Best practices for LTL shipping

David Weakly

By David Weakly Business Development at King Solutions

pen and compass on padThe best practices for LTL shipping revolve around three key factors:

  1. Knowing when to send LTL shipments
  2. Understanding freight classifications
  3. Using multiple carriers to find the best shipping service

When combined, these practices will allow shippers to fully enjoy the benefits that LTL shipments can bring to a business.

Knowing when to use LTL shipping
Always sending out a full truckload (FT) can save a business money. Fewer shipments equal lower logistics costs. But this leaves shippers in a vulnerable position because it makes them inflexible. Always waiting for a truck to fill up before sending out a shipment means that shipping times will be increased across the board.

Understanding when to mix in LTL shipments is the key to using them effectively. Sending out an LTL shipment depends upon a few factors:

  • The carrier’s final destination
  • If additional stops can be effectively added into the route
  • How fast the freight needs to get to its destination
  • The size of the shipment
  • Any budgetary restrictions

Generally, LTL is best reserved for high-volume shipments that need to be carried to a destination quickly. Freight that is not entirely time sensitive can usually be consolidated into full truckloads.

Understanding freight classifications
When deciding between LTL and FT shipments, it’s important to watch out for freight dimensions, weight and NMFC classifications. Carriers factor weight and dimensions of freight into their LTL rates, so this will play a large part in deciding upon a logistics budget that fits with your company’s goals.

Any cargo that is considered oversized or abnormally-shaped will also determine whether or not it can be sent via LTL. Because of its size, shape or classification, some freight cannot be shipped in conjunction with other items, and needs to be on a separate shipment.

Watch out for tariffs
When working with multiple carriers, it can be troublesome to stay on top of the costs and fees associated with shipping freight. Carriers often change their tariffs based on the latest freight classifications, and these will factor into the prices they charge to deliver LTL shipments. They are not required to publish these tariffs, but the law says that they must provide them to shippers who request them.

Keeping up with these rates will allow you to avoid any surprises on your LTL freight bills.

Work with the right 3PL
When it comes to LTL shipments, there is a lot to keep track of, especially if you use multiple carriers. That’s why it is important to find the right partner in your industry, one that has a network of trusted carriers to handle any and all shipping requests. At King Solutions, we have a comprehensive network of logistics professionals, from warehouses to truck drivers, who help us do what it best for our clients. Contact our team today to find out how we can help you save on your LTL shipments.