Companies will often choose LTL Shipping when they feel their freight load will not be enough for a full trailer. Although, for many businesses, shipping via Less Than Truckload (LTL) across the country, or even locally, can be stressful and time consuming without proper knowledge and assistance.
Unfortunately, shippers may be losing money on LTL shipping if they do not know how to maximize efficiency in each shipment. To take full advantage of the benefits LTL shipping has to offer, be cognizant of the biggest mistakes shippers make – and try to avoid them!
Most Common LTL Shipping Mistakes
What happens if a truck overturns at the fault of another driver? Well, the other driver’s insurance may cover the initial damage, but passenger car insurance policies ARE NOT designed to cover thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in damaged merchandise. If the cost of insurance seems like a deterrent, think about how much the cost of replacing all your freight could you if another’s insurance policy is insufficient.
When shipping via LTL, the items being shipped are handled a number of times. When freight isn’t packaged correctly, there’s a higher probability that damage will occur as a result. Loading goods onto pallets or into crates prior to pick-up is strongly recommended for anyone who is using LTL shipping.
LTL rates are calculated based on precise shipment characteristics – that’s the whole idea of LTL! Always keep in mind that the quoted rate is only valid if the provided weight, dimensions and class are accurate. Rates will be subject to change should any of these characteristics change.
Lack Of Software
If you and your company are still manually pricing out quotes and placing individual pick up orders, you’re wasting hours of employee time that could be spent on other meaningful tasks. A transportation management system (TMS) is software that facilitates interactions between the company’s order management system, warehouse/distribution center management system, and carriers.
Picking the Wrong Service
Your customers have many preferences for shipping, but your company’s preferences could vary. Many customers will leave it up to you to select the appropriate service, but you need to make sure the service will meet the expectations of your customers.
Incomplete and incorrect BOL
Accurate BOL is crucial for any LTL load. This document contains the information critical for successful handling and delivery of your product. The BOL accompanies the load from pick-up to delivery – errors in consignee info will result in missed or delayed deliveries; errors in the number of packages might results in freight getting lost in transit.
In general, know what you need and provide extensive and accurate information whether you are scheduling your LTL loads through a 3PL or directly with an LTL carrier. 3PL’s are often able to offer more competitive LTL rates due to their volume with an extensive network of LTL providers.
If any of these mistakes sound familiar to you, we need to chat. Looking for the best LTL rates? Contact us for a quote.