Every company essentially has the same goal. They all dream of one day being able to completely dominate their industry.
All business owners want to see their business make the climb to the top of the list. One of the ways that the best companies stay on top of that list is by managing an efficient and value-packed supply chain. Sounds easy right?
Well, yes and no!
See, at the heart of most supply chain frustrations is this little thing called LTL shipping.
Less than truckload shipping seems to provide challenges for every type of company out there. Whether it’s excessive charges, inconsistent carrier rates, or fewer available LTL drivers, there are multiple ways for this dreaded shipment class to throw a curveball into the dreams of domination of any business.
However, there are a few key points that you can follow to reduce some of the common mistakes found in LTL shipping.
By following these four tips you can improve customer service, reduce errors, and save your business money in the long-run.
Nobody likes paperwork.
Since LTL carriers, like all others, require paperwork to include accurate information for freight, there is always room for human error to happen. Errors documented on the paperwork can, and often do, then lead to shipping delays, incorrect charges, and lost revenue.
One way to reduce this issue altogether is by updating your technology and start automating your documentation process.
Transportation management software solutions or TMS systems help to expedite the entire paperwork process. Shippers now have the flexibility of creating an LTL shipping document such as international, hazmat, or multi-carrier transfers when required. With specific items such as freight classification, a few simple toggles make the paperwork and documentation process much more efficient and it reduces general errors.
So, input your data and then kick back and let your computer algorithm do the rest.
While paperwork control is a great first step to dominating your supply chain operations, it’s only one-quarter of the way. A common error that costs shippers thousands of dollars each year our mistakes in measuring or being accurate about the dimensions of their freight. LTL carriers live by freight classifications, but they are beginning to discover the value in using advanced technology to nickel and dime every ship are possible.
It is important to ensure that your dimensions and your documented freight classification meet the requirements of the carrier are you are using. Most carriers are more than happy to provide you with freight classification terms for each of their services. In most cases, you don’t even need to ask.
According to most shipping experts, nearly half of all damaged LTL freight can be traced to improper packaging materials or procedures. Furthermore, this damage is often due to improper packaging procedures on the part of the shipper.
An LTL shipment will be handled multiple times, and often routed through multiple trucks before it is delivered. Every time the package is handled, the chances for damage are increased.
Therefore, it is important for shippers to be proactive about using high-quality packaging materials and procedures.
Finally, making sure to simply verify the correct delivery address is going to go a long way. This one key point may seem silly and a little bit rudimentary, but it is also the most overlooked!
Your driver gets right to your customer’s doorstep, only to be met with complete silence. No one is answering the door because no one is home, or maybe it is the wrong house altogether; the shipper forgot to verify the delivery address and receiving times for the recipient.
We’re not saying that by following these four keys you will never experience LTL shipping problems. Most of them are easily remedied by automating, organizing, or reaching out to recipients to verify deliveries. Many shippers find it very frustrating to do all this and operate their business. This is where partnering with an experienced 3rd party logistics company becomes a smart business decision.
If you have questions about LTL shipping, FTL, multimodal or intermodal, international or local delivery services, LTX Solutions can help. Our recent acquisition by Redwood Logistics offers us the flexibility to expand our services – which now includes a wide range of 3PL services.
Chicago-based Redwood Logistics is a next generation, strategically integrated logistics provider. For more than 15 years, the company has been providing solutions for moving and managing freight. Redwood Logistics’ focus is on making its customers more successful in their end markets. We are able to achieve this by employing talented and motivated people, proven processes and cutting-edge technologies to optimize our client’s supply chain management efforts.