3 Tips for Achieving Perfect LTL Shipping Efficiency 

shipping efficiency

Achieving shipping efficiency with just about any freight mode is far from easy. Out of those, Less Than Truckload (LTL) is probably one of the most difficult to manage. This freight mode is often associated with missed deliveries and damaged products.

Of course, if you've ever worked in the logistics industry, you know that this isn't actually true. Regardless, many people view it this way. And because of that perception, LTL carriers and logistics networks are under the spotlight and pressured with flawless performance.

Aside from all the responsibility involved in a typical LTL movement, there is all the paperwork to deal with, the customers to update, and routes to plan. It's a lot to handle and shippers can easily lose momentum, growth, and worst of all, basic shipping efficiency.

The summer months are a time to review the performance of the past years shipping and receiving programs. Likewise, now might be the best time to review a few areas that you can improve to reduce a few of your LTL headaches. 

Following suit here, we have 3 tips to help you master the art of LTL shipping efficiency!


Automate Paperwork and Freight Invoices 

Most paperwork mistakes regarding LTL shipments is due to basic errors and misinformation. Worse yet, if not addressed it can bring your shipments to a screeching halt. 

Fortunately, most paperwork issues that lead to freight delays or invoice mistakes can be avoided through automation. The best tool that any shipper can use to automate their paperwork and invoice control is a transportation management software platform (TMS). 

The TMS simplifies and speeds up the finding, routing, rating, and hiring carriers.

This cloud-based platform can be accessed from any terminal at any location, allowing shippers to access the TMS and update each invoice as changes in shipping dimensions, or other delivery records. Alternatively, for larger companies, there are also enterprise TMS solutions available.

Each carrier can be set up with customized field inputs that automate the process of filling out bills of lading. It will then review the bill to ensure that no important information is missing, save the files. Form there, it either prints it or sends it to the carrier and freight recipient via email. 

A TMS can also be used for other freight shipment types including overnight deliveries with express parcel companies, international shipping, or intermodal and multimodal freight movements. This makes investing in this type of platform a lucrative decision, to say the least!


Communicate with Recipients  

When it comes to delayed or missing deliveries, there may be multiple reasons. Maybe the recipient isn't available to accept it, or their information is incorrectly noted on the bill of lading. More often than not, it actually tends to be the latter.

Most LTL delivery companies do not spend a lot of time looking for the recipient when they show up for the delivery. Instead, they will take notes, and head to the next stop. The result is that the shipment is usually charged a missed delivery fee or a reattempt fee. Either way, it leaves the shipper to deal with an angry customer. 

To minimize this issue, we highly recommend shippers look for ways to better and more proactively communicate with their customers. When you schedule an LTL shipment, make sure to verify the recipient's address, their normal business hours, and most importantly a realistic point of contact that the carrier can speak with if there are questions. 

Seriously, being transparent and easily reachable is an art form. Trust us, your customers will overlook a lot of follies, so long as you communicate with them throughout the process.


Work with a 3PL to Set up LTL Deliveries 

For companies who frequently schedule LTL shipments, working with a 3PL company to schedule and handle all LTL movements simply makes life easier.

3PLs use advanced technology, communication platforms, and years of experience to simplify the process of moving freight across the country. They establish relationships with hundreds of LTL carriers, from regional providers to those who offer international or cross border shipping services. With a 3PL, you have the support of an entire network without having to manage any of it!

By taking some of the weight off your shoulders, working with a 3PL allows you to focus on other tasks. Tasks that could further increase your LTL shipping efficiency.

Tried everything and still not achieving results? Reach out to Redwood Logistics today, and let us put our network to work for you!