When LTL Shipping Via Common Carrier Is Best

Posted On 14th December 2018

LTL shipping via a common carrier network is best when the LTL indicated delivery time beats your required delivery time with enough margin so that you avoid potential late delivery fees, and when the product you ship can be easily replaced if the LTL common carrier damages or loses the original shipment. These are rare occurrences but must be considered.

You do not want to risk not receiving your materials for an important sales presentation due to late delivery, so it is best to ship those critical shipments by a direct carrier.

Example: BuyRailings, a client of FreightRun, and the premier shipper of architectural railings and closet hardware, needed to ship their entire product line to an exhibition hall in California, 3,000 miles from their Brookfield, CT offices.

Their sales staff was going to be flown out to San Francisco as well. For such a critical show, the freight had to be in place well in advance of the team’s arrival. Even though they pack their exhibition materials into heavy-duty wooden crates (e.g. - motorcycle engine shipping crates) and ship them well in advance, their logistics director chose not to ship by common carrier LTL but instead had FreightRun book them a direct load-to-ride carrier whose team of drivers could provide regular status updates.

Guaranteed Delivery

Keep in mind that if you ship “guaranteed delivery” with a common carrier, the only penalty you can impose on them for late delivery is usually to withhold the upcharge amount for the guarantee. Some carriers will remove the freight charge entirely, but not without a fight.

Only contract carriers will agree to a schedule of penalties in advance if they are late – and you must spell out if they have any outs for confirmed mechanical breakdown or not.

The law has found that just because a trucker is late for delivery and you have penalties imposed against you by your client, that does not make the trucker liable unless he has specifically agreed to those penalties in writing and in advance.

The arrangement you make with your client is your business risk, and you will not be able to legally make your trucker liable for those charges unless it is in the contract with that contract carrier. The same applies to freight brokers.

Savings For Shippers

LTL shipping can provide spectacular savings for shippers who do their due diligence and use the available LTL freight shipping networks to their maximum strategic advantage. LTL shipping allows you to ship your products reliably and for less money over greater distances, thus increasing the number of clients you can reach.

The vastness of the United States allowed the LTL hub and spoke system to be perfected to a larger degree than anywhere else in the world, and those economies of scale delivered by the LTL shipping networks directly benefited US industry, allowing businesses to produce and ship goods for less money than overseas competitors.

Developed transportation systems such as the LTL shipping networks give US industry an edge, as does its expansion into Canada and Mexico.

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