind that different carriers offer different services across the many lanes they service . For example, on a shipment from Atlanta, Georgia to Miami, Florida, ABC Trucking might offer a 2 day service for that lane but 123 Trucking offers 1 day delivery for a higher cost.
3. Use a Transportation Management System (TMS)
You also need to organize this with a Transportation Management System (TMS) that keeps you and your logistics team on the same page. A TMS will also help you aggregate your shipping data where you can access prior shipments and keep your invoicing in line. If the TMS you are using allows you to integrate your own carrier rates make sure you have the ability to instantly quote LTL.
Contracting the services of a Third- Party Logistics Company (3PL) can be a good strategy for your LTL freight shipping and overall supply chain. A 3PL can give you an existing infrastructure such as a TMS, their own carrier rates, and a team of dedicated logistics professionals to consult from. Instead of spending the resources to create your own internal logistics infrastructure, partnering with a 3PL can help you save the upfront cost as well they can be a reliable partner to help optimize your supply chain.
If you want a game plan for your LTL freight shipping, feel free to reach out to us on our website.