How to Improve your LTL rates

How to improve your LTL carrier rates when booking with The Shipping Emporium.

Provide an accurate and complete bill of lading or if we provide the Bill of Lading (BOL) provide us all of the information needed for your Bill of Lading, full addresses, all services needed, and very accurate description of what is shipping including weight per pallet or crate, and dimensions in length x width x height per each.

Carriers will continue to increase the number of bills that are audited and corrected. That’s because many are not done correctly the first time.

It sounds simple, but accurate freight billing is hard to do, but is worth the extra time.

Carriers audit your freight compared to your Bill of Lading (BOL) and weigh and measure also.

Giving carriers as much information as possible about one’s freight will get a shipper his best price. If a shipper has all this data, he says, it will also help shop the business around and get the best rate in each lane.

Here is a List of suggestions to improve your LTL shipping process including your rates.

1. Weigh your shipment accurately the first time
Carriers re-weigh about 80 percent of shipments today because there are so many inaccuracies. Correcting the customer’s mistake increases expenses and makes load planning less accurate and efficient for the LTL carriers. The LTL industry still relies on the honor system—resulting in changes to your bill when your pallets’ weight and/ or dimensions are different than what you enter when quoting.

Keep in mind, in this era where everything is automated and measured, that all LTL Carriers weigh, measure and inspect your freight. For the pickup and delivery locations, they are search in Maps to see if the Locations Are Residential or Limited Access location, that incur extra time for pick-up and Delivery. Please include Limited Access on your Bill of Lading request for any pick-ups that are- Storage Units, Schools/ Universities, Military or Government locations, Police Departments, or Prisons.

Some shippers give you a right weight for every shipment. Then there are those who give you incorrect shipment for every shipment. And the mistakes are not usually intentional. You need to give your best estimate every time for not only each pallet’s weights but each pallet’s dimensions. There are no “standard pallet sizes” they do vary a lot.

2.  Package and secure your freight properly
When carriers have to re-shrink-wrap a pallet or take extra steps to handle improperly packaged freight, it increases the expense of handling that account. This is mainly an issue for customers with shipments that aren’t traditional pallets.

Please do not ship any items loose unless it’s a Full Truckload (dedicated van) and with prior approval.

Today, palletized freight can make up as much as 70 percent of all LTL shipments, and they tend to be boxes on a pallet, which often moves at the best rate. Shippers should take advantage of these bargain rates by shipping more freight on secured pallets, experts say, to avoid the chance of having to file a cargo claim.

It’s an issue for carriers because they don’t want to damage this freight or other freight they’re hauling. Nobody wants a cargo claim, and taking the time to secure your freight can help.

3.  Accessorial charges
Through sophisticated technology, LTL carriers are exponentially improving their understanding of customers and products. Through increasing use of these analytics, carriers will adjust the minimum prices that they will accept based on the costs of handling that customer’s goods.

The LTL industry has been late in coming to the accessorial game, but they are trying to catch up to the parcel giants in these regard. UPS’s small package unit has some 45 accessorial charges for everything from home delivery to Saturday service. The LTL industry has perhaps as many as 15 such charges for thing such as residential service, liftgates, appointments, and inside delivery.

Experts say that the LTL industry needs more incentives for shippers to avoid these charges. And they need to put some teeth in the accessorials they do have.

Know your ABCs

The basic lesson for shippers: Make your freight as carrier-friendly and cost-efficient to handle and process as possible. Those who do will get the best rates and will be slotted first in line for capacity as it tightens.