How to obtain an LTL quote and prepare your shipment for pickup

Transcript

What to Do When You Get Your Initial LTL Quote

LTL shipping is a great way to save money on small and mid-sized shipments that don’t require a full truckload to move. Freight is picked up by the carrier, combined with other shipments going the same direction on a single trailer, and moved together toward the destination. Shippers save money by only paying for the space their shipment takes up on the truck, and carriers can move multiple loads simultaneously, maximizing capacity and profit. However, because there are so many moving parts to the LTL process that require precise coordination, timing, and capacity management, LTL shipping can be a complicated industry. Today, we will look at what shippers need to do to obtain an accurate LTL quote for their cargo and how to properly prepare their shipment for pickup to avoid unnecessary delays, charges, and complications.

 

Getting Your LTL Quote 

The most efficient way to get a quote for your LTL freight is through a third-party logistics partner. 3PLs like Koho offer an online shipping platform that shippers can use to enter all the relevant information about their freight and instantly receive multiple quotes from a wide range of trusted carriers willing to complete the delivery. But before you can get a quote, you need to have the necessary information to enter that will ensure the quote is accurate and the pickup can be made without any problems.

 

Origin and Destination

The first piece of information you’ll need to obtain your quote is the origin and destination of your shipment. You need to provide the zip codes and addresses of the pickup and delivery locations, as well as the type of places they are. Noting whether a location is residential or commercial helps carriers know what they will need to successfully complete the shipment. For example, a commercial location with a loading dock makes loading the cargo a simple process, but a residential area may require a different sized truck that can maneuver adequately in the space or a liftgate to load the shipment onto the trailer from the ground.

 

Weight and Dimensions

Providing accurate weights and dimensions for your shipments is a crucial part of getting an LTL quote. Because multiple shipments are sharing a single trailer and carriers are looking to maximize their capacity, any inaccuracies regarding the shipment size can result in loads not fitting in their allotted space, causing delays or missed pickups. The weight of a shipment should include all cargo, its packaging, and the pallet it’s sitting on. Likewise, the dimensions should be calculated as a rectangle based on the shipment’s most expansive points, including packaging. You should also indicate the unit count, or number of pallets, and the piece count, or number of boxes on a pallet.

 

Freight Class

Because LTL shipping involves a wide range of items with different densities, shapes, liabilities, and handling considerations transported together in a single shipment, all LTL shipments require a freight class code. Freight classes provide a standard from which shippers and carriers can negotiate and determine freight rates for shipping different types of goods. If the wrong freight class is applied to items in a shipment, the carrier will likely catch it and reclassify the load, resulting in additional charges added to the freight bill, so it is important to be accurate.

The easiest way to ensure you correctly classify your LTL freight is to obtain a subscription to CLASSIT (https://classit.nmfta.org/), the online freight classification directory tool maintained by the NMFTA. You can also consult one of Koho’s freight class experts before obtaining your quote for advice on how to determine the correct freight class.

 

Accessorials and Special Handling 

If your LTL shipment requires any additional equipment, service, or special handling instructions, it is important to let the carrier know when you obtain the quote for your load. Accessorials like liftgates, residential pickups and deliveries, and remote locations require the carrier to take special considerations to ensure the pickup or delivery can be completed without delays. Unannounced accessorials can also result in additional charges added to your freight invoice.

 

Preparing Your Shipment

Once you’ve obtained your quote and scheduled your pickup, it’s time to get your LTL freight ready for its journey. Preparing your shipment correctly is the best way to ensure it arrives at its destination undamaged and doesn’t get lost or delayed along the way. LTL cargo is typically handled, loaded, unloaded, and reorganized multiple times at different freight terminals while in transit, so it is critical to have the proper packaging, labeling, and paperwork so no issues arise that may delay delivery.

 

Packaging

While the exact packaging will depend on the specifics of your shipment, crating and palletizing are the two most common options for LTL freight. Wrapped pallets and crates are usually the best ways to maximize capacity, prevent damage or loss by protecting the cargo, and make loading and unloading easy and efficient. For more information about how to package your LTL shipment correctly, visit Koho’s Tips on How to Package Your LTL Shipment.

 

Labeling

Correctly labeling your shipment is the best way to make sure it doesn’t get lost along the way. Accurate labeling minimizes handling and makes it easier for carriers to keep track of your shipment. Shippers should clearly, legibly, and consistently label each box and pallet (in case they become separated in transit) in their shipment before pickup. Shippers that are shipping loose boxes or unpackaged cargo must clearly label all components in their shipment.

Shipping labels should include:

  • The address and phone number of the shipper
  • The address and telephone number of the recipient (consignee)
  • Any necessary information about special handling for fragile items
  • The date of the shipment

 

Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading (BOL) is the most important document related to LTL freight and serves as the receipt for the shipment. A copy of the BOL should be given to the driver upon pickup, and another copy should be affixed to the freight itself. When booking a quote on Koho’s online platform, the BOL is automatically generated and available for you to print and use.

The BOL contains:

  • The shipper’s name and information
  • The recipient’s (consignee) information
  • Date of the shipment
  • Required date of pickup
  • Total units being shipped
  • Type of packaging being used
  • Description of the goods being shipped
  • Freight class
  • Dimensions
  • Value of the shipment

Using a 3PL Like Koho to Make LTL Shipping Easier

Using a tech-enabled 3PL like Koho is the best way to get the most from your LTL shipping experience. Most 3PLs have standing contractual relationships with multiple LTL carriers in an extensive network. Koho’s online shipping platform is a one-stop-shop to explore multiple shipping options and find the best service and price for your shipment. Because of their expertise and the volume of freight they move with individual carriers, 3PLs like Koho are also able to negotiate blanket rates for service that are likely better than what you’ll find when you go to a carrier directly for a quote. Contact Koho regarding your next LTL shipment to find out what our freight experts can do for you.

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

What to Do When You Get Your Initial LTL Quote

LTL shipping is a great way to save money on small and mid-sized shipments that don’t require a full truckload to move. Freight is picked up by the carrier, combined with other shipments going the same direction on a single trailer, and moved together toward the destination. Shippers save money by only paying for the space their shipment takes up on the truck, and carriers can move multiple loads simultaneously, maximizing capacity and profit. However, because there are so many moving parts to the LTL process that require precise coordination, timing, and capacity management, LTL shipping can be a complicated industry. Today, we will look at what shippers need to do to obtain an accurate LTL quote for their cargo and how to properly prepare their shipment for pickup to avoid unnecessary delays, charges, and complications.

 

Getting Your LTL Quote 

The most efficient way to get a quote for your LTL freight is through a third-party logistics partner. 3PLs like Koho offer an online shipping platform that shippers can use to enter all the relevant information about their freight and instantly receive multiple quotes from a wide range of trusted carriers willing to complete the delivery. But before you can get a quote, you need to have the necessary information to enter that will ensure the quote is accurate and the pickup can be made without any problems.

 

Origin and Destination

The first piece of information you’ll need to obtain your quote is the origin and destination of your shipment. You need to provide the zip codes and addresses of the pickup and delivery locations, as well as the type of places they are. Noting whether a location is residential or commercial helps carriers know what they will need to successfully complete the shipment. For example, a commercial location with a loading dock makes loading the cargo a simple process, but a residential area may require a different sized truck that can maneuver adequately in the space or a liftgate to load the shipment onto the trailer from the ground.

 

Weight and Dimensions

Providing accurate weights and dimensions for your shipments is a crucial part of getting an LTL quote. Because multiple shipments are sharing a single trailer and carriers are looking to maximize their capacity, any inaccuracies regarding the shipment size can result in loads not fitting in their allotted space, causing delays or missed pickups. The weight of a shipment should include all cargo, its packaging, and the pallet it’s sitting on. Likewise, the dimensions should be calculated as a rectangle based on the shipment’s most expansive points, including packaging. You should also indicate the unit count, or number of pallets, and the piece count, or number of boxes on a pallet.

 

Freight Class

Because LTL shipping involves a wide range of items with different densities, shapes, liabilities, and handling considerations transported together in a single shipment, all LTL shipments require a freight class code. Freight classes provide a standard from which shippers and carriers can negotiate and determine freight rates for shipping different types of goods. If the wrong freight class is applied to items in a shipment, the carrier will likely catch it and reclassify the load, resulting in additional charges added to the freight bill, so it is important to be accurate.

The easiest way to ensure you correctly classify your LTL freight is to obtain a subscription to CLASSIT (https://classit.nmfta.org/), the online freight classification directory tool maintained by the NMFTA. You can also consult one of Koho’s freight class experts before obtaining your quote for advice on how to determine the correct freight class.

 

Accessorials and Special Handling 

If your LTL shipment requires any additional equipment, service, or special handling instructions, it is important to let the carrier know when you obtain the quote for your load. Accessorials like liftgates, residential pickups and deliveries, and remote locations require the carrier to take special considerations to ensure the pickup or delivery can be completed without delays. Unannounced accessorials can also result in additional charges added to your freight invoice.

 

Preparing Your Shipment

Once you’ve obtained your quote and scheduled your pickup, it’s time to get your LTL freight ready for its journey. Preparing your shipment correctly is the best way to ensure it arrives at its destination undamaged and doesn’t get lost or delayed along the way. LTL cargo is typically handled, loaded, unloaded, and reorganized multiple times at different freight terminals while in transit, so it is critical to have the proper packaging, labeling, and paperwork so no issues arise that may delay delivery.

 

Packaging

While the exact packaging will depend on the specifics of your shipment, crating and palletizing are the two most common options for LTL freight. Wrapped pallets and crates are usually the best ways to maximize capacity, prevent damage or loss by protecting the cargo, and make loading and unloading easy and efficient. For more information about how to package your LTL shipment correctly, visit Koho’s Tips on How to Package Your LTL Shipment.

 

Labeling

Correctly labeling your shipment is the best way to make sure it doesn’t get lost along the way. Accurate labeling minimizes handling and makes it easier for carriers to keep track of your shipment. Shippers should clearly, legibly, and consistently label each box and pallet (in case they become separated in transit) in their shipment before pickup. Shippers that are shipping loose boxes or unpackaged cargo must clearly label all components in their shipment.

Shipping labels should include:

  • The address and phone number of the shipper
  • The address and telephone number of the recipient (consignee)
  • Any necessary information about special handling for fragile items
  • The date of the shipment

 

Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading (BOL) is the most important document related to LTL freight and serves as the receipt for the shipment. A copy of the BOL should be given to the driver upon pickup, and another copy should be affixed to the freight itself. When booking a quote on Koho’s online platform, the BOL is automatically generated and available for you to print and use.

The BOL contains:

  • The shipper’s name and information
  • The recipient’s (consignee) information
  • Date of the shipment
  • Required date of pickup
  • Total units being shipped
  • Type of packaging being used
  • Description of the goods being shipped
  • Freight class
  • Dimensions
  • Value of the shipment

Using a 3PL Like Koho to Make LTL Shipping Easier

Using a tech-enabled 3PL like Koho is the best way to get the most from your LTL shipping experience. Most 3PLs have standing contractual relationships with multiple LTL carriers in an extensive network. Koho’s online shipping platform is a one-stop-shop to explore multiple shipping options and find the best service and price for your shipment. Because of their expertise and the volume of freight they move with individual carriers, 3PLs like Koho are also able to negotiate blanket rates for service that are likely better than what you’ll find when you go to a carrier directly for a quote. Contact Koho regarding your next LTL shipment to find out what our freight experts can do for you.

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