Common freight class errors and other mistakes LTL shippers make

Transcript

Common Freight Class Errors and Other Mistakes LTL Shippers Make 

As supply chains struggle to evolve and adapt to continued global disruptions and increased shipping speed expectations, it has become more important than ever to avoid easy mistakes that can slow your ability to move products from point A to point B. Human oversights, miscalculations, or simple inexperience can lead to LTL shipping errors that can cost you precious time and money. However, it is important to acknowledge that the majority of shipping mistakes are avoidable, especially when you know what to watch for and how to spot an error before a shipment leaves the loading dock. These are some of the most common shipping mistakes LTL shippers make when determining freight class, as well as other inaccuracies that can cause carrier rebills or delays. 

 

Inaccurate Weight/Dimensions

One of the first mistakes shippers can make involves accurately representing the shipment itself. When you obtain a quote from a carrier, you submit the weight and dimensions of your shipment, and you use this information to determine its freight class. 

If you try and estimate a shipment’s weight without using a proper scale, you will inevitably receive a rebill from the carrier when they reweigh the shipment and find a discrepancy. The weight of a shipment should be precisely recorded and include all packaging, pallets, straps, or skids that will accompany the cargo on its journey.  

Similarly, if you do not accurately measure a shipment the right way, you will undoubtedly be charged for it. A shipment’s height, width, and length must be measured exactly and include any packaging or pallet in the measurements. In addition, if an item is oddly shaped, the dimensions must be taken from the furthest points in all directions to be accurate. If a shipment is measured incorrectly, you may receive a rebill from the carrier, and the shipment may be delayed if the space reserved on the trailer will not fit it.

 

Inaccurate Freight Class 

Accurate weights and dimensions are also significant beyond what is written on the bill of lading (BOL) because they are used to determine the correct NMFC freight class for the shipment. Freight classes for commodities are very specific and can be different depending on a variety of factors, weight and dimension being two of them. If you estimate the weight or dimensions and select a freight class for the commodity you are shipping using the estimated measurements, you may get a freight class for your shipment that is totally wrong. If the freight class is inaccurate, you can expect another carrier rebill.

The key to finding the accurate freight classes for your items is using the right tools. Precisely measuring and weighing your goods, consulting the NMFC code list on the NMFTA’s website, and knowing how to calculate the density of your freight correctly in the event there isn’t a clearly defined NMFC code for your item can all help you accurately determine the correct freight class of your LTL shipment.

The freight class system is designed to identify a commodity’s overall transportability. Because trailer space is limited and how much cargo can fit on a trailer is vital to the carrier business model, weights, measurements, and calculations must be accurate, or shippers will be charged for it.

 

Inaccurate Paperwork 

Because of the number of different shipments sharing trailer space, LTL freight shipping relies heavily on accurate and detailed documentation to run properly. Paperwork like bills of lading (BOL) and proof of delivery (POD) that are filled out and shared between the shipper, carrier, and consignee records the precise size, weight, and contents of a shipment. They also indicate when and where a load is to be picked up, keep track of a shipment’s location in transit, and confirm when cargo has arrived at its destination. 

Errors on freight paperwork can cause confusion that results in missed pickups, lost shipments, and rebills due to inaccurate dimensional or freight class information.

 

Improper Packaging/Not Palletizing Shipments 

Packaging is important not only to protect your shipment while it is in transit but also to protect the other shipments on the trailer. The NMFTA states that “minimum packaging requirements [are] to ensure that goods are adequately protected and can be handled and stowed in a manner that is reasonably safe and practicable so as to withstand the normal rigors of the less-than-truckload environment.” 

LTL packaging comes in a variety of materials and styles, and what you select should depend on the items being shipped. Your shipment’s size, weight, shape, and fragility will determine the correct type of packaging you should select. If you do not choose sufficient packaging and your shipment becomes damaged or damages another shipment, you could be on the hook for those costs.

Similarly, palletizing can be a hassle, but it beats having a stack of loose packages that may shift around and get damaged or cause damage during shipping. In fact, some LTL carriers will not accept shipments that are not on a pallet, or they will automatically palletize your cargo for you and pass the cost along to you. 

 

Not Using a 3PL 

Working with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) to help manage your LTL freight shipping can help you avoid some of the mistakes on this list. LTL shipping can be a complicated process to navigate, and you can save yourself time and money by using 3PL shipping experts like the team at Koho to help you avoid costly mistakes and streamline your LTL shipping practices.

Koho can work with you to make sure you are measuring and weighing your shipment properly and filling out the correct information to obtain your freight quote. Koho can facilitate the creation and management of shipping documents, providing the carrier with what they need and compiling the shipper’s paperwork into an online platform that can be organized and accessed easily. 

A 3PL like Koho can also help advise you on the best LTL packing practices to ensure your shipment is secure and you don’t get hit with unexpected charges due to improper packaging.

LTL shipping is a complex industry, even more so in the current chaotic shipping environment. Having a partner like Koho puts LTL shipping experts at your fingertips to help you streamline your LTL shipping processes and steer clear of avoidable and costly mistakes.

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

Common Freight Class Errors and Other Mistakes LTL Shippers Make 

As supply chains struggle to evolve and adapt to continued global disruptions and increased shipping speed expectations, it has become more important than ever to avoid easy mistakes that can slow your ability to move products from point A to point B. Human oversights, miscalculations, or simple inexperience can lead to LTL shipping errors that can cost you precious time and money. However, it is important to acknowledge that the majority of shipping mistakes are avoidable, especially when you know what to watch for and how to spot an error before a shipment leaves the loading dock. These are some of the most common shipping mistakes LTL shippers make when determining freight class, as well as other inaccuracies that can cause carrier rebills or delays. 

 

Inaccurate Weight/Dimensions

One of the first mistakes shippers can make involves accurately representing the shipment itself. When you obtain a quote from a carrier, you submit the weight and dimensions of your shipment, and you use this information to determine its freight class. 

If you try and estimate a shipment’s weight without using a proper scale, you will inevitably receive a rebill from the carrier when they reweigh the shipment and find a discrepancy. The weight of a shipment should be precisely recorded and include all packaging, pallets, straps, or skids that will accompany the cargo on its journey.  

Similarly, if you do not accurately measure a shipment the right way, you will undoubtedly be charged for it. A shipment’s height, width, and length must be measured exactly and include any packaging or pallet in the measurements. In addition, if an item is oddly shaped, the dimensions must be taken from the furthest points in all directions to be accurate. If a shipment is measured incorrectly, you may receive a rebill from the carrier, and the shipment may be delayed if the space reserved on the trailer will not fit it.

 

Inaccurate Freight Class 

Accurate weights and dimensions are also significant beyond what is written on the bill of lading (BOL) because they are used to determine the correct NMFC freight class for the shipment. Freight classes for commodities are very specific and can be different depending on a variety of factors, weight and dimension being two of them. If you estimate the weight or dimensions and select a freight class for the commodity you are shipping using the estimated measurements, you may get a freight class for your shipment that is totally wrong. If the freight class is inaccurate, you can expect another carrier rebill.

The key to finding the accurate freight classes for your items is using the right tools. Precisely measuring and weighing your goods, consulting the NMFC code list on the NMFTA’s website, and knowing how to calculate the density of your freight correctly in the event there isn’t a clearly defined NMFC code for your item can all help you accurately determine the correct freight class of your LTL shipment.

The freight class system is designed to identify a commodity’s overall transportability. Because trailer space is limited and how much cargo can fit on a trailer is vital to the carrier business model, weights, measurements, and calculations must be accurate, or shippers will be charged for it.

 

Inaccurate Paperwork 

Because of the number of different shipments sharing trailer space, LTL freight shipping relies heavily on accurate and detailed documentation to run properly. Paperwork like bills of lading (BOL) and proof of delivery (POD) that are filled out and shared between the shipper, carrier, and consignee records the precise size, weight, and contents of a shipment. They also indicate when and where a load is to be picked up, keep track of a shipment’s location in transit, and confirm when cargo has arrived at its destination. 

Errors on freight paperwork can cause confusion that results in missed pickups, lost shipments, and rebills due to inaccurate dimensional or freight class information.

 

Improper Packaging/Not Palletizing Shipments 

Packaging is important not only to protect your shipment while it is in transit but also to protect the other shipments on the trailer. The NMFTA states that “minimum packaging requirements [are] to ensure that goods are adequately protected and can be handled and stowed in a manner that is reasonably safe and practicable so as to withstand the normal rigors of the less-than-truckload environment.” 

LTL packaging comes in a variety of materials and styles, and what you select should depend on the items being shipped. Your shipment’s size, weight, shape, and fragility will determine the correct type of packaging you should select. If you do not choose sufficient packaging and your shipment becomes damaged or damages another shipment, you could be on the hook for those costs.

Similarly, palletizing can be a hassle, but it beats having a stack of loose packages that may shift around and get damaged or cause damage during shipping. In fact, some LTL carriers will not accept shipments that are not on a pallet, or they will automatically palletize your cargo for you and pass the cost along to you. 

 

Not Using a 3PL 

Working with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) to help manage your LTL freight shipping can help you avoid some of the mistakes on this list. LTL shipping can be a complicated process to navigate, and you can save yourself time and money by using 3PL shipping experts like the team at Koho to help you avoid costly mistakes and streamline your LTL shipping practices.

Koho can work with you to make sure you are measuring and weighing your shipment properly and filling out the correct information to obtain your freight quote. Koho can facilitate the creation and management of shipping documents, providing the carrier with what they need and compiling the shipper’s paperwork into an online platform that can be organized and accessed easily. 

A 3PL like Koho can also help advise you on the best LTL packing practices to ensure your shipment is secure and you don’t get hit with unexpected charges due to improper packaging.

LTL shipping is a complex industry, even more so in the current chaotic shipping environment. Having a partner like Koho puts LTL shipping experts at your fingertips to help you streamline your LTL shipping processes and steer clear of avoidable and costly mistakes.

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