UPS Freight: Get Better UPS LTL Rates

ups freight The UPS Freight division of UPS is one of the largest groups within the massive UPS empire. UPS? You’ve probably heard of them. They’ve become the defacto choice for small package ground shipping throughout the United States. But what most people don’t know about UPS freight is that they offer excellent LTL rates as well. In fact, UPS less than truckload rates are some of the best in the business in terms of reliability and affordability. They are everything their brand name promises them to be. UPS freight quotes are not one of the main freight LTL carriers like Roadrunner or R&L Carriers. Because of their size, they operate on a different scale than those carriers (and Roadrunner and R&L are some of the biggest LTL carriers in the country). But UPS freight is a global company.
They employ not only trucks, but trains, planes, boats, and basically anything else that moves, to ship UPS freight across the world.
You can imagine how exciting it is for us, then, having the option to offer their services to our customers across the United States. I think most people or companies that are newer to freight shipping probably end up going with either UPS Freight or Fedex Freight because they aren’t aware of the other options out there. Both these companies are at the top of the game in terms of technology options, integration, tracking and performance. But if you’re a residual shipper, and especially one who uses a bunch of different carriers, it’s worth it to throw UPS freight in the mix. UPS LTL quotes come across basically the same way as any other LTL carrier. They’ll supply you with rates dependent on freight class, pickup locations, and total weights. You can use your TMS to schedule the pickup and track the shipment, and then watch until it gets delivered. Bottom line: UPS freight can give you options. It’s not just small package, parcel shipments for the guys in brown.
federal express shipping

Federal Express Shipping Rates | Get Better LTL Rates

federal express shipping
Federal Express Shipping
Federal Express shipping rates are some of the best in the small package or parcel shipping game. Everyone knows this. But, you ask, I’ve never heard of “Federal Express.” It sounds like something familiar but…oh wait…FEDeral EXpress. Right. Federal Express shipping AKA FedEx shipping is one of the largest movers of freight on the planet. Along with UPS, they make up the majority of the small packaged courier industry. But what you might not know about is the Federal Express shipping rates for LTL and Fedex volume. We’ve discussed that regular LTL shipments are not the same as Amazon,  small package UPS, Post Office shipping, or small package FedEx. LTL shipments are commonly heavier, use pallets, freight class, and sometimes charge extra for residential delivery services. And while there are hundreds of carriers both big (R & L Freight) and small (New Penn) that service primarily LTL, Federal Express Shipping also has LTL rates. But how does the pricing work for Federal Express shipping? This is often a lane by lane situation, but our Account Executives spend hours on the phone getting us better contracts with carriers both regional and national that focus primarily (or some cases solely) on LTL shipping, rather than small package or full truckload rates. And while Federal Express certainly has good rates and excellent service, that doesn’t mean that other carriers don’t have a coverage map. Carriers such as Roadrunner or Central Freight have hundreds of terminals spread out across the country, not to mention contracts with tons of other carriers for interline purposes. Different carriers are better for different things. Some are regional, some are national, some are faster transit, and some slower – it just depends what you’re looking for! If you’ve never tried to get a quote using one of our fleet of LTL carriers such as Federal Express shipping, contact us and we’ll answer all your questions. A broker handles all aspects of your freight shipments, and that includes getting you the best price available. cc image courtesy BriYYZ via Flickr
distribution center shipping

Shipping to Distribution Centers & Warehouses

distribution center shipping
CC image courtesy Mark Hunter via Flickr
Shipping to distribution centers and warehouses can cause your head to spin round-and-round. Luckily, you have a whole freight tracking team with knowledge about shipping to the UNFIs, Davidsons, and KEHEs of the world. Not only are these locations unique, but they also require some special services that add to transit time and cost of a shipment. In an effort to get you the right price up front, we’re going to talk a bit about some of these services you might need when shipping to distribution centers or large, corporate warehouses. VIDEO – Sheridan Explains Guaranteed Shipments in 90 Seconds! The first service that you need to make sure you are quoted with is Sort and Segregate (Sort and Seg). This service is required when shipping to distribution centers because it verifies that all of your product reached the destination. Sort and Seg means that the driver or dock workers will count every case on the pallet when it is received (as opposed to just accepting the pallet and finding out later that it’s short some cases). Not all carriers provide this service so make sure you choose one that can deliver to that particular distribution center, and is able to do Sort and Seg. Counting each case can take time so if you are delivering this by the truckload, it would be wise to take into account the time it takes to fully unload and account for the cases. Although rare, some unloading times can take up to 8 Hours. Truckload and LTL drivers don’t want to be at one location for that long, so take into account possible detention fees (fee correlating with how long over the allotted time it takes to unload) that may be applicable to the delivery. Once again, this is rare, but it must be mentioned. Freight Paper – The Mysteries of Freight Class! The second service required is Notify Consignee. This service is about scheduling a delivery appointment with the location. The distribution center will schedule a delivery appointment with the carrier if shipment is going LTL, but that responsibility falls on the shipper/broker if delivering via truckload. As before, make sure you transport your goods with a carrier that can service the appointment times. Typically, distribution centers/warehouses have receiving windows from 12AM to 6AM. Preferred carriers to these locations usually have standing appointments or drop trailers. Save yourself the headache and use one of the preferred carriers. Some distribution centers use scheduling software so make sure you, the carrier, or the broker has access to that system. What’s Standard Pallet Size??? The Lumper Service is the third special service sometimes needed, and is determined on an individual location basis. Distribution centers may hire a “lumper” company to receive shipments, perform the Sort and Seg, and re-palletize/organize shipments so that the product can be put in the appropriate bin in the building. Contact the delivery location to ascertain if a lumper service will be used at the time of delivery. Unfortunately, lumper service cannot be circumvented if a location requires it, and you must pay the fee or else your shipment will not be delivered. Working with a broker will smooth out the shipping process for distribution centers and warehouses, so make sure you pick an amazing broker. *cough cough* FreightPROS *cough* For more helpful information on freight shipping, check out our helpful collection of Freight Papers available for FREE download, as well as our Beginner’s Guide to Freight Shipping.
residential freight services

Residential Delivery: LTL Residential Freight Services

residential freight services   Getting freight picked up from or delivered to a residence is different when shipping LTL than when you’re shipping small package with UPS or Amazon. Part of this has to do with the size of most LTL freight shipments. LTL shipments are rarely a cardboard box that can be left on a doorstep. More often than not they are palletized and weigh over 100lbs. The second has to do with the size of the truck delivering or picking up the freight. Residential streets are often small and not equipped to accommodate a semi-truck.

25 Genius Tips to Save You Money on Your Freight Shipping

Because of these LTL shipping aspects, if you need something picked up from or delivered to a residence you’ll need to pay the additional services fee for LTL Residential Delivery or Residential Pickup. All freight carriers are different, so check with your freight broker for pricing. Unfortunately one charge does not cover both pickup and residential delivery. As pickup will be handled by one terminal, and delivery handled by another terminal (and sometimes even a different carrier due to interlining) residential delivery is a separate charge from residential pickup.

You Will Need a Liftgate

The other thing to keep in mind for residential freight services is that you’ll probably need a Liftgate for both pickup and residential delivery. LTL carriers are not moving companies, so they will not take freight to the front door. If you’re having freight picked up at a residence you’ll need to have the freight palletized and on the street so the driver can easily get the freight on to the truck. Unless you have a forklift or the freight is small, you’ll need a liftgate to help get the freight on or off the back of the truck. Some carriers do not charge for liftgate fees and some do, however if you are charged for a liftgate you’ll need one for both pickup and residential delivery.

Residential Pickups/Delivery Fees

If you are having LTL freight delivered to a residence, make sure that you’ve selected the Residential Delivery additional service, as well as a Destination Liftgate. When creating the BOL, make sure you put the street address and contact information for the resident in the Special Instructions where it’s clearly visible and legible. The carrier will need to call and make a delivery appointment with the resident, and without correct contact information delivery delays can occur.

Freight Paper – Instructions for Receiving an LTL Shipment

Standard protocol for LTL shipping is business to business and dock to dock. This does not mean that they can’t deliver or pick up from a residence, it just means that you’ll need to pay for some additional services and make sure you have all the necessary contact information on the BOL used at the time of pickup. Residential Delivery / Residential freight services in LTL shipping are not things you should be afraid of, and a few simple steps will go a long way to ensuring your freight moves successfully.
LTL Residential Deliveries
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how to ship furniture

How To Ship Furniture: Pros & Cons of Using LTL vs Moving Companies

how to ship furniture
How to Ship Furniture LTL
There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are looking at how to ship furniture, and it’s important to identify the details of furniture shipping using the less-than-truckload method sooner rather than later. There are numerous professional moving companies offering white glove service that can be hired to package your furniture, take it up or down stairs, and much more. This isn’t a blog about that. This is a blog detailing the pros and cons of shipping furniture via LTL vs employing a moving company. The most common form of furniture shipping in LTL is the shipping of single pieces. Nobody wants to hire a full moving company to ship one chair. You can save time and money by packaging your furniture, securing it to a standard pallet, and having the LTL carrier come pick it up from you driveway. There is no reason to make an appointment with a moving van and movers, for one small piece of furniture. It’s important to note that you don’t have to ship just one piece of furniture per pallet, or that you can only have one pallet per shipment. A standard LTL shipment can usually hold up to 6 pallets before you have to venture into the world of volume shipping quotes, so if you have multiple pieces of furniture going to the same location, feel free to package them together. And now the explicit question: how to ship furniture via LTL. First, you need to package the shipment. Correct packaging of a shipment will help prevent damage during transit. Depending on the fragility of the item, you can wrap it in blankets or other secure material, place it in a box or crate, and if possible, secure the box to a pallet. The pallet makes it easier for the carrier to maneuver it from one terminal to another (if you need a primer on the basics of LTL, download our Beginner’s Guide to Freight Shipping). If you are shipping from a residence or place without a freight dock, you’ll need to get the furniture to the street. We suggest working with a freight broker in this instance, as they can help with residential services and help you avoid unwarranted additional fees, outside of your initial freight quote. It’s also important, depending on the value of the shipment, to consider freight insurance. This will cost a little extra, but if your furniture is valuable, it can be worth it in the case of loss or damage. When it comes to how to ship furniture, keep in mind that LTL is not the best way for certain pieces. If your furniture is particularly fragile or expensive, you should hire a professional furniture shipping service. Good packaging can go a long way in protecting furniture, but an LTL shipment will be moved on and off trucks and docks multiple times. Keep that in mind when you’re determining the best way to move your furniture. The good news is that LTL furniture shipping can oftentimes save you money. If a single scratch would ruin your furniture, don’t ship it LTL. That’s too risky. But if you’re moving something a bit sturdier, contact a freight broker, and see if it’s worth it to get an LTL quote to ship your stuff.
CC image courtesy bfi Business Furniture Inc. via Flickr

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