15 Apr LTL Freight Shipping To Save Money
How to Use LTL Freight Shipping to Save Money
When it comes to determining the best way to ship your freight, you have a lot of options. Carriers offer a variety of services, many of which come with a hefty price tag. Your first step is to investigate FedEx and UPS contract negotiation. Aside from that, there’s one shipping method that could actually save you money, if it works for your business: LTL freight shipping. LTL stands for “less than truckload,” meaning that your freight is not large enough to fill an entire trailer. Compared to “full truckload” (FTL) services, LTL could save you money because you’re paying for only the portion of the truck your freight occupies. Here’s how to figure out if this service is right for you:
1. Determine How Much Freight You’re Shipping
The first question is: how much freight do you have? Generally speaking, LTL can be used for freight weighing between 150 and 15,000 pounds. However, the dimensions of the shipment are also important to determine how much space it will take up in the trailer. When measuring the length, width, and height of your shipment, be sure to round up to the next inch so that the fit isn’t too tight; this will also help you avoid adjustment fees. Then use your shipment’s dimensions and weight to calculate its “freight density” (a freight density calculator makes this simple), which will then help determine its freight class. In addition to density, other factors used to determine freight class include stowability (how difficult the shipment is to store; very heavy or hazardous shipments will be given a higher freight class), whether any special handling is required, and liability (perishable or easily damaged freight will fall into a higher freight class).
2. Choose Any Additional Services
Depending on where your shipment is headed, you may choose to take advantage of additional services. For example, if you need your shipment to arrive in a hurry, you may request an expedited shipping quote. Or, if your shipment weighs more than 100 pounds and the receiving location does not have a dock, you will need to request a liftgate. Limited access service is required for deliveries to locations where carriers might not be free to enter, such as construction sites and certain rural locations. Similarly, if the carrier will need to enter a building at some point in the shipping process, you will need to opt for inside pickup and/or delivery. While these additional services do cost extra, the savings you incur through using LTL shipping will likely offset them.
3. Prepare Your Shipment Carefully
Most LTL shipments are loaded onto pallets to keep them condensed and protected. In this case, be sure to place heavy items on the bottom of the pallet. It’s also important to have a clear label on each and every pallet you ship. Next, fill out your bill of lading as accurately as possible so that the carrier has all the information they need to deliver the shipment to its destination in a safe and timely manner.
4. Consider Other Benefits
The most compelling reason to choose LTL freight shipping over parcel for smaller shipments is the savings on cost, but the service also comes a slew of other benefits. In addition to the previously discussed reduced costs and increased protection for your shipments, LTL carriers offer tracking services using the bill of lading number, PRO number, PO number, shipment reference number, and pick-up date range, among other methods. This means you’ll be able to follow your shipment every step of the way to its destination. Another benefit that is less tangible but no less valuable is expert advice. Your carrier will be able to guide you on how best to prepare and plan your LTL freight shipment so that it arrives in good condition, on time, and at the lowest cost to you.
Predicting the Impact of the 2019 Rate Increases on Your Shipping
Want to get an idea of how the 2018 shipping rate increases have already affected your bottom line? Franklin Parcel can help. Request a 15-minute consultation through the form below to streamline costs and Ben will help you show you how Parcel Auditing works.