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5 Less Than Truckload Freight Shipping Tips for Improved Carrier Relations

When it comes less than truckload freight shipping, it is important to follow a few rules in order to improve relationships between shippers and carriers.  These simple tips can help reduce costs and improve efficiency, while at the same time improving relationships with carriers.

Report Accurate Weights in Less than Truckload Freight Shipping

Reporting accurate weights is one of the most critical shipping tips, since carriers re-weigh as much as 80 percent of the shipments.  Inaccurate weights increase expenses, and because shippers are responsible for reporting the correct weight, accuracy is key to keep expenses down and improve efficiency.

Accurate Bill of Lading

Carriers do not audit every bill of lading, but current indications are that they are increasing the number of them they do check.  The reason for the increase is that inaccurate bills of lading have become an issue for the carrier industry, and they are becoming more diligent in requiring accuracy.  Therefore, accurate bill of ladings are becoming an increasingly important in less than truckload shipping. Think about implementing a transportation management system to decrease errors by using automation features such as integration into your address and commodities books.

Avoid Accessorial Charges

Accessorial charges, which include additional costs such as residential service, lift gates or set appointments, are higher in parcel shipping than in less than truckload freight shipping.  In fact, small package freight shipping has as many as 45 accessorial charges, compared to less than truckload freight shipping which has around 15.  When capacity is tight, shippers will choose those with fewer accessorial charges.

Proper Less Than Truckload Freight Shipping Packaging

When a shipment is improperly packaged, carriers incur more costs when the shipment must be repackaged correctly.  In addition, an improperly packaged shipment increases the risk of freight damage during shipment.   Dropped packages by operators of forklifts or during delivery are common, and if the package is not packaged correctly, the contents could be damaged, making proper freight packaging an important factor in less than truckload freight shipping.

Units Requiring Less Handling

It is better for an LTL company to handle one pallet with 100 shrink-wrapped pieces rather than 100 individual pieces.  Whenever possible, combine items so they actually become one or two pallets rather than many separate pieces.  Separate pieces also have an increased risk of damage.

These simple less than truckload freight shipping tips can help improve relations between shippers and carriers.  In addition, these tips can reduce costs and increase efficiency for both the shipper and the carrier.

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Adam Robinson
Adam Robinson oversees the overall marketing strategy for Thomasholmes including website development, social media and content marketing, trade show marketing, email campaigns, and webinar marketing. Mr. Robinson works with the business development department to create messaging that attracts the right decision makers, gaining inbound leads and increasing brand awareness all while shortening sales cycles, the time it takes to gain sales appointments and set proper sales and execution expectations.
Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson
  • Adam,

    Great points!

    In addition to the technical best practices, shippers should also build a solid relationship with their carriers.

    Lots of good information can be gleaned from a few face to face conversation and or telephone.

    Pick up the phone!

    Best regards,

    Joe Lynch

    • Thanks for the kind words, Joe! And great addition. Carriers and shippers MUST get along. It’s important to do sustainable business, indeed. And, in person, it’s somewhat of a lost art, with as busy as the world is and such easy tools available to communicate. However, one 30 minute face to face is worth a 1,000 good emails.

  • Tim Kennedy

    Communication is key – establish a processes with routine shippers and vetted carriers. Provide detailed instructions to both shipper and carrier via email. One vendor said via telephone the load was two skids and it became 22 skids in a matter of hours. The carrier stopped and called for guidance.

  • Ahsan

    Thanks Adam, Joe and Tim for sharing valid and important tips. Additionally I would suggest (as a transporter / forwarder) that exact weight must also be got agreed/accepted by the shipper as later it effects invoices / payments in case there is revision in weight by the carrier. take care, Ahsan

  • Jameel Johnson

    Thanks for tips on dealing with s. I have been researching the impact they can have on my business.

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