How do You Improve Your LTL Experience?

LTL Experience

There are many LTL carriers out there that are absolutely exceptional at helping their customers move smaller shipments of cargo. However, most shippers simply find the entire LTL experience to be more than a bit frustrating.

And no one can really blame them... the process can indeed seem more complex than it actually is. So much so that the complexity alone deters many who may consider this shipping mode otherwise.

Lack of communication, freight delays or hidden costs on the BOL are the most common issues we hear about. To avoid these problems, most shippers prefer to let a 3PL handle their LTL operations.

The good news is that roughly 95% of all LTL issues can actually be avoided altogether. 

And to help you make your next LTL experience a pleasurable one, we've rounded up 3 of the best preventative tips...


A Few Important Questions to Achieve a Seamless LTL Experience

The ability to manage your expectations of partners is a vital skill to possess. This applies, even more so, when those partners are responsible for ensuring your products get to their destination safely and efficiently. 

To begin this process, you really only need some basic working knowledge of how LTL shipments work. Furthermore, there are 3 main questions you should ask yourself before you decide to partner up with a specific carrier...


What are Your Package Dimensions?

In the past, packages measurements was a rather simple affair. Basically, if you had something more than 150-pounds, you were stuck with fairly limited options.

Nowadays, many LTL carriers are going to expect you to adhere to a DIM pricing shipping model. So, we recommend that before you ship via an LTL carrier you familiarize yourself with DIM measurements.


When Does the Customer Expect the product?

The second thing to consider is the delivery expectation of the customer. If they are wanting something more direct, faster, yet pricier, LTL shipping may not be the best option. As attractive as the benefits of LTL are, they are not worthwhile in some situations.

In today's logistics industry, more customers are willing to pay higher shipping costs for added convenience or a quicker delivery. Before you default to LTL, consider the customer and their needs.

Perhaps routing their shipment via a ground parcel carrier is the best option?


Where is the Final Destination

Finally, it’s important to account for the shipments' final destination.

If you are shipping a pallet or two locally, perhaps there are locally-based express carriers who can handle the task? If shipping internationally, partnering with a 3PL who can set up a multimodal shipment might be best.

As previously mentioned, LTL shipments are not always a feasible option or even the most logical. Considering how far your packages need to travel is important when planning a shipment. LTL shipments, specifically, are known for taking much longer to arrive at their final destination.


Diversify Your LTL Carrier Network

Not long ago, the LTL industry was dominated by a handful of carriers. This created an entitled mentality with some of the larger carriers. This, of course, resulted in many of the common frustrations that shippers experienced with the standard LTL service.

However, times have changed and the industry has grown considerably. There are many more LTL options on the market now, and a lot of them are really good.

Diversifying your network is now easier than ever before. Furthermore, it is a wise idea for your business, your customers and your own peace of mind.

Many shippers work with a third-party logistics company to help them diversify their carrier networks. They can organize carriers by various criteria such as service type, specialty services, shipping costs and more. 


Improve your Packaging Process

The majority of LTL complaints are related to freight damage. But did you know the root source of most freight damage is improper or low-quality materials used in the packaging of the products?

While LTL shipments are moved frequently to different trucks or depots, proper packaging will prevent most types of damage.

So, if you really want to reduce the potential of LTL freight damage, make sure to be proactive about packaging your materials correctly. Always use high-quality supplies, including pallets, shrink wrap, and labels. Also, make sure to stack your freight properly, to ensure equal distribution.


Final Thoughts

By following these three simple tips you can reduce the potential of many of the most common LTL mistakes. Better yet, these tips will help you improve your customer service and save money.

If you’d like to learn more about navigating the LTL industry, reach out to us here at Redwood Logistics.