Not every single truckload will be full, but many companies that ship less-than-load (LTL) shipments are finding that costs are rising and it’s harder and harder to find ways to keep costs down and maintain the margins. What not everyone knows is that you don’t necessarily have to accept the increase in rates year after year or overspend on your LTL shipments. There are ways that you can reduce costs even when you don’t need to ship a full truckload.
Perhaps the best way to save on LTL rates is to understand how they are calculated. If you aren’t sure what factors go into the calculation, talk to the shipping company to find out more. For starters, you will want to have an accurate measure of the weight, distance, shipping timeline, and density of your load. Then you’ll need to make sure you have the correct insurance to cover your shipment.
The most common mistake—and one that you can easily avoid—is choosing the wrong freight class. The cost of a shipment is determined by freight class, and selecting the incorrect freight class could be costing you a lot, either because you are paying extra for a higher-cost freight class when it’s not necessary, or because you end up paying fees and other costs when the shipper has to correct the freight class somewhere along the route.
LTL shipping is a great option for many loads, but it’s not the only way that you can ship items. For shipments that are close to 20,000 pounds, oversized freight, or items that fill up more than 5 pallets, there might be cost savings available with more specialized shipping methods. You may be able to lower your costs with truckload rates, or by using multiple carriers.
In addition to your shipping company, you may want to enlist the help of a transportation management system and/or a third-party logistics provider. These tools and partners can help you eliminate manual work, get rates and quotes from multiple carriers, analyze information and track activity, and get lower rates by taking advantages of the volume of a third-party logistics provider.
LTL freight costs might be going up, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it cut into your bottom line year after year. When you save on shipping costs, you can easily pass those savings along to your customers and offer more competitive prices, or you can add it to your profits and watch your company grow.