Did you know that trucks move more than 72% of freight by weight in the United States? America’s supply chain would be nothing without trucks to take products across the country. If you’re looking to ship your products using trucks, you might be wondering where you should start.
LTL shipments might be your best bet. Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments are ideal if your products can’t fill up the whole truck. Instead of paying for the empty space inside the truck, you only have to pay for the space your products take up.
But you may still pay unnecessary fees if you don’t optimize your shipments. What should you do to minimize shipping costs? What should you avoid?
Keep reading and learn more about how you can save money with your LTL carriers.
Make Sure the Freight Is Packed Properly
LTL shipping is unique because it doesn’t fill up an entire trailer. It instead filled up a portion of the trailer. This is ideal if your shipment isn’t very large.
This type of freight often isn’t very heavy either. It may weigh between 150 and 15,000 pounds. You only pay for the portion of the trailer that your freight is taking up.
Does this mean that the rest of the trailer is empty once it gets shipped out? Not at all! Other shippers put their freight into the unoccupied space and pay for their portions.
This ensures that the trailer gets filled, but you don’t have to pay for the whole thing. This is much more affordable and efficient compared to traditional shipping trailers. This is because traditional shipping trailers require you to pay for the whole trailer regardless of whether you fill it or not.
LTL shipping naturally saves you money, but there are other things you can do to save more. One of the best things you can do is make sure that the freight is packed properly. The less space your freight takes up in the trailer, the less you’ll have to pay.
This is why you mustn’t let your freight be splayed all over the place inside the trailer. It should be as compact as possible. Stacking pallets over each other is a great way to accomplish this.
This ensures that your shipment takes up a lesser amount of horizontal space inside the trailer. Other shippers can use this extra space for their freight. But don’t let space be the only thing that determines how your freight should be packed.
You also have to think about safety. If your freight isn’t stacked correctly, there is a chance that it could fall over once the truck starts moving. This could damage or destroy whatever you’re trying to ship.
This would be a lot of lost money and freight that you would have to replace. This is why you should balance safety with efficiency when packing your freight into an LTL trailer.
Select the Perfect Carrier for Your Freight
You won’t get far with your money-saving ventures if you don’t choose the right carrier for your freight. There are many carriers out there, but few are ideal for saving money. This is why you have to do your research before choosing one.
If you choose a carrier at random, you’ll most likely have a bad time. This is because there are many low-quality carriers out there that won’t do much to help you optimize your loads. Besides shipping costs, you also have to think about base rates and other fees that may pop up.
You also have to think about the carrier’s performance. Every carrier is unique. Some have better reputations than others. The last thing you want to do is accidentally choose a carrier that makes your shipping ventures less efficient or more expensive.
If you research different freight carriers before you choose, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding these problems. Look for the best carriers in your area and check what kind of freight they carry.
Check that a carrier offers LTL shipping as well. Not all carriers do this. You might not have a choice but to pay for the whole trailer even if your freight doesn’t take up all the space.
Once you find carriers that offer LTL shipping, you can start narrowing down your choices. Look to see if there are any reviews from previous customers online. These can tell you a lot about the quality of the carrier.
What You Need to Know
Some reviewers might complain that the carrier broke much of their freight in transit due to careless transportation. Others might complain that the carrier took far too long to reach its destination. You never want to opt for a carrier that has many bad reviews.
This is a sure way to be yet another unhappy customer.
You’ll have better luck if you find a carrier with many positive reviews. These reviewers might love how fast the carrier transported their freight.
Others might like how affordable and efficient the carrier was. These reviews can help you narrow down your choices further. It will also help you weed out undesirable or inefficient options.
See if you can analyze the different features that the carriers have. You can sometimes find carriers that offer special features or services for transportation. Some might have a certain rate at which they pick up and drop off shipments.
You can then compare this rate with other carriers and see which one is faster. You can also check how many of that carrier’s shipments are on time. The more on-time shipments there are, the better.
This shows that the carrier has initiative and wants to deliver the best service to its customers. A carrier that is routinely late won’t be a good choice for you. Your freight may be time-sensitive, and it may become worthless if it isn’t delivered on time.
Late shipments also have a greater chance of becoming damaged while on the road. Make sure you choose the best carrier you can find. This will simplify the LTL shipping process.
It will also ensure that your freight remains in good shape and arrives as early as possible. You can save money when choosing the right carrier, too.
Optimize Your Trucking Logistics
Trucking logistics is all about making sure your freight gets to a location as efficiently as possible. You can also save on the shipping cost with the right logistics. Logistics focuses on the supply chain, how freight arrives at its destination, time management, and more.
It focuses on strategies for warehousing, shipping, packaging, distribution, and so on. Without any of this management, you’ll have a hard time getting your freight to where it needs to go. The freight may be more likely to get lost or damaged.
It may arrive several hours or days later than it was supposed to. Some freight may be confused with other freight and delivered to the wrong location. This can make shipping your freight a very stressful process.
This also makes it more likely that you will lose money during this process. This is not what you want to focus on when you’re trying to accomplish other things in your business. Losing too much money in the shipping process will cancel out much of the success you’ve made with your freight so far.
This is why you need to make sure that your trucking logistics are in good shape. If you routinely have problems with the freight shipping process, your logistics are likely not in good order. But once you upgrade them, you will notice the difference.
Logistics are great for optimizing every part of the trucking process. This is true for both LTL shipping and regular shipping. Logistics work through the supply chain and optimize distribution, shipping, production, and more.
Some logistics companies also pack and organize freight. This ensures that it is properly secured and doesn’t take up too much room in the truck trailer. Some logistics companies offer warehousing services, too.
How It Works
This is not always necessary if you ship very small portions of freight. If you have a small business, you might need to ship freight once in a while. This would make warehousing unnecessary.
But if you have a lot of freight that you don’t know what to do with, warehousing may be a great idea. Logistics offers a fantastic way to save money with your LTL shipping ventures. This is because it offers you a way to optimize the entire shipping process.
Instead of focusing on one aspect of the shipping process, logistics organization allows you to focus on the whole thing. This can minimize unexpected or inconvenient costs you might encounter during the process. Choosing the right logistics company will ensure that you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting.
The company will take care of everything for you. You can sit back and relax while you wait for your freight to arrive at its destination. This is great if you want to make the shipping process faster, more efficient, and more affordable.
Take Advantage of New Technology
New technology is coming out all the time that can help people optimize their shipping processes. A TMS (Transportation Management System) is a great thing to have. Without this kind of software, it might not be possible to keep track of your freight and see where it is or where it’s going.
You might have a guess or a late update of where your freight is, but not much more than that. You might also not have the resources to plan future shipments, think about administrative tasks and logistics, and so on. All of this would make your shipping process less efficient and more costly.
You are more likely to make expensive mistakes if you don’t have this process optimized. This is why more businesses are starting to use TMS software. This software can take care of anything you need.
It can keep track of logistics, improve shipping times, keep track of the cost, and more. Software is also great for data analysis. You can analyze the data of your last shipment and see how it did and what could be improved.
Analyzing Important Data
You can analyze the speed it took for the shipment to arrive. You can study what might have slowed the shipment down. You can check if the freight was damaged or had other issues along the way.
Being aware of this information allows you to improve the shipping process. You can find the root of common problems and prevent them from happening again. This is ideal for optimizing the LTL shipping process.
You can discover new ways to make shipments faster and more efficient. You can also discover new ways to save money while shipping your freight. You can learn more about network carriers, supply chain efficiency, and more.
The more you know about this process, the more power you have to optimize it. Once you optimize the shipping process, you will find that it’s easy to save more money than ever before. This ensures that you won’t lose any unnecessary funds during this process.
Your freight will be in good shape, too.
How to Optimize Your LTL Shipments
LTL shipments are great if you don’t have enough freight to fill up a trailer. You only have to pay for the space that your freight takes up. You can further optimize this process by choosing the right carrier and packing your freight properly.
Being aware of logistics and shipping data is important, too. Are you ready to start optimizing your shipping process? Check out the services we have and see how we can help.