5 Tips for Shippers New to LTL Freight


Are you ready to develop a less than truckload (LTL) transportation plan? LTL shipping doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful. Whether you plan to ship LTL freight regularly, or if you’ll only ship a few packages a month, you will benefit from these 5 tips which explain how to avoid unnecessary costs, determine price and optimize efficiency.

1. Fill Out the BOL Correctly

A bill of lading (BOL) works as a receipt for the goods shipped, indicates contracted details between carrier and shipper, defines a consignee, and functions as a document of title. The BOL informs the carrier how the shipment should be handled and billed.

2. Use Pallets

Pallets make shipments easier for carriers to move. Use pallets when pieces fit squarely within the pallet’s edges, height and width of a shipment are similar, and if the individual pieces in a load exceed 100 pounds. If your freight is irregular, don’t palletize your shipments.

3. Avoid Accessorial Charges by Being Prepared and Diligent

Accessorial charges compensate carriers for additional services and equipment beyond normal shipping procedures. Accessorial charges can be added if the shipper misrepresents the freight class, if a driver is turned away from delivery or the consignee is not present, and/or if the BOL is not filled out correctly.

4. Understand Freight Class

LTL shipments are based on freight class. There are 18 different freight classes; lower classes represent dense freight that isn’t easily damaged and can be handled easily. Higher freight classes represent lighter, less dense freight that is fragile and difficult to move. Higher classes equate to higher rates.

5. Determine LTL Pricing

To determine the price of an LTL shipment, 7 factors are at stake: accessorial charges, freight class, minimums, distance, base rates, weight and freight all kinds (FAK).

Looking for some help? PLS’ team of LTL shipping experts will help you control costs and reduce claims. We can leverage our network of qualified LTL carriers to ensure that your shipment reaches its destination on-time and at the best price.

For more in-depth information on LTL freight shipping, download our Complete Guide to LTL Shipping.

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