LTL Shipments refer to “Less than Truck Load” Shipments. They represent small freight shipments to and from different locations. The basic principle of LTL Shipments is to save money. With LTL, you don’t need to hire an entire truck and the cost can be split with other companies.
However, although 2016 kept LTL prices from dropping and freight volumes are expected to rise this year, the LTL sector needs to brace itself for some change. Considering that fuel costs probably won’t change and LTL pricing is also expected to rise in 2017, then shippers need alternatives to cutting costs. Therefore, there are several factors that LTL shippers need to consider in order to save money. So we devised a neat list to help LTL shippers save money on their shipments this year.
How to Save Money on LTL Shipments
Shippers should know that carriers are measuring accurately by using “dimension machines” and “forklift scales”. Especially, while weighing pallets. That means shippers are expected to pay extra if their documentation doesn’t match with the actual weight and measurements of the pallets. This goes for any other weight as well as for freight occupying more space than expected.
A statistic by uShip stated that about 30% of freight invoices have some type of weight, dimensions, class, or cubic feet correction. So cross checking the measurements and weight of shipments is a must in order to cut oversight costs.
Many shippers concentrate on discount rates because they think they’re the best deals. While 3PLs focus on net rates over discounts and base rates.
Therefore, shippers should opt for carriers that charge reasonable and low pricing for freight transportation. For example, FedEx has prepared two types of cardboard boxes. The first box fits on a pallet, while the other smaller in-built box includes a pallet. Regardless, FedEx charges flat-rates based on delivery zones.
It is very important to know the price policies of carriers because they tell you what they like to do and what they don’t like to do. For instance, its better to opt for freight classification as most carriers implement it. There’s a classification called “Freight All Kinds” or FAK that provides a rate structure to the shipper while charging customers for the shipping rates.
Shippers should ensure that proper packaging is used to cut expenses related to claims and shipping fees. Many people working in shipping rooms don’t shrink wrap freight all the way up to the edge of the pallet. This can result in slides and damages, which delays delivery and creates additional expenses for claims.
We suggest you buy high value carrier insurance coverage separately. Some freight carrier rates are so high that they don’t even cover the proper insurance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Shippers should use a protective layer to cover fragile products and stack them in columns, rather than a pyramid. Pyramid stacking actually consumes volume efficiency and the space left above the pallet will succumb an additional and unnecessary charge.
Its advisable to pack products as densely as possible, leaving less space between the cartons. Additional fees are charged for any extra space, especially when cartons extend past the edge of the pallet. Also, make sure to strap them and use stretch wrap to avoid shifting. Palletizing efficiently can reduce freight damage and strengthen a box’s compression.
Selecting an appropriate carrier is ideal because some provide national service, while others are regional. Some carriers do next day delivery, while others take an extra day to deliver for minimal charges. Hence, selecting a carrier based on their services can ultimately lead to huge savings for LTL shippers.
In order to reduce costs and emissions shippers should consider freight consolidation. Logistics Plus recommended centralized shipping decision-making to help a new client load from multiple locations. Its also advised to form a alliance with local companies to deliver freight to the same location, sort of like a distribution center. This is a perfect way to cut down transit time, costs and handling charges.
Consolidating LTL shipments into full truckloads also helps companies decrease transportation costs and inventory, while maintaining consistency. Although LTL already saves money, load consolidation saves moneys as well by improving truckload utilization and using less expensive rates. Inbound Logistics released a statistic that said companies can reduce transportation costs by 20-35% simply from converting LTL shipments to truckload shipments. So its something worth considering.
Technology plays a vital role in improving LTL processes. Plus, implementation can be simple and cost-effective. Many small companies use single-person shipping departments, receptionists and administrative assistants, which is great. However, they lack the knowledge and training necessary to access good decision making information. Using technology helps shippers choose the appropriate carrier, compare rates, invoice clients and so on.
Transportation management software (TMS) can offer data integrity, auto GL coding, real-time shipment visibility and automation among other benefits that reduce freight expenses and administrative costs.
BoxOn Logistics, for example, is a technology that’s on its way to improving the shipping and transportation industry. It’s a complete, end-to-end software for P.O. Box, Freight Forwarders and other Logistics providers meant to create a technology platform that mirrors your business needs and makes your business far more efficient and profitable.
Try a FREE BOXON DEMO or Contact BoxOn Logistics at firstname.lastname@example.org