As a busy business owner or logistics manager, it can be easy to get into the habit of crossing things off your list without paying close attention to the details. But if you fall into this routine with your freight shipments, you could be costing yourself money. Break the habit and use these five excellent tactics to avoid overpaying for freight shipping.
Bill of Lading (BOL) Audit
When getting your shipments from point A to point B, your pallet count, cargo weight, product quantity, and freight class help to determine the costs you will pay to your LTL carrier. But sometimes the actual shipment numbers and the figures reported on your shipping documents don’t match up. Perhaps less product went out than was quoted, or someone accidentally transposed two numbers as they entered your load information into the computer.
If you get into the habit of auditing your bill of lading before your shipment leaves the warehouse and after you receive your final bill, you may catch errors that save you big money.
Another way to reduce freight costs is to optimize your packaging for your products. Bulky boxes and containers take up more space on an LTL truck.
Look at your packaging and try to get rid of what is not needed while still keeping your product safe and sound with proper padding. Try to package your product in square boxes that can be easily stacked to avoid wasting cargo space. Not only will you be able to fit more product on to each pallet, but you’ll save time on loading and unloading, which can also lead to cost savings for you.
LTL carriers all have down times when they have little transportation work available. Shifting your shipping schedule to include off-peak days and hours will allow your freight shipping partner to manage their schedule better. It will also help them obtain work during slow periods. As a thank you for booking off-peak, your shipping partner may offer shipping discounts and more personalized service.
It may not have occurred to you to consider a night pickup, but if you have staff available and a willing carrier, it can be an easy way to save money. By requesting a night pickup, sometimes you can score a spot on a truck en route to your destination that has already made a few deliveries.
This is an especially good tactic if you need rush shipping because you’re more likely to be able to secure a same-day pickup. Also, because night hauls help LTL carriers free up busy hours and allow them to have more productive runs, you often enjoy reduced rates.
Early Bird Discounts
If you need an emergency pickup, you can expect to pay an arm and a leg for it. But, if you can stretch out your lead times and give your freight shipper advance notice, you may be able to save a significant amount of money on your LTL shipping.
Advanced notice makes it easier for your LTL shipper to fit your package runs into their transportation plans. This allows their trucks to move out at a more steady, controlled pace. Because of this, some LTL shipping companies offer reduced rates for shippers who book pickups days ahead of schedule.
Use these quick and easy tips to reduce freight shipping costs and enjoy your extra cash flow!