Curious about how to optimize your LTL shipping or just getting started? We have something for you! It’s important to note that optimization is not just about saving money, is the combination of processes and mechanisms that will help you to increase the percentage of on-time deliveries, reduce the number of extra costs, increase productivity, minimize errors, and make your logistics more intelligent and efficient. In this blog you will learn 8 tips provided by experts, so you can optimize your LTL shipping.

1. Educate Yourself

Investing time in learning is one of the most important points. LTL has various accessorial, restrictions, and service modes; therefore, it is important to know all the distinctions to have a better understanding of this service and get the best out of it. 

High knowledge of this service will help you optimize your supply chain, reduce problems on the road and keep your budget and profit margins as expected.   

If you want to go deeper into this service and have a better understanding of it, you can check our Ultimate Guide to LTL Shipping and learn all the information you need to become an LTL expert.

2. Understand your Specific Needs

Having expectations clear will help you choose the right services that meet your needs. This must be a priority when selecting the proper Carrier and service. Not always the lower-priced is the best option if expectations are not being met. 

To pick the correct shipping carrier you should consider factors such as:

  • Safety.
  • Reliability.
  • Customer service.
  • Geographic coverage. 
  • Type of service. 
  • Transit times.
  • Additional services.

Do not rush to decide. Take the time to think about each option and service according to your specific needs.   

3. Be Aware of all Cargo Details

It is important to have the correct, complete, and accurate information when quoting to avoid additional fees.   

  • Dimensions. 
  • Weight.
  • Volume.
  • Class of freight.
  • Commodity type.

The BOL (Bill of Lading) is proof of shipment, is an authoritative report that gives the driver and the carrier all the details. As a recommendation, it is a good practice to have proof of confirmed shipment weights and measures. It could be a photo on your company’s scale. This can help you minimize the risk of incurring extra costs.   

4. Take Advantage of Technology

A TMS (Transportation Management System) will help you organize all the information in one place, it brings the possibility of planning, executing, and optimizing the logistics and administrative tasks. This tool will reduce the time and resources you need to arrange and finalize any LTL shipment.  
 
Having the possibility to use a Transportation management system would bring you many benefits such as:

  •  Learn more from your shipments through important data analysis.
  • Save time thanks to an automated process.
  • Diversify your network of carriers.
  • Have more exact data in the entire shipping operation.
  • Increase your supply chain efficiency and productivity.

5. Be Flexible

Being open to changes and agile to operate is important during the entire process. If you identify possible modifications or solutions that might benefit you or help you reduce costs, you must be willing to change course. Your shipment might result in delays that cannot be handled or predicted. That is why you make sure your entire supply chain is aware of every possibility. If you have urgent shipments is better if you choose expedited or guaranteed services to have your freight delivered on time.

6. Pack Freight Properly

Organizing freight correctly is particularly important. This includes proper packaging and labeling since they are the way to guarantee that the freight arrives in perfect condition and without any damage.

Before packing loads is necessary to identify which material is best suited for your freight. You can go to the NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) and read about every specification, rule, and requirement.

Learn everything about packaging and labeling in our Ultimate Guide to LTL Shipping.

7. Select the Right Carrier

It is important to measure carriers’ performance and understand in which area they are being more efficient, to compare them with your needs as a shipper and the needs of the cargo. 
If you are interested in analyzing more in detail the performance of top carriers across the country and increasing your percentage of on-time deliveries, check our “Pick-up Forecast Tool”. Improve your productivity and make your logistics even more efficient.

8. Find the Right Partner for Your Logistic Needs

Having the right support from a 3PL will bring you a lot of benefits and will help you optimize your LTL process. Additionally, you will have the possibility to access a wide network of carriers, have the technology you need, and have a constant backup in all situations.

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To conclude, learning about this service must be a constant cycle. It’s necessary that you constantly focus on improving your LTL freight strategy. By following these practices in an effective way, you will get the best out of this service and have an optimal, more intelligent, and much more cost-effective solution.