Less than Truckload (LTL) shipping, is a great way for people to efficiently and cost-effectively move freight. Thanks to the Amazon shopping effect, LTL shipping is becoming increasingly popular among most small business owners. Trucking companies also benefit from LTL shipping because they can then utilize whatever empty space they have in their trailers to deliver more goods.
However, as good as LTL shipping sounds, it can be just as difficult to manage. Many LTL shipping companies lose a lot of money annually because of some common LTL shipping mistakes. Luckily, however, once you are able to identify what LTL shipping mistakes you’ve been making it is easier to fix them.
What is LTL Shipping?
LTL stands for less than a truckload shipping, which is commonly used to transport small quantities of freight or when the loads are not enough to fill the entirety of the trailer. LTL shipping is usually done for loads between 150 to 15,000 pounds.
In this method the shipper only pays for the portion of the truck his cargo has occupied, the rest of the space is occupied by other shippers' goods.
When shipping LTL, the shipper pays for the portion of a standard truck trailer their freight occupies, while other shippers and their shipments fill the unoccupied space. There are a number of benefits to shipping via LTL.
Common LTL Shipping Mistakes
Most LTL shipping mistakes are caused by human errors and are easy to avoid with the right system. Let's take a look at what these mistakes are:
Poor Packaging Means Damaged Goods
Your shipments are only as safe as you package them. LTL shipping goods usually go through numerous locations, they are often unloaded and loaded many times before reaching their final destination. This means that there is a higher chance of damage when goods are not packaged properly. You might have to pay insurance claims and end up with some very angry customers.
Always try to use the right packaging technique and materials for your loads based on their fragility, weight, dimensions, value, and shape.
Everybody thinks they don't need insurance right until they actually do. It is quite common for LTL shipping companies to lose items through theft, or having them damaged during a natural disaster or an accident. Shippers without insurance have to cover for these losses and end up paying way more than they would have for insurance.
Poor Weight/Size Estimations, Classification, and Errors
Have you ever seen ‘fragile handle with care’ written on boxes? Well, that is a form of classification of the product, which informs you on how to handle different types of goods when dispatching. Some may say ‘store in a dry and cold place’, ‘avoid sunlight exposure’, and others as such. Failing to properly label your loads can result in them being wrongly stored and resulting in damage.
Another problem is human errors during dimension calculations. Most LTL shipping companies charge customers based on the space their loads take, their weight, and their fragility levels. This can lead to inaccurate quotations, which can result in losses for your company. It never hurts to double-check.
Shipping without Pallets
There is a reason why LTL shipping companies commonly use pallets while storing their goods in trailers. Without them, you run a high chance of your loads flying loose in the back of your truck or van. So, you should always use pallets to store your loads unless, of course, the load in question stands no chance of damage otherwise.
Not Expecting Weather Changes
You would be surprised to know that losses caused by weather changes are over $3.5 billion annually. No matter how well you package your goods, if they are not safe from the elements then it can all go in vain. You should, depending on your climate and product, take precautionary measures to make sure that weather conditions don’t put a dent in your LTL shipping company profits.
No Inspection for Damage
LTL shipping companies that don’t make it a habit of checking each box they receive for product damage upon receiving them, later have to pay for that damage. This is especially the case for those who deliver directly to customers.
Moreover, if there are no inspection records, your insurance providers will most likely not accept your insurance claim. You also lose your reputation in the industry.
Benefits of LTL Shipping
There are numerous benefits for both LTL shipping companies and shippers
For LTL shipping companies they get a chance to earn money on the empty space they have left, and they can even charge more based on demand for shipment. Shippers only have to pay for a portion of the space, instead of the entire trailer.
Better Security for the shipper
LTL shipping companies use pallets to store items in the trailer, which keeps the packages in the same position despite rash driving or driving on poor roads. This allows your package to remain safe from damage. Packages are also packed in accordance to weather conditions.
Tracking for Shippers
When shippers utilize the service of an LTL shipper, their packages can easily be tracked through numerous methods all provided by the LTL shipping company.
Better Chances of getting Loads
The amazon effect has people setting up online stores and even existing shops have come into the mix of online shopping. This means that you are more likely to find customers since the demand for cargo transportation is quite high.
LTL Shipping Companies
Located in Memphis, Tennessee the company was founded back in 1973 and has become a household name across the world.
Located in Johns Creek, Georgia the company was founded back in 1923, making it one of the oldest LTL shipping companies in the US.
Located in Fort Smith, Arkansas the company was founded in 1923, making it one of the oldest LTL shipping companies in the US.
Located in Overland Park, KS the company was founded in 1924, so it is also one of the oldest LTL shipping companies in the US.
Located in Richmond, Virginia the company was founded in 1935. Among the oldest and most trusted US-based LTL shipping companies.
About the Author: Mubashir Ijaz
Mubasshir Ijaz started his career as a creative writer and digital marketer back in 2016. He has worked under multiple niches and aims to provide readers with a free-flowing, easy-to-understand copy that will provide them with value for their time. He aspires to be a problem solver, and through his extensive writing experience, he aims to provide trucking business owners and employees with informative technological solutions.