If you’re making any of these mistakes don’t fret; we’re going to teach you how to avoid simple mistakes when shipping LTL. Take this Freight Paper as a handy checklist the next time you’re getting ready to move freight via LTL. As always, don’t hesitate to contact our FreightPros with additional questions or to get a Freight Quote.
Shipping is a billion dollar industry with a lot of moving pieces, and information to keep straight. A freight broker’s job is to be an expert in the freight industry. Freight brokers train for years, and are always learning to keep up with the ever-evolving industry. They have better contract rates with large, national carriers, and small, regional ones. These better contracts get you better quotes than you could get on your own. Brokers also know which carriers are better depending on shipping zone, not to mention transit times. In addition to saving you money, great freight brokers offer world-class customer service. They can help create BOLs, customize TMS, and track freight. They run reports to maximize freight shipping profits for their customers, and act as protectors for their customer’s freight. If you’re a regular freight shipper and you’re not using a broker, you’re leaving good money on the table.
While most freight carriers offer some insurance for the freight they transport, it’s often not enough to cover the entire value of your shipment, especially if your shipment is expensive. LTL shipping involves moving freight on and off trucks and docks all day, so there’s a lot of handling using forklifts and liftgates. This much movement means that bumps and bruises are bound to occur. If you’re shipping something on a low class, something that can get dinged and roughed up a bit, standard carrier insurance will probably be sufficient. But if you are worried about your freight getting there safely, get with your broker and get third party insurance. The cost of third party insurance often does not extend past $100 and can offer thousands of dollars of coverage. It is also easier to file damage claims and get prompt pay-outs using third party insurance. They are a company who specializes in freight and cargo insurance, as opposed to a standard freight carrier, who’s primary goal is to transport freight from terminal to terminal.
All transit times in LTL shipping are ESTIMATED transit times. What this means is that freight can be expected to deliver on Monday, but might not deliver until Wednesday. It might deliver on Tuesday. Freight Brokers can track freight and communicate with the carriers, but they cannot deliver freight that is in a different city or state because it’s been delayed. Estimated transit times are an industry standard, and one used to protect the carriers. It’s important to set reasonable expectations for LTL shipping. Delays will occur over weekends when carriers don’t
run, holidays when carriers shut down with the rest of us, and bad weather. Residential deliveries require a delivery appointment, so that adds another day of transit for delivered freight. Also keep in mind that the day freight is picked up is NOT INCLUDED in the freight’s estimated time of transit. If you have freight that absolutely must be delivered by a certain date, most carriers offer Guaranteed Shipments for an additional price. This means that if the freight does not deliver by the time agreed, the shipper will not be responsible for the charges. This is a useful tool that can be utilized, but it will up the cost to your shipment, so be prepared.
Individual boxes are not good for LTL shipping. Most of the time the carrier won’t pick them up, and even if they do, there is a good chance at least one of the loose boxes will separate from the pack, never to be seen from again. LTL shipping is not small package (UPS, Amazon, etc.). You’ll need to have your boxes wrapped together on a pallet. Use bundles for items that are too long to easily palletize, and crates for items that need further protection from possible damage. Don’t spread your freight shipments out; try to coagulate what you need to ship. The smaller your freight, the smaller the chance of loss or damage. Say no to individual boxes, and yes to standard-sized pallets.
In LTL shipping, carriers need a MINIMUM of two hours to schedule and make a pickup. Usually, this pickup occurs in the afternoon, as the morning is usually designated as a time for carrier deliveries. Now, there’s no guarantee that the freight will be picked up if you schedule the pickup with a two-hour heads up, but more time always helps the chances of a successful LTL pickup. Plan for the two-hour window. We can’t stress this enough: ABIDE THE TWO-HOUR PICKUP WINDOW!!! It will make your shipping life much easier.
For more information, contact us at www.FreightPros.com or 888-297-6968.
|Date:||June 23, 2015|