Common LTL Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is a practical, cost-efficient option for moving freight – if done right.

Unfortunately, that last part isn’t always the case. First-time LTL users and even veterans with bad habits often lose money by making a few very avoidable mistakes.

No need to panic.

We’re here to help. Below is a list of the most common errors made with LTL shipping and tips for preventing them. By following this guide, you can help ensure that you’re getting the most economical freight shipping service possible.

Incorrect Measurements

Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carriers rely on the precise cargo dimensions you provide in order to efficiently organize and arrange shipments within a trailer. Inaccurate measurements can delay operations, resulting in either additional fees or shipment delays, or both. To avoid this, double and triple-check weights and dimensions before providing them to the carrier. This will save you time, money, and the goodwill of those who will be handling your items.

Improper Packaging

Packaging is essential for multiple reasons. First, it is likely that carriers will handle your items multiple times during transport. If your cargo is not adequately secured, it may be damaged or lost. Second, LTL shipping services frequently charge based on shipment density, with shipments that are less dense costing more per pound. Consequently, it is essential to pack items as tightly as possible, preferably in a cube shape. Pallets and crates can be used to address both of these packaging issues.

Ignoring Other Carrier Options

Various factors, including freight class, weight, density, geography, time of year, and dimensions, determine the shipping rates charged by different carriers. At any given time, carriers may provide different quotes for the same shipment. Comparing the prices of various LTL shipping services will enable you to select the most economical option. Avoid paying more than is necessary.

Disregarding Additional Services

Occasionally, shipments require special considerations, such as a liftgate, delivery to a location with restricted access, or specific handling instructions. If you fail to notify the carrier of these requirements in advance, you may incur additional fees or experience shipment delays. Clear communication of these requests is essential for avoiding problems in the future.

Failing to Track

Even the most reliable LTL service can make errors. Don't assume on-time delivery of your items without monitoring the process. Tracking the shipment will provide you and the recipient with peace of mind and enable you to address any issues that may arise. Inquire about the tracking services provided by your carrier.

Now You Know!

While the aforementioned errors are common, they are also simple to avoid. By exercising additional diligence and care, you can ensure that your LTL shipping needs are met with the greatest savings and service.