5 Ways To Optimize Your LTL Shipping
What business wouldn’t want to save time or money? Whether you’re in a pickle or just want to stay ahead of the curve, optimizing your operations is a good move. And in the world of shipping, you can get fewer headaches, more efficiencies, and big results in your pocketbook when you optimize your LTL shipping.
Less-than truckload shipping can be complex. You need to plan for efficiency if you want to get ahead. Take a hard look at your LTL and you’ll uncover plenty of easy wins—which won’t require hefty changes to your manufacturing process or your product design.
Don’t waste your hard-earned cash! If you ship LTL, try these 5 easy wins.
1. Have a plan for damaged shipments
Damaged freight doesn’t just cost you money; it takes a lot of time processing freight claims. Damages are bound to happen when you ship freight, and that’s why LTL shippers need to have a plan for damages. After all, you don’t want to be caught off-guard when a carrier loses 3 pallets!
Follow these steps to quickly deal with damaged freight and go through the claims process without the delays:
- Know your carrier’s insurance policies. They may offer coverage for the damages.
- Always package your freight correctly. If damage happens because you didn’t pack a shipment correctly, your claim probably won’t be approved by the insurance company.
- Inspect before you sign. Don’t sign a thing until you’ve inspected the freight! If you sign and later find damage, it’s really hard to cover that loss.
- Take photos: Always take photos of your freight, especially if it’s damaged.
Of course, if you want to save time dealing with damages, you could always opt for a service like FlockDirect. We provide damage-free, on-time delivery. Plus, we insure your freight for up to $100,000.
2. Choose the right LTL freight class
Nothing causes more headaches than choosing the wrong freight class.
Freight class is used to estimate the cost of shipping goods, based on NMFC guidelines. There are 18 freight classes in total, with codes ranging from 50 to 500. Your shipment’s freight class is decided by the freight’s:
- Ease of handling
The lower the freight class, the cheaper it is to ship the freight. But you can’t choose a lower freight class because you want to save money; you have to play by the rules. Avoid fees and hassles down the road. Don’t overlook the importance of freight class or it’ll cost you time and money.
3. Check your documentation
Documentation will make or break your operations. Always check out these documents so you’re optimizing LTL freight.
- Bill of lading: This legally-binding document details the contents of your freight and includes instructions for handling. Fail to include the right instructions and your carrier may accidentally damage the freight.
- Invoices: Never pay an invoice blindly; always check your payment terms, fees, and agreements. Who knows? You might be paying for an unnecessary processing fee. Always know what you’re paying for.
- Contracts: Check the language in your carrier contracts. Make sure you’re covered when it comes to pricing, timelines, and liability. Don’t be afraid to renegotiate terms of the contract to benefit your shipping needs, either. If you work with one carrier regularly, they’re often willing to give you better terms.
4. Combine forces with another shipper
Through our FlockDirect service, Flock Freight has become the first digital freight provider to guarantee shared truckload (STL) shipping. STL service combines LTL shipments from multiple shippers on one truckload and arranges them in last-in, first-out (LIFO) order, meaning the truck driver doesn’t need to rearrange, trans-load, or cross-dock your freight before delivery. This virtually eliminates the risk of damage inherent to standard hub-and-spoke LTL shipping, saving shippers money and wasted resources. Additionally, FlockDirect taps into the TL market (typically inaccessible to LTL shippers) to move STL shipments, allowing us to provide truckload-quality service for thousands of Flock Freight customers.
If you’re sick of shipping a handful of pallets for exorbitant costs, Flock Freight will help you keep money in your pocket with shared truckload service.
5. Use a TMS
You’re probably using data to track your sales and inventory. Are you using it to monitor your freight shipping? A transportation management system (TMS) does this for you.
It’s a system that streamlines your LTL shipping to cut down on lag time and save money in the process. Choose the appropriate freight class, compare freight carriers, manage orders, and a lot more through your TMS.
LTL done well
LTL freight has a lot of moving parts. Get ahead on your LTL shipping with these 5 quick methods to optimize your freight for lower costs, improved delivery times, and fewer headaches.