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LTL freight tips to improve your shipping process

12.30.2019 | By Todd LaFond | 5 min. read

Tips to improve your LTL shipping process

In the LTL trucking and shipping industry, efficiency is key. The fewer bumps in the proverbial road that you have to navigate, the greater your return on investment will be with every shipment.

Even the most experienced LTL shipper can find ways to optimize their processes, from packing all the way to pickup. Here are some easy-to-do tips to improve the efficiency of your LTL shipping processes.

Embrace automation

Without exacerbating concerns of robots taking over the world, it’s a simple fact that automation speeds up LTL shipping considerably. Large companies stand to benefit the most from automated processes—using everything from moving conveyors to labeling machines can get your freight out the door faster and at less cost. Though some small businesses may not yet be at the volume that requires significant automation, there are still small things you can do to take the pressure off of your employees.

Think about the parts of your shipping prep routine that take a good amount of time, and figure out whether your industry has tools that can help you complete those tasks faster. From machines that stretch-wrap your freight for you after loading it onto a pallet, to software that remembers and auto-fills the weight and dimensions of your most frequently shipped items, there are myriad ways to automate your processes and save time. This frees up your employees to concentrate on higher-leverage tasks.

Get organized

From warehouse storage to packing and assembly to staging areas, how well you’re organized directly affects the ease and efficiency of your LTL shipping process. One easy way to do this is with product grouping—sorting and shipping items of similar freight classes together. Doing this helps erase some of the risks of claiming multiple freight classes in a shipment, such as reclass fees or even outright rejection of your delivery.

Another organization tip: Before your freight is picked up for transit, have it ready to go and staged in a logical way. The faster the carrier gets your items loaded in the truck, the faster they arrive at their final destination… alleviating any concerns of late delivery fees.

Understand & determine your accessorials

Perhaps the most commonly unforeseen—and entirely preventable—added costs that an LTL freight company faces are accessorial charges. These fees are tacked onto your bill for any extra services that a carrier provides during shipment. If you don’t know ahead of time that you’ll need some of these services, you’ll receive an unwelcome surprise when it comes time to pay for delivery.

To maximize your LTL shipment’s efficiency, always plan out what extra services or equipment your freight will need to safely travel from your warehouse to its final destination. When your carrier knows ahead of time what they’ll need to provide for transit, everything moves much more smoothly, and you’ll already know the full cost of delivery before booking your shipment.

Outsource your logistics management

One of the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of LTL freight is the end-to-end management of the shipping process. From finding the right carrier, to booking at a fair price, to accurately creating your bill of lading, there are a number of components that an experienced freight broker can handle for you, relieving you of the hassle and allowing you to concentrate on your products. That’s where Flock Freight® comes in!

A broker like Flock Freight will have established relationships with vetted carriers who work specifically with your freight classes. Our Flock Platform helps you quote and book quickly at the most competitive prices, and lets you determine all required accessorials at the outset for full transparency. 

For maximum efficiency, book FlockDirect™️. Our cutting-edge algorithm matches your LTL shipment to the right carrier and route that delivers your freight via full truckload service. Shared truckload pools multiple shipments moving in the same direction onto one multi-stop load. Your shipment skips the hub-and-spoke terminals and instead travels directly to its destination.

Quote your next shipment with FlockDirect today, and experience the Flock Freight difference.