The worst places to ship LTL freight and why

Transcript

The Most Challenging Destinations to Ship LTL Freight

There are nearly 20,000 incorporated places in the United States, from small towns and remote villages to highly populated metropolitan giants, and almost all of them rely on some form of shipping and transportation to supply the goods and commodities used and consumed in the local area. But in a country as large as America, places vary greatly, and not just in size. Different climates, locations, populations, and terrain shape the identities of many areas throughout the country, and these factors can affect how easy it is to ship there. Whether a location is too remote, low demand, overly congested, or dangerous, some places are just more challenging to ship to. Today, we will be looking at a few types of locations, why it isn’t easy to ship LTL to them, and how to overcome some of the challenges presented.

 

Dense Populations

Heavily populated metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles present a variety of problems for LTL drivers to navigate. Bumper-to-bumper traffic, narrow streets, tight corners, and lots of pedestrians make maneuvering a 52-foot truck to its destination particularly challenging and time-consuming. Often, drivers may spend most of the day simply getting the freight into position for a drop-off in these overpopulated areas, all while the clock runs for the driver and fuel burns in stop-and-go traffic. Because of how much time and resources must be put into getting freight delivered in cities with dense populations and how difficult it is to navigate them, the cost to shippers is often much higher and delivery times harder to predict.

 

Remote Locations

Remote locations far outside well-traveled routes can also present unique challenges for shippers. Areas where cell phone reception is spotty, gas stations are few and far between, and populations are scattered make it difficult for carriers to transport to. Dense terrain and minimal infrastructure mean carriers must plan further ahead to account for fuel, terminal-to-destination distance, and specific route planning to successfully deliver to these locations. In addition, it is unlikely that carriers can find loads to pick up in remote destinations, meaning many miles and hours drivers must spend hauling an empty trailer, eating into carrier profits. Remote locations are typically priced higher and often incur accessorial charges from carriers to recoup the additional resources required to make the delivery.

 

Low Demand Areas

Pricing in the LTL industry is partially determined by demand. Backhauling, or picking up a new load in the area where a driver has just delivered one, is critical to making the most of an LTL carrier’s time, money, and fuel. If an area is remote or has a low demand for LTL shipping, it is more difficult for carriers to maximize their trailer space and find shipments to carry back to the terminal. Because of this, rates may be much higher when shipping along routes or to areas with low demand for LTL freight services.

 

Difficult Terrain

We’ve all seen the “runaway truck” ramps strategically placed along mountain roads as a safety precaution for truck drivers hauling loads through steep, narrow highways. Areas with rugged terrain are more dangerous to drive in and require additional safety measures and procedures for drivers to complete their routes. Heavy trucks burn more fuel and take more time to operate on mountainous and other difficult terrain types. In addition, sudden inclement weather is a more significant concern at higher altitudes, adding to the risk. As a result, the cost to ship goods to these locations is typically higher.

 

How to Get the Most from Your Budget When Shipping to a Difficult Location

Now that you have a good idea of what makes a location difficult, you may be wondering: How can I get the most out of my shipping budget when transporting goods to these areas? While many of the challenges discussed above are unavoidable, there are measures you can take as an LTL shipper to mitigate some of the issues and maximize your shipping efficiency. Here are a few to take into consideration:

 

  • Plan Ahead – The best way to handle some of the problems surrounding certain locations is to plan for them. Booking shipments early, giving carriers plenty of lead time, and making exceptions for delays and other unforeseen issues is the best way to mitigate challenges you have no control over. This will ensure you are able to secure capacity, compare rates to find the best deal available, and avoid upsetting customers by committing to unrealistic transit times.
  • Establish Carrier Relationships – If you ship to difficult locations frequently, developing a good relationship with your carriers is a must. Consistency, trust, and loyalty can lead to better deals, discounts on repeat accessorial charges, and better communication when something goes wrong.
  • Be Flexible – Due to the complexity of the LTL industry, transit times in the best conditions are just estimates, not guarantees. When it comes to difficult locations, their predictability becomes even more challenging. Allowing for one or two extra days of transit and being flexible about pickup and drop-off times can go a long way in helping you maintain a good relationship with your carriers and your customers.

 

If you want to know more about which locations may present challenges for your LTL shipment and which carriers may offer the best rates for specific areas and routes, contact the shipping experts at Koho. Koho can help you find multiple online quotes instantly, get the lowest rate from a reliable carrier, and ensure your cargo gets from origin to destination, no matter where you need to ship.

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

The Most Challenging Destinations to Ship LTL Freight

There are nearly 20,000 incorporated places in the United States, from small towns and remote villages to highly populated metropolitan giants, and almost all of them rely on some form of shipping and transportation to supply the goods and commodities used and consumed in the local area. But in a country as large as America, places vary greatly, and not just in size. Different climates, locations, populations, and terrain shape the identities of many areas throughout the country, and these factors can affect how easy it is to ship there. Whether a location is too remote, low demand, overly congested, or dangerous, some places are just more challenging to ship to. Today, we will be looking at a few types of locations, why it isn’t easy to ship LTL to them, and how to overcome some of the challenges presented.

 

Dense Populations

Heavily populated metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles present a variety of problems for LTL drivers to navigate. Bumper-to-bumper traffic, narrow streets, tight corners, and lots of pedestrians make maneuvering a 52-foot truck to its destination particularly challenging and time-consuming. Often, drivers may spend most of the day simply getting the freight into position for a drop-off in these overpopulated areas, all while the clock runs for the driver and fuel burns in stop-and-go traffic. Because of how much time and resources must be put into getting freight delivered in cities with dense populations and how difficult it is to navigate them, the cost to shippers is often much higher and delivery times harder to predict.

 

Remote Locations

Remote locations far outside well-traveled routes can also present unique challenges for shippers. Areas where cell phone reception is spotty, gas stations are few and far between, and populations are scattered make it difficult for carriers to transport to. Dense terrain and minimal infrastructure mean carriers must plan further ahead to account for fuel, terminal-to-destination distance, and specific route planning to successfully deliver to these locations. In addition, it is unlikely that carriers can find loads to pick up in remote destinations, meaning many miles and hours drivers must spend hauling an empty trailer, eating into carrier profits. Remote locations are typically priced higher and often incur accessorial charges from carriers to recoup the additional resources required to make the delivery.

 

Low Demand Areas

Pricing in the LTL industry is partially determined by demand. Backhauling, or picking up a new load in the area where a driver has just delivered one, is critical to making the most of an LTL carrier’s time, money, and fuel. If an area is remote or has a low demand for LTL shipping, it is more difficult for carriers to maximize their trailer space and find shipments to carry back to the terminal. Because of this, rates may be much higher when shipping along routes or to areas with low demand for LTL freight services.

 

Difficult Terrain

We’ve all seen the “runaway truck” ramps strategically placed along mountain roads as a safety precaution for truck drivers hauling loads through steep, narrow highways. Areas with rugged terrain are more dangerous to drive in and require additional safety measures and procedures for drivers to complete their routes. Heavy trucks burn more fuel and take more time to operate on mountainous and other difficult terrain types. In addition, sudden inclement weather is a more significant concern at higher altitudes, adding to the risk. As a result, the cost to ship goods to these locations is typically higher.

 

How to Get the Most from Your Budget When Shipping to a Difficult Location

Now that you have a good idea of what makes a location difficult, you may be wondering: How can I get the most out of my shipping budget when transporting goods to these areas? While many of the challenges discussed above are unavoidable, there are measures you can take as an LTL shipper to mitigate some of the issues and maximize your shipping efficiency. Here are a few to take into consideration:

 

  • Plan Ahead – The best way to handle some of the problems surrounding certain locations is to plan for them. Booking shipments early, giving carriers plenty of lead time, and making exceptions for delays and other unforeseen issues is the best way to mitigate challenges you have no control over. This will ensure you are able to secure capacity, compare rates to find the best deal available, and avoid upsetting customers by committing to unrealistic transit times.
  • Establish Carrier Relationships – If you ship to difficult locations frequently, developing a good relationship with your carriers is a must. Consistency, trust, and loyalty can lead to better deals, discounts on repeat accessorial charges, and better communication when something goes wrong.
  • Be Flexible – Due to the complexity of the LTL industry, transit times in the best conditions are just estimates, not guarantees. When it comes to difficult locations, their predictability becomes even more challenging. Allowing for one or two extra days of transit and being flexible about pickup and drop-off times can go a long way in helping you maintain a good relationship with your carriers and your customers.

 

If you want to know more about which locations may present challenges for your LTL shipment and which carriers may offer the best rates for specific areas and routes, contact the shipping experts at Koho. Koho can help you find multiple online quotes instantly, get the lowest rate from a reliable carrier, and ensure your cargo gets from origin to destination, no matter where you need to ship.

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