How to reduce costs; practical tips for Less-than-Truckload shippers

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

Though Less-than-Truckload (LTL) is already a budget option, there are always ways to reduce your shipping costs. Overall, one of the best ways to guarantee you are getting the best rates is to work with a Third Party Logistics Company (3PL) like Koho. The 3PL company can pass on the savings they have been able to negotiate with the carriers through Contracted Rates. Additionally, Koho’s self-service platform allows you to easily and conveniently comparison shop and book shipments based on the best identified rates for your freight.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when thinking about how to get the best value in LTL: 

Tip #1: Use low traffic days to your advantage 

Depending on demand in the logistics market, LTL rates can soar. Shipping on low traffic days like Monday or Friday is a great way to reduce the rates for your freight. If you are not sure which days are low traffic days for your carrier, ask. It’s in their best interest to maximize their shipment capacity resulting in a win-win for both the shipper and the carrier. 

Tip #2: Book your shipment well in advance 

The earlier you book your LTL shipment the more time you are allowing for the carrier to efficiently plan their drivers, trucks and other resources resulting in savings for you. Booking your freight in advance also allows you a large window of time to pack and stage your freight effectively for pick-up; a major factor in most freight shipping delays. 

Tip #3: Reconsider your packaging 

If you have a product, make sure your designers understand how the packaging can affect your profit margins due to their impact on the supply chain. Since LTL shipping costs are based on the size, weight and volume of your freight, unnecessarily large or dense packaging can raise your shipping rates. Having a conversation about Logistics with your team up front will allow for more thoughtful decision making about how products will be stacked, stored and transported throughout your supply chain.

Tip #4: Late pick-up of your shipment

Staying open past traditional business hours gives carriers a bit of breathing room to pick up other freight and manage their logistics more efficiently. This courtesy can reduce your rates with discounts. Shipping costs might be reduced by 15% or more. If you have staff that work late regularly, you can make this your main approach and significantly reduce your freight shipping costs overall.

Tip #5: Split up Volume Shipments 

If you have a large, volume shipment it might be in your best interest to break down that freight into smaller LTL shipments and book it with different carriers on different days. Though it will take more coordination the cost savings might be worth the extra time.

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