Today’s increasingly competitive landscape demands that the businesses are agile, nimble, and responsive to the market forces – whether it’s to fulfill varying demand, make swift deliveries, or reduce logistics costs.
The traditional approach to saving transportation costs has been bulk shipping. Such a system would leave a business at a disadvantage in the era of eCommerce wherein small-size shipments must reach their destinations just when the consumers want them. Businesses cannot wait until they have a full truckload of products to ship anymore.
To address this challenge, Less than a truckload shipping was invented.
What is LTL Shipping?
LTL shipping stands for less-than-a-truckload shipping. As the name suggests, it’s a method of transporting a relatively small shipment, usually 500 to 10,000 pounds, on an LTL carrier.
When businesses have less than a truckload of shipment to transport, it would not be cost-effective to lease an entire trailer. In such cases, LTL shipping is the ideal solution.
An LTL carrier combines the shipments from multiple businesses on their trucks and charges each of them a price proportional to the weight and volume occupied by their freight on the truck. Clearly, with LTL shipping, businesses get a cost-effective solution for transporting smaller loads to their customers.
Benefits of Less than truckload Shipping
There are several benefits of LTL or Less than a truckload shipping over leasing a full truck for shipping smaller loads. Here are some of them:
- Economies of scale. It’s cheaper to ship goods
- Several value-added-services like expedited service, insurance, inside pickup or delivery, etc. are available
- Easy tracking. It’s made possible by real-time monitoring of the shipment at various points throughout the shipping route via email and other means.
- LTL offers better safety and security to shipments as they are packed into pallets or crates.
- It’s ecofriendly, as many shippers use the same truck, thereby reducing your carbon footprint
How to Optimize the Costs of Less than truckload shipping
LTL carriers quote their prices based on the standards set by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). However, there are some ways to get better prices on your LTL shipments. Here are some of the most effective tips:
- 3PL Broker
A 3PL broker works with numerous third-party logistics providers with varying technologies, equipment, and transportation services. For each of your shipments, they can gather quotes from the providers in their network to give you the best deal on your LTL shipment every time.
- Freight Management System
A freight management system does the work of a 3PL broker and more. It allows businesses to automate several aspects of their shipping operations. They can be used to schedule shipments – including pickups, and deliveries – saving both time and money for businesses; they can be used to estimate shipping costs, review carrier performance, and compare service level commitments of LTL providers.
Businesses get timely and cost-effective service, and they can use the time they save to get more done. Technology forward FMS systems can also provide your clients and whole team real-time tracking updates via email and other means.
- API-powered Freight Shipping Automation Apps
API technology allows businesses to extract real-time pricing information from their shipping partners. It is inexpensive to implement into software, which means that there are numerous apps that feature APIs. API-featuring apps can also automate carrier selection and shipment scheduling. API’s can also be used to connect all carrier pricing and data to the latest E-Commerce and ERP Business Software to further automated payment and scheduling, and tracking processes.
Want to get all the benefits of cost-effective and optimized LTL solutions without investing in relevant technologies or processes? We can help.
Outsource your logistics to Easy Logistics Management and let us transport your shipments, no matter the size, to any location across the country cost-effectively. We can also show you how to leverage the latest API freight apps to all major e-commerce and ERP business software platforms.