Why Sometimes You Should Switch to Full Truckload From Less Than Truckload?

Posted On 5th June 2016

Sometimes the freight has to be there or "heads will roll" - maybe yours - or at least you'll have a major issue because your client's factory has to shut down. Or perhaps your sample materials miss the salesman appointment in Peoria. Or worse - perhaps all or just a part of the pieces of your exhibit are missing from the skid for the trade show though the BOL was signed clean - as a result your whole show team's efforts and travel expense has been wasted - and a primary chance to show off your new products has been blown. These are critical shipments - don't risk them by shipping common carrier LTL.

In these circumstances you should consider booking a contract Full Truckload Carrier, instead of LTL or even expedited "guaranteed" LTL. The major common carrier guarantees are not ironclad: most of them just charge you the regular price rather than zero if they fail to make the guarantee date.

In these circumstances procure a direct and dedicated truck (or find a freight broker to do it for you). The truck picks up at the origin and drives the most direct route possible to the destination. No stops except gas and food if time allows. Further, no other freight will go on this truck - that would only possibly delay or slow down your delivery.

If you are not an experienced shipper, go with a freight broker that does such do-or-die shipments daily - and knows precisely which expedited carrier to use for the lane you are shipping in.

On these shipments it is good to have a strict "no later than" delivery time set up in the contract; and heavy hourly penalties for lateness. Make the deadline in the contract to be always ahead of your real deadline! If a shipment requires extra drivers get them. But everything must be writing. You must stress your requirements in writing, and they should be on the Bill of Lading for the driver(s) to see and of course you should email them in writing to your broker from the outset.

A note on price - if your shipment just needs a normal transit time but it needs to be "guaranteed" then you might not pay that much more - check for online Full Truckload Pricing Calculator to get an idea of the average price. Extra drivers and expedited freight is extra money, but it isn't outrageous.

If you have questions, comments or extra tips, please share them below.

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