LTL guide for first-time small business owners

Transcript

LTL Guide for First-Time Small Business Owners

If you are a small business owner entering the world of LTL shipping for the first time, it can be a little daunting. While it is a great way for small businesses to save money on shipping costs, LTL is often a complex process that can be intimidating to navigate. For this reason, it is recommended that you partner with a trusted logistics provider like Koho that can help walk you through the LTL process and ensure you are getting the most out of your shipping budget. 

Third-party logistics providers, or 3PLs, can provide LTL shipping expertise to help you create an effective shipping strategy that fits your business’s needs, saving you time and money in the process. To get you started, we’ve created an essential guide for first-time LTL shippers to get familiar with how LTL works and how you can make it work for you.

 

How Do I Know When to Use LTL Shipping? 

Whether LTL shipping is right for you will depend on a number of factors:

  • The size of the shipment – You should consider LTL if the weight and dimensions of your package are on the edge of standard parcel size limits. Depending on the carrier, parcel size limits are usually between 70-150 pounds or 108 inches in combined length and girth. Anything around or over this size shipment should consider LTL shipping options.
  • Similar destinations - If many packages are going to the same destination, LTL will often be cheaper than parcel.
  • Transit time - Parcel services tend to have more predictable delivery times and require little or no lead time to schedule a pickup. LTL transit times are mostly estimates and require more flexibility. If your shipment is time-sensitive, a parcel service may be the best path. However, if flexible transit times work for you, LTL can typically save you a lot of money. 

 

What is the LTL Shipping Process?

While standard full truckload shipping is a relatively simple system that delivers a shipment from point A to point B on a single trailer, LTL is a bit more complicated. LTL relies on the careful arrangement of multiple shipments on a single truck heading in the same direction and typically involves several stops along the way as cargo is reorganized and consolidated at carrier terminals and shipped out on a new truck. And while this model allows carriers to maximize resources and capacity and pass the savings along to shippers, it also relies on precision and planning on the part of the shipper for it to work properly. The first step toward creating a good working relationship with your LTL carrier network is understanding the physical shipping process.

  1. Pickup – Your LTL shipment is usually picked up by a locally contracted truck that picks up other LTL shipments and takes them all to a carrier terminal.
  2. Terminal drop-off – The truck carrying your shipment arrives at a carrier shipping hub/terminal where your LTL cargo is unloaded, reorganized, and put onto a different truck for the next leg of transit.
  3. Long-haul – Your shipment will join other cargo on a long-haul truck that will carry multiple loads through a shipping lane from one carrier terminal to another. 
  4. Destination terminal – Upon arrival at the destination terminal, your LTL freight is again unloaded and reorganized into another locally-operated delivery truck.
  5. Delivery – Your LTL freight is then delivered to its final destination.

 

How Do I Prepare a Shipment for Pickups/Deliveries? 

Another key to maintaining efficient LTL practices and working in tandem with your carriers is being prepared. Clearly communicating your needs to the carrier and creating an environment that helps speed up loading and unloading goes a long way in establishing a positive relationship and ensuring your freight capacity becomes a priority. 

LTL drivers pick up multiple loads from different locations on a given day, so anything you can do to help make the process more efficient will be greatly appreciated. These are a few tips for the pickup and delivery process that can make things go smoothly.

Pickups 

  • Ship on low-traffic days – when demand is high, so are the rates. Ask your carrier or 3PL which days are less busy, and you may be able to negotiate lower prices.
  • Plan ahead – the more lead time you can give carriers for your shipment, the better they are able to optimize resources and provide capacity.
  • Get organized – stage your shipments to make loading as easy as possible, and be sure to have any necessary labels affixed to your freight and paperwork ready for the driver.

Deliveries

  • Track your shipment – Using an online shipping platform like Koho’s, you can accurately track your freight, receive updates on its journey, and better prepare for your delivery.
  • Ship larger and less often – If you have items going to the same destination frequently, see if you can consolidate some of those loads into larger shipments. This helps carriers reduce the number of deliveries they need to make and can lead to lower rates.
  • Plan ahead – Make sure to communicate with the LTL freight recipient, so they know when to expect a delivery. This will allow them to optimize the unloading process and ensure they are prepared to inspect all freight for any damages and file insurance claims in a timely fashion.

How Do I Make LTL Shipping Work for Me? 

While LTL shipping can be complicated and working out the details can be challenging, most businesses can find significant shipping cost savings using LTL. Working with the shipping experts at Koho can provide you with a guide to the world of LTL freight, connect you with an expansive network of reliable carriers, and help optimize your freight strategy to get the most out of your shipping budget. Contact Koho and start saving money on your LTL shipments today.

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

LTL Guide for First-Time Small Business Owners

If you are a small business owner entering the world of LTL shipping for the first time, it can be a little daunting. While it is a great way for small businesses to save money on shipping costs, LTL is often a complex process that can be intimidating to navigate. For this reason, it is recommended that you partner with a trusted logistics provider like Koho that can help walk you through the LTL process and ensure you are getting the most out of your shipping budget. 

Third-party logistics providers, or 3PLs, can provide LTL shipping expertise to help you create an effective shipping strategy that fits your business’s needs, saving you time and money in the process. To get you started, we’ve created an essential guide for first-time LTL shippers to get familiar with how LTL works and how you can make it work for you.

 

How Do I Know When to Use LTL Shipping? 

Whether LTL shipping is right for you will depend on a number of factors:

  • The size of the shipment – You should consider LTL if the weight and dimensions of your package are on the edge of standard parcel size limits. Depending on the carrier, parcel size limits are usually between 70-150 pounds or 108 inches in combined length and girth. Anything around or over this size shipment should consider LTL shipping options.
  • Similar destinations - If many packages are going to the same destination, LTL will often be cheaper than parcel.
  • Transit time - Parcel services tend to have more predictable delivery times and require little or no lead time to schedule a pickup. LTL transit times are mostly estimates and require more flexibility. If your shipment is time-sensitive, a parcel service may be the best path. However, if flexible transit times work for you, LTL can typically save you a lot of money. 

 

What is the LTL Shipping Process?

While standard full truckload shipping is a relatively simple system that delivers a shipment from point A to point B on a single trailer, LTL is a bit more complicated. LTL relies on the careful arrangement of multiple shipments on a single truck heading in the same direction and typically involves several stops along the way as cargo is reorganized and consolidated at carrier terminals and shipped out on a new truck. And while this model allows carriers to maximize resources and capacity and pass the savings along to shippers, it also relies on precision and planning on the part of the shipper for it to work properly. The first step toward creating a good working relationship with your LTL carrier network is understanding the physical shipping process.

  1. Pickup – Your LTL shipment is usually picked up by a locally contracted truck that picks up other LTL shipments and takes them all to a carrier terminal.
  2. Terminal drop-off – The truck carrying your shipment arrives at a carrier shipping hub/terminal where your LTL cargo is unloaded, reorganized, and put onto a different truck for the next leg of transit.
  3. Long-haul – Your shipment will join other cargo on a long-haul truck that will carry multiple loads through a shipping lane from one carrier terminal to another. 
  4. Destination terminal – Upon arrival at the destination terminal, your LTL freight is again unloaded and reorganized into another locally-operated delivery truck.
  5. Delivery – Your LTL freight is then delivered to its final destination.

 

How Do I Prepare a Shipment for Pickups/Deliveries? 

Another key to maintaining efficient LTL practices and working in tandem with your carriers is being prepared. Clearly communicating your needs to the carrier and creating an environment that helps speed up loading and unloading goes a long way in establishing a positive relationship and ensuring your freight capacity becomes a priority. 

LTL drivers pick up multiple loads from different locations on a given day, so anything you can do to help make the process more efficient will be greatly appreciated. These are a few tips for the pickup and delivery process that can make things go smoothly.

Pickups 

  • Ship on low-traffic days – when demand is high, so are the rates. Ask your carrier or 3PL which days are less busy, and you may be able to negotiate lower prices.
  • Plan ahead – the more lead time you can give carriers for your shipment, the better they are able to optimize resources and provide capacity.
  • Get organized – stage your shipments to make loading as easy as possible, and be sure to have any necessary labels affixed to your freight and paperwork ready for the driver.

Deliveries

  • Track your shipment – Using an online shipping platform like Koho’s, you can accurately track your freight, receive updates on its journey, and better prepare for your delivery.
  • Ship larger and less often – If you have items going to the same destination frequently, see if you can consolidate some of those loads into larger shipments. This helps carriers reduce the number of deliveries they need to make and can lead to lower rates.
  • Plan ahead – Make sure to communicate with the LTL freight recipient, so they know when to expect a delivery. This will allow them to optimize the unloading process and ensure they are prepared to inspect all freight for any damages and file insurance claims in a timely fashion.

How Do I Make LTL Shipping Work for Me? 

While LTL shipping can be complicated and working out the details can be challenging, most businesses can find significant shipping cost savings using LTL. Working with the shipping experts at Koho can provide you with a guide to the world of LTL freight, connect you with an expansive network of reliable carriers, and help optimize your freight strategy to get the most out of your shipping budget. Contact Koho and start saving money on your LTL shipments today.

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