Are you efficient at less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping? If yes, how much? You can reduce your freight costs and interval right from your own docks. The following are ten tips to increase your LTL efficiency for a logistics solutions provider.
1. Precise information is fundamental. Know the amount of weight you may have to ship and the number of pallets through which your product may have to be moved. When you have this information you can save money and stay ahead of your competitors.
2. Make sure that you ship from regions that are close to main metropolitan areas. Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles have a significant number of LTL trucking firms and depots.
3. Utilize third parties. When you ship from several locations, it helps save you time and money. Brokers generally use free trucking companies, which often have room for additional freight to fill up their trailers. Savings will normally be offered on this available space.
4. Flexibility will allow you to give your carrier more time to ship your products and will help you save even more money.
5. Maximize your pallets. If you are able to merge your products onto fewer pallets without losing integrity you can, more often than not, save money.
6. Merge multiple orders going to the same location at the same time. Brokers can save money when they ship multiple orders to the same location even if it cannot be done under one Bill of Lading. Common carriers customarily bill their customers on every BOL, even if the freight is intended for the same destination.
7. Do not lazily permit yearly rate increases from your regular carriers. When rate step-ups are inescapable, make an effort to set them off by reclassifying your commodities to a smaller National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) class such as freight-all-kinds (FAK).
8. Know who the carriers and agents are who handle your consignments. Most LTL carriers do not offer service throughout the country, so be sure that you know the agents and that they know you.
9. Have your freight set up before the driver's arrival and, if feasible, dedicate one or more docks to LTL pickups and deliveries. Also, try to coordinate a pickup plan with your LTL supplier to eliminate delays.
10. Take time to gather knowledge about the industry and keep apprised of changes. Be aware of the latest acquisitions, mergers, and closings, since these situations can radically change your service and price.