LTL Tricks to Save Money

Posted On 4th January 2016

LTL Trick Tip #1 - Know Your Freight

If it turns out the dimensions or weight or NMFC code you provided are wrong, it can get VERY expensive VERY fast. Common carriers have increased the number of freight inspections they do by 300% in order to generate maximum revenue.

So carefully catalog and document what you ship - including measurements - so you can dispute any negative inspections with data, and to avoid such inspections in the first place. If you are not the shipper, but say the Purchasing Manager responsible for all incoming freight charges, demand such data in advance from your vendors so you can negotiate your rates most effectively.

LTL Trick Tip #2 - Find A Dependable Online Automated Freight Broker

Online Automated Brokers are revolutionary in transparency and competition. Every freight service option is available to you at your fingertips.

Common carriers, with their NMFC tariff-based pricing systems, are forced to compete against pallet carriers and contract carriers who don't care about your NMFC number. They only care about the weight of your freight, and the space it takes up on their truck. This is a terrific simplification of shipping! These new systems will lead to more rational pricing for all of us!

LTL Trick Tip #3 - Choose the right time to ship

Shipping costs can vary greatly depending on the time of year. Under normal circumstances, rates are lower during the fall and winter months. But if you're shipping around the holidays, rates will be higher. So if you have the flexibility, it's best to ship during the off-season.

LTL Trick Tip #4 - Carrier Reviews

Read online carrier reviews and contribute to them yourself. The information provided by your fellow shippers tends to be more legitimate than the "99% on-time delivery" claims by the carriers themselves. It might be OK for you to go with the least expensive carrier, if the reliability tradeoff is not prohibitive. Your peers can give you insight as to the risks of shipping with each carrier.

LTL Trick Tip #5 - Use the Spot Truck Market

Contact your favorite individual freight broker to get a spot rate for your 3 skid or greater shipments (volume shipments) and your truckload shipments. Volume Common Carrier prices can be good in certain lanes, although transit time can be quite a bit longer than a direct spot truck, which may need a tail load or a half load in the direction your freight is headed.

Freight Specialists can find that one truck willing to discount its capacity for a load today or tomorrow in that exact direction.

LTL Trick Tip #6 - Compare quotes from multiple carriers

When it comes to shipping, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Different carriers offer different freight rates and services, so it's important to compare your options before choosing a provider.

LTL Trick Tip #7 - Ship in bulk

If you're shipping large quantities of goods, you may be able to get a discount by shipping in bulk. This is because carriers often offer discounts for larger shipments.

LTL Trick Tip #8 - Use the right packaging

Using the right packaging can help reduce shipping costs. For example, using smaller boxes can help you save on dimensional weight charges. And using recycled materials can also help you save money.

LTL Trick Tip #9 - Use technology to your advantage

There are a number of software programs that can help you save money on shipping. For example, there are programs that allow you to compare rates from multiple carriers. And there are also programs that help you automate the shipping process.

LTL Trick Tip #10 - Combine Your Shipments

Combine geographically similar freight from various vendors or to various customers into a Truckload shipment or at least a larger shipment and then work with your Freight Specialist to find a contract carrier willing to move it at a competitive price.

For example, if you are shipping from the Northeast, the truck can drop off your freight first in Ohio, and then in Illinois. This can be an economical way to book a truck and the service is fast and furious. Freight savings can be strategic. Think about grouping your outgoing shipments more strategically, and either give the freight savings to your distributors or keep them in-house to increase your margins.

If you are a Purchasing Manager, you can do the same thing in reverse. Use the same truck to pick up freight at various geographically strategic vendors.

We hope, these tricks help you to find the cheapest LTL freight shipping.

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