Shipping LTL (less than truckload) can save your business a lot of money, but how do you find the best carrier for your logistics needs? Every business has unique shipping demands based on their location, freight type, and budget. Whether you are just starting to look at your options or have already been searching for the perfect fit, our industry insights can help you get the most out of LTL freight carriers.
Match your freight needs with what a carrier can provide
The greatest appeal to LTL freight shipping is the fact that it allows you to pay for only the space you use inside a truck. In addition to saving money, be aware of these considerations:
- Accommodating service options: Make sure that the specific needs of your freight are addressed, including lift gates, residential services, delivery appointments, and other options needed to streamline the delivery of goods.
- Packaging options: LTL carriers will move your freight between multiple trucks, terminals, and warehouses. We recommend palletizing or crating your freight whenever possible to help minimize potential damage.
- Reliable cargo tracking: Be aware of the LTL carrier’s options for providing tracking details and make sure that information is tailored to your needs. LTL carriers do not typically have GPS tracking on their trailers like some full truckloads do. However, LTL carriers can scan freight at each terminal your freight moves through. With Freightquote® by C.H. Robinson, these updates are plugged directly into the system so you can view tracking updates on your dashboard, or for more proactive notifications, sign up for email or text SMS tracking updates on all your Freightquote LTL loads.
- Balance time to market against potential delays: While shipping LTL is advantageous for customers who don’t need to fill up a truck, LTL truckloads are generally slower than full truckload shipments because of the need to stop at multiple locations before arriving at the final drop off.
Use accurate information and best practices to get better carrier quotes
You can reduce costs from the get-go simply by providing the most accurate information you have about your freight. A common mistake is to work with quick approximates, which may turn into confusion and additional fees when the exact weight, density and dimensions of your freight are different than what was anticipated.
Knowing the exact details of your NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification), a code that defines the type of freight you are shipping, and determines your freight class, is another important aspect of cost reduction. The lower your freight class is, the cheaper it is to ship, so having an incorrect freight class or code can make the process more expensive regardless of the carrier you use. With Freightquote, however, we determine the right class for you so you can always be assured that you are using the right information and getting the best deal once you enter your most accurate weight and dimensions for your freight.
Another practice that makes it easy to save money across carriers is consolidating your freight. Boxes of merchandise can easily be stacked on pallets, which means you can ship freight as single pieces rather than handling per item cost. By shipping multiple pallets at once instead of frequently moving separate boxes, you can easily save money on the freight your LTL carriers handle.
Use modern tech to optimize freight transport through your LTL carriers.
Software is key when it comes to optimizing your shipments. Modern logistics tech adds far more visibility throughout your supply chain and provides business intelligence with the benefit of vetted talent to provide carrier solutions. In the context of LTL freight, Freightquote lets you manage all of your shipments without needing to get dedicated rates from your carriers.
A logistics solution broker like C.H. Robinson also provides access to expertise that will help you choose the right LTL carrier for your business while also ensuring you get the best rates and optimized shipping service.
Find Your Ideal LTL Carrier with Freightquote
Make your search easy with our streamlined services. After entering your information on our shipping page, our system will provide you with instant freight quote results from the most reliable LTL freight carriers in North America.