Stop wasting your money: 5 ways to avoid additional charges in LTL

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

Whether you’re a first-time LTL shipper or a regular, no one wants to be caught off guard with additional charges. Additional fees can disrupt your business performance, financial projections and even impact your customers.  

In order to avoid this, we have compiled a handy list of what not to do so you can save your hard earned money. 

#1 Stop guessing the weight and dimensions of your shipment

Inaccurate shipment dimensions is one of the most common reasons a carrier will make pricing adjustments. The efficiency of the LTL model is based on understanding the size, weight and dimensions of all the material on the truck. When the shipper fails to provide accurate weight and dimensions the carriers will have to change the shipment class which will result in reclass or overweight charges. 

A simple way to avoid this from happening is to take a photo of your items on a scale - making sure that the numbers on the scale are legible. Having this photographic evidence will help you dispute any incorrect charges the carrier might charge. Also, don’t forget to factor in the weight of the shipment pallet itself. The overall weight (including pallet and packaging) is what is used to determine the fees. And, lastly, if you are working with a manufacturer make sure to validate all the weight and dimension of the shipment yourself rather than just relying on their measurements. 

#2 Stop providing limited information about where your shipment is going

Do you know where your freight is actually going? It’s more than just simply having an address. Is it a residential location? Is it a business? What are the operating hours? Is it in a rural area? Is there a dock at this location? Are there easily accessible roads that lead to your delivery site? All of these factors have implications on Accessorial Charges which are centered around how to offload the shipment (i.e liftgate service) and how much coordination the carrier will need to make in order to make the delivery (i.e limited access, residential etc). 

 We always recommend taking a moment to look up your delivery destination on Google Maps to get an aerial view that will help you assess your delivery needs. Armed with this information, you will be able to ask your carrier for the right services reducing the chances of you being caught by surprise fees later in the process. 

#3 Stop waiting till the last minute to prepare your shipment for pick-up 

On average, drivers can sometimes wait up to three hours to pick up a shipment. This mismanagement of the driver's time can result in detention or pick-up/delivery attempt fees. LTL drivers have to coordinate amongst several different customers simultaneously and make sure they are servicing each delivery adequately. If you cause any delays for the driver there will be repercussions for their overall work and you will be billed for that disruption. 

#4 Stop filling out your Bill of Lading incorrectly

Inaccurate information on the Bill of Lading can result in bill corrections or misrouted freight. It is very important to make sure your BOL has all the accurate information necessary for a successful delivery to be made.  Is your BOL legible? Is the consignee information correct? Is the description of your shipment clear? Taking a moment to make sure the information on the BOL is accurate can help you avoid a lot of confusion and additional fees later. 

#5 Stop being confused about your freight class

Your LTL freight shipping class is a number established by the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). Your freight class helps determine your shipping cost. The Koho team can help you understand your freight class. This is an essential step in having an accurate understanding of the cost of your freight. 

Unfortunately, ad-bills are very common in LTL but here, at Koho, we are proactive about disputing any unnecessary or unwarranted charges and fees. If we see a charge applied in error we work directly with the carrier to resolve that so you don’t have to.

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