5 LTL Shipping Mistakes Made by Shippers

At times, shippers face many challenges in the world of LTL shipping. They must know how to maximize efficiencies and utilize the most cost-effective methods for shipping. The following are 5 common LTL shipping mistakes and how using a 3PL can help alleviate your shipping frustrations.

1. Guessing or Estimating Shipping Weights and Sizes:

Many upcharges assessed by carriers are triggered by something as simple as not having the correct weight classification for your shipment.  Not only is this the most common error made by shippers – it’s easily avoidable. In the future, make it standard operating procedure to collect your own freight dimensions, weight and density. This way when a carrier does charge a re-class fee, you have your own dimensions to fall back on helping you refute the claim and avoid costly delays and additional mistakes.

2. Contract Negotiation:

When dealing with a carrier, many shippers strictly focus on receiving the highest discount. However, there are so many other things you should also be taking into consideration when negotiating your carrier contracts:

  • Base rates/tariffs
  • Discounts
  • Accessorial Charges
  • Fuel Charges
  • FAK (Freight All Kind)


3. Lack of Software/TMS:

If your company is manually pricing quotes and placing individual orders, you’re wasting meaningful hours that could be used on something else. A TMS (Transportation Management System) can consolidate all of your LTL freight needs into one place and includes route planning and optimization, load optimization, execution, advanced shipping, order visibility and carrier managegent. TMS software can be very expensive to purchase. Partner with a 3PL who has a TMS software with the ability to integrate to your current system.

4. Not Insuring your Freight:

Life is full of surprises and the same can also be said for shipping freight. In the shipping business anything can happen, from natural disasters to theft and traffic accidents, which can all end up costing your company thousands of dollars. In addition to peace of mind, purchasing additional third party insurance on your load can make sure your investment is truly protected from future accidents. If the cost of insurance seems like a deterrent, just think about the cost of replacing your shipment should an accident occur.

5. Overlooking Freight Brokers:

3PLs or freight brokers have now become the middleman between shippers and carriers, helping them to not only create a relationship but also to save the shipper money. To help shippers, the freight broker will determine the needs and help find a carrier who will not only offer the best price, but also the best service. Outsourcing to a 3PL will ensure continuous improvements are made to your logistics process and a greater visibility into the complexities of your transportation spend.

Although costly shipping mistakes can lead to big problems for shippers, many are small issues and at AFS, we’ve learned most can be avoided by reaching out for help from a 3PL. While we don’t expect these mistakes to become non-existent, we do hope to provide our customers with strategic partnership and technology solutions for a balance of price, service and profitability.

Call 877-242-3383 to speak to an AFS representative about your LTL shipments.



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