Shipping Detention with Matt Harrington

Matt Harrington, our Truckload Operations Manager, jumps into “Detention” in both LTL and Truckload shipping. What is detention? When it’s applied, and ways to get around it. Check it out!
Shipping Detention with Matt Harrington

Hi, there. My name is Matt Harrington, and I’m the director of truckload operations here at FreightPros. Today we’re going to talk about detention.

What is detention? Detention is the fee that a carrier assess when the truck is held beyond the free time allotted for loading or unloading the truck.

Typically, detention is more common when it comes to full truckload shipments, but yes you can be charged detention by an LTL carrier. Why do carriers charge detention? There’s an old adage in trucking that goes, when a truck isn’t moving it’s not making money. Every minute a truck sits idle at a shipper or reciever, is a minute of lost minute. In an effort to reduce that, to compensate for a driver’s time, they charge detention.

How long before detention starts? Typically in the truckload world, you get two hours at the shipper’s and two hours at the receiver before they start billing for detention.

There is detention in the LTL world, but there’s a greater variance on those times. Sometimes it’s fifteen minutes, sometimes it’s thirty minutes, sometimes the truck won’t stay and wait at all. Again, it is carrier dependent.

How much does detention cost? It can very from carrier to carrier, customer to customer, but typically ranges from fifty dollars an hour to one hundred dollars an hour. It can be negotiated ahead of time, if it’s known that the loading times are going to exceed two hours. How to avoid detention?

The first step is to plan ahead. Make sure the freight is prepped and ready to go as much as possible prior to the truck arriving.

Second step is to make sure the load paperwork is ready to go for the driver once he arrives.

The third step is to set a schedule and make sure everybody is communicating; the carrier, the broker, and both the shipper and receiver. This will make life a lot easier on everybody.

That’s about it when it comes to detention. If you have any questions check out our website, download our freight papers, read the blog, and for anything else feel free to contact us. My name is Matt Harrington, I’m the director of truckload operations here at FreightPros. Have a great day. 

How to Quickly Cover a Truckload Shipment

This fun video shows our Truckload team in action.  It shows the barrage of calls we get once we send out an available load to our database of carriers and how quickly we can cover freight at a rate that works for the customer and with a carrier that passes our vetting process.
Want to learn more about Truckload shipping? Check out our freight shipping guide, available for free download.

Freight Bill of Lading Basics: Freight Bill of Lading Definition and Uses

Learn how a bill of lading is used in domestic freight shipping. Discover what information is needed on a complete bill of lading.

Freight Bill of Lading Basics Video Transcript:

Hey welcome back! I’m Chris Clever with FreightPros.  Today’s topic is on the freight bill of lading.  We get a lot of questions about this, a lot of people are confused about what a bill of lading is.  I thought I’d speak briefly about that, and focus specifically on the domestic bill of lading.  Here at FreightPros we do focus on over the road trucking, whether it be full truckload freight or less than truckload freight, there is a bill of lading moving with all of our freight shipments.  We are required by law for that to happen.

At its core, the freight bill of lading provides information.   It provides information to your carrier or your broker, also information to the consignee or receiver of your goods.  All bills of lading are going to have a shipper address on them, they are going to have a consignee or receiver address on them, and they’ll usually have a bill to address.  In addition to that, any special instructions related to that freight.  It may say something “please deliver freight to the east side loading dock.”  It might say something like “please give notice to Jim at the receiving location at this phone number an hour prior to delivery.”  That type of information that helps get that freight to its final destination.

There are also things related to accessorials.  A common thing on an LTL bill of lading is lift gate required or residential delivery.  That just alerts the carrier that there might be some type of special equipment required or something else they have to do out of the ordinary to best service that delivery.  One other critical piece of information or bits of information on the bill of lading is related to the actual contents of the shipment themselves.  On a full truckload shipment, 44 pallets of molded plastic goods, on an LTL shipment, 2 pallets of polished granite tile.  It generally lists the dimensions, the NMFC, the freight class on an LTL shipment.  

That’s helpful.  When a freight shipment gets delivered, the consignee needs to check that information to make sure that everything that was supposed to be on that shipment or load is here, its all accounted for and there are no shortages.  The other critical thing is to make sure to check for damage.  If someone signs the freight bill of lading free and clear and doesn’t note damage on it, its extremely hard to get any type of insurance claim approved.  Whether its through the carrier or a third party insurer.

One other thing the bill of lading does, and more on the legal end of things, it actually is transferring ownership of those goods from the shipper over to the consignee once they sign for them.

That’s a really quick and dirty explanation of a bill of lading.  There’s a lot more topics on it that you can get much more involved with.  But just wanted to kind of clear the air on what a bill of lading is, what’s necessary and the type of information it provides, and why it goes along with every freight shipments that we move for our customers.

Thanks again for listening to my quick explanation on a bill of lading and feel free to comment in the box below.

Truckload Quote Checklist

Matt describes the critical items of information you will need to obtain a truckload freight quote

Hi, my name is Matt Harrington, and I’m the truckload manager here at FreightPros.

And just want to give you a few tips today on when it comes to getting a truckload quote.

We need four pieces of information. That first piece of information is the actual equipment type that you’re looking for.

This can range from [? dry ?] vans, to flatbeds, to [INAUDIBLE] units.

And there’s a few things in between there. But more or less, those are the major modes that we work with.

The second thing we’ll need to know is the actual lane itself. And that’s where it’s picking up from and where it’s delivering to.

You might have multiple pick-up locations and delivery locations, so we’ll need to know that as well. The third thing we’ll need to know is when it has to pick up and when it needs to deliver.

It’s important for us to know this because the market is going to change, almost on a daily basis.

And if we know ahead of time when that has to pick up and when it has to deliver by, it’s going to allow us to bring a much more accurate and even– potentially, a more competitive quote to the table.

The last thing is just knowing a little bit about the commodity itself. It’s important for us to know that because we need to tell the carriers and our partner carriers what’s actually going on the truck.

It might also determine what type of equipment is going to be available for that load itself. So it could be potentially cheaper, or it might be we might have to explore a different route.

Again, my name is Matt Harrington. And I’m the truckload manager here at FreightPros. And hopefully these four tips are able to assist you in getting an accurate freight quote.

Want to learn more about truckload shipping? Check out our freight shipping guide, available for download.

TL and LTL Freight Differences Part II

Part II of FreightPros video on what to watch out for when you start using a new mode of transportation. LTL and TL freight have some key differences and this video helps walk freight shippers through those fundamental differences.


Hi. We’re back with part two of our video series on the difference between the basics of LTL and truckload shipping.

The first segment started to run a little bit long, so we broke it into two parts. In this second segment, I’d like to talk about just some of the basic service differences between LTL and truckload.

Again, this might be obvious to people that have done a lot of shipping with both modes. But someone who’s not ever done truckload or not ever done LTL– it might not be as obvious.

So the first difference is with expectations of communication. And now, on the truckload side, we have a ton of communication directly with the dispatch for a particular carrier, or even sometimes with the driver.

So if we need to get specific information on where that driver is, if there’s any delays, we can oftentimes either call right through to that driver or at least have a dispatcher that can get that driver on the other line and get us information back very quickly.

On the LTL, it’s not as easy as that. We still can call into a terminal, but generally we’re talking to a customer service person that doesn’t always have direct access to that driver on the fly.

It depends on the LTL carrier. But particularly, the bigger carriers, national carriers– it’s not like we’re calling through and giving direct instructions to the driver on the spot.

They can relay a message. But often, it takes some time and it’s not nearly as simple as that communication goes on the truckload side. Now, one of the other differences we run into, again, might seem elementary. But on the truckload side, we get people that request a lift gate on their truck.

Now, liftgates do exist on full trucks. However, they’re very few and far between. They’re really hard to find. And the price to utilize a full truck with a liftgate is usually much, much more costly than adding a liftgate on the LTL side.

Now, with the LTL carriers, the majority of them– not all of them, but most of them– they have plenty of trucks that are equipped with a liftgate in their fleet. And that’s something that could easily be added on if you’re going that LTL route.

And then another common thing is o often get a request for a pallet jack or some type of a dolly. Now, most LTL carriers will already have that on their truck. Truckload carriers– again, not the norm, not expected, not standard.

If that’s something you are expecting, make sure you ask for that up front, because it might be a special request that that driver has to go and locate a pallet jack to complete your service.

The next issue that we often run into are expectations with the bill of lading, or as we say for short, the BOL.

The bill of lading on the LTL side– it’s imperative, if you’re using a broker in particular, that you use the broker’s bill of lading that they give to you, or at least a bill of lading with that broker’s bill to information. When they’re quoting you a price, it’s based on their rates.

Now, what happens is if you use your own bill of lading with the improper bill to information or you don’t have your bill of lading and the carrier shows up and they just give you a bill of lading and say, hey, fill this out, we need this to move your freight, what’s most commonly going to happen is the carrier’s going to bill you directly.

You’re not to get those discounts and probably not that quote that you got from your broker. And it’s going to be quite a shock, because oftentimes, that pricing is four or five times as high as you might have gotten from going to a broken directly or if you have a proper bill to on that document.

Now, on the truckload side, it’s much more common and it’s more of an industry standard where the shipper will actually provide the bill of lading. In this case, the communication is very different.

The truckload carrier, they know that they’re building a broker or they’re billing a customer. Since there’s only one load, most commonly, moving on their truck, they know who the bill to party is before they show up.

Whereas, on the LTL side, imagine if they’re driving around and picking up 20 different people’s freight, the only way that they know who to bill is when they get back to the terminal, that bill of lading that’s attached to each shipment, to each pallet for each customer, they look at the bill to for that and then reconcile the billing information after that.

Now, finally, the other big difference, I would say, between LTL and truckload is speed and price. So LTL shipping, if you have– we say 10 pallets or less. But really, there’s a break there– somewhere between 15 to 12 pallets or less– it’s probably going to be cheaper to look at the LTL route.

We’ll talk about volume shipments in a different segment. But going an LTL route probably makes sense. Once you get above that 12 to 15 pallet range, it’s worth getting a quote on the truckload.

There’s a price break there where it might make more sense to you, the truckload carrier. And then obviously, speed– so with truckload, your freight is most commonly moving from point A to point B very directly.

And it’s going to be a quicker option that an LTL carrier, even if you’re shipping in, say, the same city. We’re based here in Austin, Texas. If we shipped out a pallet today that picked up from our location and was going across town to a customer of ours, it would be until the following day until it was delivered.

The LTL carrier will take that freight back their terminal. They’ll unload it, reload it onto a delivery truck, and then deliver it to the customer at the ending location the following day.

Whereas, truckload, if the mileage is right, you can often get things delivered in the same day. So those were some basics related to the differences between LTL and truckload. Now, there’s hundreds of more topics I could have talked about.

I just wanted to address some of the common things that we run into as a broker when dealing with our customers again and again, and things that we particularly noted for shippers that just start doing one of these modes or the others, and commonly, when they had previously been doing one of the other modes.

So hopefully this was helpful. Look for more videos from us. And I hope you enjoyed this first series in our segment of videos from Freight Pros. And again, I’m Chris Clever, president of Freight Pros. Find us at [MUSIC PLAYING]

Want to learn more about LTL and Truckload freight? Check out our freight shipping guide, available for free download.

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