LTL (or Less Than Truckload) is a great alternative for shipments consisting of 8 or less pallets. However, it is commonly seen that final freight bills come along with extra charges that end up affecting not only shipper budget, but also business relationships. By following the tips below, you can certainly reduce the risk of extra charges in your next LTL shipment!
Provide accurate shipment measurements and weight
Inaccurate shipment dimensions is one the most common causes of pricing adjustments. Most LTL freight carriers classify shipments based on freight density. If there is a variation on dimensions or weight, shipment class will change, causing reclass charges. To avoid this, carefully scale the handling units and measure all sides before searching for shipping rates.
Be aware of accessorial charges
Accessorial are additional services that common freight carriers may perform at time of pick-up and delivery. Good examples are liftgate service, residential and limited access delivery. Most LTL requirements are quoted business to business; however, accessorial charges are completed by carriers without notifying shipper or paying party. A good way to avoid unexpected accessorial charges is to know about real pick-up and delivery conditions. For example, if the pick-up/delivery location does not have a loading dock or forklift, the liftgate accessorial should be added to the initial shipping quote. It is only a matter of knowing real conditions for pick-up and delivery so you can easily avoid unexpected accessorial charges.
Have your freight and dock crew ready when the carrier shows up
With the new ELD mandate in place, most carriers (even owner operators) are narrowing down “free time” at pick up or delivery. By having your freight ready, you will reduce the chances for detention or worst-case scenario, pick-up, and delivery attempt fees. Around 63% of drivers spend more than 3 hours at the shipper’s dock and let’s be honest, there is nothing more frustrating than long queues.
Prepare your shipment documentation carefully
Even though most LTL terminals are equipped with high technology to route the LTL freight. Inaccurate information on the Bill of Lading may result on freight bill corrections or even worst, misrouted freight. Make sure the BOL has proper shipper and consignee information, a legible billing party and a precise description for the freight. Remember that misleading information can create confusion and even worst, unexpected extra charges on your final freight bill.
If you need assistance with an LTL shipment or have any questions on how to avoid extra shipping costs, please contact World Transportation Services, and a logistics specialist will help.
by Ronald Hernandez
Operations Specialist World Transportation Services