Determining your freight class is just the first step in preparing your shipment for your LTL carriers. Through proper preparation, you can prevent bottlenecks, save money, and ensure that your freight reaches its destination on time and without sustaining any damages.
Make sure you have your shipment documentation on hand. Documentation mainly comprises the bill of lading, which acts as a contract between you and your carrier. It should also provide all the information that the carrier, the driver, and any workers down the line will need to process and invoice the freight. A typical bill of lading includes:
- Name and information of the recipient
- Date of the shipment
- Description of the type of packaging
- Description of the goods being shipped
- Number of units getting shipped
- Freight class
- Estimated value
Your shipment should also be loaded onto pallets or crates before pick up. Place lighter items on top of heavier items and include at least one label on every unit to prevent any potential losses. Use appropriate labels for any items that are fragile, hazardous, or otherwise require special care. Remember that the LTL shipping process often means that freight will be handled several times throughout the journey. Providing a proper label can prevent damages and help give workers and drivers a better idea of how to move shipments.
Once you have your shipment ready, your LTL carrier can pick your freight up and send it on its journey. You should have the bill of lading and all the necessary information in hand when the carrier arrives. Keep in mind that LTL carriers do not have the luxury of long loading windows. Where full truckload carriers will often allow a two-hour window to load goods, LTL carriers are not required to wait. If your shipment is not ready, LTL carriers will leave and come back the next day, which adds an extra delay to the delivery time and usually leads to a second-day pick-up fee.
Flock Freight is dedicated to changing the LTL shipping experience for small- to medium-sized businesses. We provide more affordable rates while increasing safety and security so businesses don’t have to worry about their goods getting damaged.