Everybody wants to be the best at what they do. It’s just in our nature as business owners and managers to be competitive. However, the problem many businesses face is learning how to climb the proverbial ladder and make their way onto the top of the list.
One way in which many companies stay on top of the industry is by focusing on their supply chain. When the supply chain is not in proper working order, it can severely impact business and even bring it to a screeching halt.
Within that supply chain, there are various moving parts and shipping modes to be considered and monitored. Out of all of them, the hardest to consistently improve upon is Less Than Truckload shipping.
There are several LTL carriers that will hit you with unpredictable rates, excessive charges, and inconsistent shipping delivery expectations. Since fewer companies are providing this service, finding ways to meet objectives is a crucial element to achieving shipping success. For new businesses or those starting to integrate LTL into their daily ops, the learning curve can be quite steep.
If you’re a frequent shipper looking to stay ahead of the common problems associated with LTL shipping or starting fresh, this blog post is for you! We have compiled a few LTL shipping tips to help you reduce mistakes, improve your customer service, and find the right LTL carrier.
Best of all, you can do it all while saving your pennies for a rainy day.
These are the 4 Most Beneficial LTL Shipping Tips
Automate Your Documentation
Paperwork is a hassle. Nobody wants to do it and quite frankly; it is the leading cause of LTL shipping errors.
However, in order to ship anything in any mode, including LTL, requires that paperwork contains accurate information. Without proper paperwork, shipments experience delays, incorrect charges, and lost revenue.
One easy way to reduce paperwork errors is to automate the documentation process. Transportation Management Systems (TMS) are designed to do several tasks. But the one feature that makes this solution really shine deals with paperwork automation.
A TMS makes the paperwork process quick, easy, and efficient. With these software platforms, you can customize templates of commonly used documents and if your freight information changes, a few simple clicks can get you right back on track.
Be Proactive with Dimensions
Now that you’ve learned how to control hassles with paperwork, its time to learn the next step - taking accurate measurements.
Regardless of the products or volume you are shipping, an accurate measurement of dimensions is the easiest way to correctly classify how your freight. If your dimensions are off, you might find yourself overpaying for space or even for space your freight didn't occupy!
One important thing to remember is that it’s crucial to make sure your shipping classification matches up with your carrier. You can simply ask your carrier for the freight classification terms for their services and most will be happy to oblige.
Pay Attention to Proper Packaging Procedures
How closely do you monitor your shipping department? To be honest, it is still probably not nearly enough.
Did you know that about half of all damaged freight is caused by poor packaging, usually caused by the shipper?
Packaging correctly, using the right supplies and procedures is crucial to protecting your freight. LTL shipments are handled many times by many different people before reaching the destination. It will be picked up by a carrier, off-loaded at a regional depot, and depending on the point of destination, swaps hands and containers multiple times. Spending a few extra dollars for higher quality shipping materials and learning how to correctly secure your freight will save you from a lot of damages and delays.
Verify Delivery Addresses and Times
Are you ready for the final and most mind-boggling tip? To make your LTL shipments as efficient as possible you need to verify the delivery address and receiving time.
Seriously, the biggest issue shippers are faced with is simply forgetting to verify who they are shipping to and when they should have it.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers if the area they want the product shipped to is equipped to handle an LTL shipment. If you set up an LTL delivery and it can’t be delivered to its location due to lack of proper facilities capable of receiving a large shipment the responsibility falls on you in most cases. To avoid reattempt hassles and additional paperwork, be proactive and double-check ahead of time!
We’re not saying these tips will stop all your LTL shipping problems. But they will significantly reduce them if you automate, organize, package well, and confirm shipment details with your customers. Partnering with a reputable 3PL is also a great way to ease the hassle of these issues. Not to mention all the other areas of your supply chain benefitting from some expert attention.
If you’d like to learn some of the insider tips for navigating frequent problems with LTL shipping, contact our team at Redwood Logistics.