How to avoid missed pickups for your LTL freight

Transcript

How to Avoid Missed Pickups

LTL freight transportation is one of the best ways for small to medium-sized shippers to save money on their shipping budget. Using LTL also avoids wasted unused space on full truckload trailers and allows shippers to send smaller, more frequent loads. This can help reduce warehousing and inventory costs and improve the flow of a business’s supply chain. However, due to the complicated logistics involved with transporting multiple shipments with different final destinations together on the same trailer, LTL is prone to unforeseen delays and unpredictable transit times. But what’s even worse than your LTL delivery running late? What about when your shipment doesn’t even get picked up to begin with?

Missed pickups are all too common in the LTL industry, especially right now, as demand remains high and capacities and schedules are tight. They can occur for a variety of reasons. Scheduling errors, miscommunications, difficult pickup locations, or drivers running late due to other delays on their route can all result in a missed pickup. And while sometimes things happen that are out of anyone’s control, the good news is that most missed pickups are avoidable. We will be looking at some of the most common reasons missed pickups occur, and the steps you can take to ensure your cargo makes it onto the truck.

Get Familiar With Your Carrier’s Pickup Schedule

Most carriers complete deliveries in the morning hours, and then move on to pickups in the afternoon. This helps reduce the number of trips back to the carrier hub where shipments are consolidated, allowing drivers to empty their trailers and begin making pickups immediately. Understanding this schedule can help you avoid missed pickups. If a shipper attempts to schedule a pickup on short notice and squeeze it in too late in the day, the driver might not make it to the dock in time before their shift ends, or the warehouse is closed for the day. Scheduling pickups in advance and providing reasonable lead times allow for better coordination and a smoother pickup schedule.

Include Accurate Weight and Measurements

Providing accurate measurements for your shipment is critical when it comes to LTL freight. Carriers are trying to maximize capacity on their trailers, and often carefully calculate the space and weight available for the multiple shipments they are picking up. If the dimensions you provide when you get your quote are wrong, sometimes the truck will not have adequate space to accommodate your freight.

In addition, even if your load is picked up, inaccurate weights and measurements will lead to reweighs when the shipment is consolidated at the carrier hub, resulting in added charges to your final invoice.

Include Accessorials in Initial Quote

Accessorials such as liftgates, remote locations, and special handling instructions require the carrier to bring additional equipment or adjust how the pickup is made to accommodate the circumstances. If accessorials are not indicated at the time of the quote, the pickup may not be possible. 

For example, your business may not have a loading dock, which means a liftgate is required to load the cargo onto the truck. If you fail to include that information at the time of the quote and the driver arrives without one, they will not be able to complete the pickup. Carriers will also charge you additional fees for the lost time.

Offer Flexible Warehouse Hours

Because most pickups happen in the afternoon and evening, flexible warehouse hours can help accommodate the driver’s schedule and allow them a larger time window to make it to your business. If your warehouse closes down early, or you cannot adjust the hours to help make room for the pickup, it will be harder to guarantee that it will happen on a particular day, especially if it’s short notice.

Have the Shipment Prepped

Having your LTL freight stacked, palletized, and wrapped up is the best way to ensure your pickup goes as smoothly as possible. Avoid excess clutter in your warehouse and on your loading dock, and have your shipments properly packaged and ready to be loaded at the arranged time. Any paperwork that needs to be given to the driver or affixed to the shipment itself should be printed and in place at the time of the driver’s arrival.

Some missed pickups are unavoidable. Things happen that are beyond anyone’s control; that’s just life. But many delayed and missed pickups are unnecessary and the result of preventable mistakes. By following these best practices and communicating clearly with your LTL carrier, you can help ensure your shipment makes it in the truck on schedule, saving you time and money in the process. For additional help with your LTL freight, contact the shipping experts at Koho.

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

How to Avoid Missed Pickups

LTL freight transportation is one of the best ways for small to medium-sized shippers to save money on their shipping budget. Using LTL also avoids wasted unused space on full truckload trailers and allows shippers to send smaller, more frequent loads. This can help reduce warehousing and inventory costs and improve the flow of a business’s supply chain. However, due to the complicated logistics involved with transporting multiple shipments with different final destinations together on the same trailer, LTL is prone to unforeseen delays and unpredictable transit times. But what’s even worse than your LTL delivery running late? What about when your shipment doesn’t even get picked up to begin with?

Missed pickups are all too common in the LTL industry, especially right now, as demand remains high and capacities and schedules are tight. They can occur for a variety of reasons. Scheduling errors, miscommunications, difficult pickup locations, or drivers running late due to other delays on their route can all result in a missed pickup. And while sometimes things happen that are out of anyone’s control, the good news is that most missed pickups are avoidable. We will be looking at some of the most common reasons missed pickups occur, and the steps you can take to ensure your cargo makes it onto the truck.

Get Familiar With Your Carrier’s Pickup Schedule

Most carriers complete deliveries in the morning hours, and then move on to pickups in the afternoon. This helps reduce the number of trips back to the carrier hub where shipments are consolidated, allowing drivers to empty their trailers and begin making pickups immediately. Understanding this schedule can help you avoid missed pickups. If a shipper attempts to schedule a pickup on short notice and squeeze it in too late in the day, the driver might not make it to the dock in time before their shift ends, or the warehouse is closed for the day. Scheduling pickups in advance and providing reasonable lead times allow for better coordination and a smoother pickup schedule.

Include Accurate Weight and Measurements

Providing accurate measurements for your shipment is critical when it comes to LTL freight. Carriers are trying to maximize capacity on their trailers, and often carefully calculate the space and weight available for the multiple shipments they are picking up. If the dimensions you provide when you get your quote are wrong, sometimes the truck will not have adequate space to accommodate your freight.

In addition, even if your load is picked up, inaccurate weights and measurements will lead to reweighs when the shipment is consolidated at the carrier hub, resulting in added charges to your final invoice.

Include Accessorials in Initial Quote

Accessorials such as liftgates, remote locations, and special handling instructions require the carrier to bring additional equipment or adjust how the pickup is made to accommodate the circumstances. If accessorials are not indicated at the time of the quote, the pickup may not be possible. 

For example, your business may not have a loading dock, which means a liftgate is required to load the cargo onto the truck. If you fail to include that information at the time of the quote and the driver arrives without one, they will not be able to complete the pickup. Carriers will also charge you additional fees for the lost time.

Offer Flexible Warehouse Hours

Because most pickups happen in the afternoon and evening, flexible warehouse hours can help accommodate the driver’s schedule and allow them a larger time window to make it to your business. If your warehouse closes down early, or you cannot adjust the hours to help make room for the pickup, it will be harder to guarantee that it will happen on a particular day, especially if it’s short notice.

Have the Shipment Prepped

Having your LTL freight stacked, palletized, and wrapped up is the best way to ensure your pickup goes as smoothly as possible. Avoid excess clutter in your warehouse and on your loading dock, and have your shipments properly packaged and ready to be loaded at the arranged time. Any paperwork that needs to be given to the driver or affixed to the shipment itself should be printed and in place at the time of the driver’s arrival.

Some missed pickups are unavoidable. Things happen that are beyond anyone’s control; that’s just life. But many delayed and missed pickups are unnecessary and the result of preventable mistakes. By following these best practices and communicating clearly with your LTL carrier, you can help ensure your shipment makes it in the truck on schedule, saving you time and money in the process. For additional help with your LTL freight, contact the shipping experts at Koho.

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