As a small business owner, you may not always have enough freight going out to fill a full trailer or truck. Therefore, many of your shipments to merchandisers and warehouses can be less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. Here are a few things you may need to know about LTL freight shipping.
How do you get LTL freight quotes?
You can seek LTL freight quotes by reaching out to different carriers on your own, but you can also find LTL freight shipping management companies that act as middlemen between small business owners and freight carriers. These companies usually work with a list of different carriers and can be in a better position to negotiate fair carriage rates.
Can you track an LTL freight shipment?
If you are working with a good LTL freight shipping manager, the manager will actually provide tracking information for you. However, if you are sourcing your own carriers without a freight manager acting on your company's behalf, you may have to work with the different carriers to determine if they offer any kind of tracking for your load.
Is it better to look for a carrier that specializes in LTL freight shipping?
If you can find a freight carrier that specializes in LTL shipments, this usually is the better option. Carriers that deal with these smaller loads all the time are more aware of the nuances that can come along with the task.
How is an LTL freight quote actually determined?
The typical factors that determine how much you will be charged for an LTL freight shipment include:
- The weight of your shipment
- The distance your load needs to go
- What type of product you are shipping
However, do keep in mind that different freight carriers can have different fees for the shipments. For example, a large-scale LTL freight carrier may have lower fees because they are a wide-service company with numerous clients. Alternatively, a small-scale LTL contracted carrier may have to charge more just to cover their personal costs.
Are there precautions that should be taken with LTL freight packaging?
In general, simply making sure that the freight you are sending out is well protected is enough. Keep in mind that the shipment may share trailer space with other materials from other companies and small businesses. Therefore, everything you send out should be held in the proper containers and packaging to prevent cross-contamination, so to speak. For example, if you are sending out a pallet of perfume, you would not want your containers getting broken and contaminating a pallet of sweatshirts inside the trailer.
For more information, contact an LTL freight shipping service.