Booking “Special Need” Full Truckload Shipping or Advanced FTL Issues

Posted On 2nd May 2017

Any FTL shipment that is not dock to dock, or has special loading or unloads requirements, or has strict time deadlines for delivery would be regarded as a Special Need Full Truckload shipment.

Full Truck Load Expedited Shipping Service

Now in other parts of Logistics 101, we’ve talked about Expedited Shipping. The bottom line with urgent shipments is that you should consider paying for some kind of guarantee, or impose in writing - of course, disclosed in advance - some $/hour penalty for being late against the trucker. This is for full truckload shipments with contract carriers - you must make sure the Rate Confirmation from Broker to Carrier and the Bill of Lading clearly spell out the Late Penalties you wish to impose. Keep in mind that you can’t get below zero - no carrier will agree.

Special unload requirements can really hurt a broker’s (learn more about what is a freight broker in this article) ability to find a trucker willing or able to do precisely what you need.

For instance, there are hardly any FTL carriers out there that have lift gates installed on the back of their truck. So a Freight Buyer / Logistics Director narrows the pool of truckers considerably if that is a delivery or pickup requirement for a Full Truckload shipment. The Broker might even have to resort to booking a common carrier on the shipment which then makes your load subject to all the rules of the Common Carrier’s tariff, which is the size of a phone book.

Suffice it to say if they are late on the delivery - by weeks - you have very little legal recourse. So requiring a Lift Gate on a Full Truckload or even a large partial shipment narrows the pool of contract carriers / truckers available to perhaps zero or so few one will pay considerably more for the service - it will be less to rent a forklift at the destination. If a common carrier is booked it will reduce the Broker’s control over the carrier by reducing direct driver-Broker communication, and subject your freight to transfer and damage risk.

Another type of restriction on a full truckload move that would make it a “special needs” move is a full load going to a grocery or large retail big box warehouse that requires either the driver to unload or for the driver to hire “Lumpers.” Often this is a surprise as an inexperienced freight payer or wholesaler is not told that the grocery receiving company has a certain way they want the freight packed or stacked, or if they were told it was in a telephone book size document they did not read or buried in the small print of the Purchase Order they were so happy to get.

The driver often has to come up with cash for these extra services and if he does not have it, if you as the freight payer did not mention this requirement up front, he may lose his place in the delivery schedule which could mean he is not unloaded for days. It is best for sellers to arrange direct billing in advance from these “lumping (unload) services) if that is an option.

Use our Calculator to get your FTL rates

The Automated Full Truckload or FTL Calculator can price for you dock to dock shipments with normal transit times - one can only use it as a baseline if there are special requirements such as Expedited Team Drivers needed, Lift Gates required, Temperature Control Required, extra days of storage required before delivery, Driver Pulloff of freight required with a pallet jack, Driver Unload Required, Overweight shipment permit required, hazardous permit for shipping and placards necessary, high-value cargo over $100,000 being hauled, or any other special business requirements you have.

If you are a Logistics Director, Traffic Manager, Purchasing Manager, or CFO, the Automated FTL tool can easily be used to quickly determine if you are getting good pricing to move your freight.

If you are paying more, it could be that your specific requirements are burdensome or more work for a trucker or it could be you are just paying too much - it happens a lot. If you are paying less, it could be that your staff is doing a great job buying and has made it super easy for carriers (local freight companies or national) and brokers to want to do business with them.

In any case, FreightRun can do a more in-depth review of all your pricing at no charge - contact us and we can show you how automation can help streamline and rationalize your logistics operations.