Finding the right carrier for less-than-truckload shipping (LTL shipping) is a daunting task. Be it choosing the lowest cost carriers or determining the weight of the items; every step has complexities associated with it. As per logisticsviewpoints.com/2017/12/12/ltl-trends-challenges-density-based-pricing/, the trends in LTL shipping has changed recently, and the changes reflect in the pricing methods also. The changing trends and pricing methods make the process of picking the right carrier even more demanding. But don’t worry; there are ways to simplify your task! This article is meant to give you tips for the same.
Regional carriers make things easy
First, analyze your destination; if it a regional one, then a regional carrier would be enough for your shipment. Regional carriers have the advantage of better density and low cost. Moreover, some places may have certain bans on commercial shipments which you might not be aware of. Regional carriers would have the knowledge about the same and hence would be helpful to you.
Cross check the customer service
Finalize an LTL carrier for your shipment only after thoroughly studying about their customer service. You can do the same by checking the reviews or enquiring with their previous customers. Check the quality of the customer service they are providing. Do they have provision to notify you of any changes in schedule or some other problem which may affect your shipment? If not, you have to rethink!
Make sure about your tracking accessibility
You should be able to track your shipment throughout its journey. Choose a freight carrier which gives you complete access to tracking your shipment.
Different options for transportation is an advantage
Some LTL freight carriers have more than one option for transportation. Such carriers are useful if your goods have some restrictions regarding the means by which they are transported. Having different modes of transport as options would help you choose the best one suitable for your shipment.
Prepare a flawless contract
Make sure that the contract between you and the freight carrier has every detail regarding the goods and the shipment procedure written down. Sign the BOL (Bill of lading) only after ensuring the same.
Pack your goods right
Improper packaging may lead to damages of your goods during transit. It may also lead additional charges. So, pack your goods rightly. If you want your good to be placed on pallets, it should be conveyed clearly, and you may also have to pay some extra charge for the same. Goods which are to be kept on pallets should be wrapped tight and secure.
Analyze your freight class
Every good may not fall under the same freight class. You should be aware of the freight class under which your goods fall. There are eighteen freight classes; if you do not have much idea about the same, your service provider would be able to help. Many resources are available online as well which would help you to calculate the freight class.
Compare your options!
Last but not the least; compare different service-providers based on their efficiency, cost, transit-time, insurance strategy, etc. Choose the one which is the best in every domain!