Carrier.jpgLTL carriers saw all-time high revenues in 2014, then due to a decrease in fuel prices, revenue dropped in 2015. Balanced supply and demand kept LTL prices from dropping in 2016, and JOC.com reports that LTL carriers are looking forward to 2017 as freight volumes are predicted to be higher. Next year, the LTL sector could see a capacity crunch due to the ELD mandate, a slow economy and pricing models. LTL pricing is expected to increase in 2017 and fuel costs aren’t likely to see change. In order to cut LTL freight shipping costs, shippers need to be exact with freight’s weight and dimensions, package and pallet the freight properly, consider consolidation, and utilize transportation management systems.

Infographic: Breaking Down the Costs of LTL Shipping

  1. Weight and Dimensions

LTL rates aren’t straightforward; shippers find that accessorial fees and surcharges increase the total spend. uShip says that about 30% of freight invoices have some type of correction for weight, dimensions, class, or cubic feet. Shippers must be completely accurate in the measurements and weights of the freight pallet being shipped, otherwise, they will be charged for the inaccuracy.

Common Accessorial Charges:

  • Reweigh
  • Reclassification
  • Residential pickup or delivery
  • Redelivery

Download The Shippers Complete Guide to LTL Shipments for more information on accessorial charges.

  1. Packaging and Palletizing

When packaging LTL freight, pallets make shipments easier for carriers to move. With regular LTL freight, shippers palletizing their freight need to use a slip sheet put boxes into a stable position, stack the pallets in columns (not pyramids), strap them for extra safety, and use stretch wrap to avoid shifting. Most shippers are more concerned with freight arriving undamaged at the destination; unsuitable palletizing can lead to 50% of boxes’ compression strength loss. Learn more about the Do’s and Don’ts of Palletizing here.

  1. Optimizing Freight with ConsolidationFreight-1.jpg

Freight consolidation supports shippers who want to cut down costs and emissions. Consolidating LTL shipments into full truckloads helps companies decrease transportation costs, drives consistency and reduces inventory. Load consolidation saves money by improving truckload utilization and taking advantage of the less expensive truckload rates. According to Inbound Logistics, companies can reduce transportation costs from 20-35% by converting LTL shipments to truckload shipments.

Read: Market Update: LTL Volume Down, but Prices Stay Firm

  1. Less-than-Truckload Technology

Transportation management software simplifies the LTL shipment process. Technology helps shippers with carrier selection, rates, invoicing, and other details. PLS PRO 2.0, for example, has standout benefits for LTL shippers: automatic density class estimator, data integrity, auto GL coding, accessorial data with calculated fees, and real-time shipment visibility. For shippers, a TMS reduces inbound and outbound freight expenses, reduces administrative costs through automation and highlights available carriers with an estimated rate, transit time, lane and billing information.

Want to learn more about PLS LTL services and PLS PRO 2.0? Email ltlsales@plslogistics.com.