A majority of our customer base is primarily less-than-truckload (LTL) shippers so we are no stranger to this shipping option and all that it entails. Your LTL carriers have a specific pricing structure that you will fall into, but there are still things you can do to make sure you are being as cost-effective as possible when it comes to your LTL shipping.
Consider your density
LTL rates are calculated using a few different criteria: weight, freight class, and distance. Carriers want to utilize every possible inch of the trailer. Packing your freight in the most space-efficient way is going to save you money, and please your carrier. Let’s break that down a bit.
As mentioned, freight class is a factor in calculating your freight rates. Class is determined, usually, by your product density. Density related to the space your item takes up on the truck in relation to how much it weighs. The higher your density, the lower you will pay per pound to ship.
That may be hard to wrap your head around but think of it this way-- it is going to cost you more to ship 1,000 pounds of feathers than it costs to ship 1,000 pounds of gravel. The feathers are going to take up more space per pound than the gravel.
The way to combat a low-density product is ensuring that you pack well.
Package your freight wisely
There are multiple reasons why packing your freight well is important. We were just discussing product density so let’s start there. You want to ensure you can get as much on a standard-sized pallet as possible, without compromising the integrity of your product.
Invest in your packaging. Ensure you are getting packaging that allows good space utilization while also protecting your freight.
Protecting your freight is also a key reason to package your freight wisely. Damaged freight is costly and time-consuming to deal with. You want to avoid cargo claims whenever possible. Packaging your freight properly is the easiest way to do this.
Pack your freight standard size when possible
If your freight is oversized you are going to incur additional charges from the carrier. Obviously, there are cases where you cannot avoid shipping freight that goes outside of standard sizes but when possible try to get your freight palletized and measuring 48x48x48. Overdimension fees vary depending on the carrier and the length of your freight, but those costs add up quickly.
When it comes to your shipping department you have a responsibility to be cost-effective while also operating quickly and accurately. These three things can help you to do both of those things.