Less-than-truckload or LTL freight shipping is a cost-efficient transportation option for many small businesses and mid-size businesses. While a well-balanced budget is crucial to your business operations, it is important to remember that LTL often includes longer transit times than full truckload shipping. It’s often challenging for shippers to recognize the opportunities for optimizing, improving, and boosting LTL freight performance. However, there are several ways to improve LTL transit times that we will explore in this blog. With this information, you will see your on-time delivery, a crucial LTL key performance indicator, begin to improve.
3 ways to improve LTL transit times
Prepare your shipment for the pickup
Coordinate a system with a pick-up in mind to maximize the carrier’s time and reduce delays. Due to the interconnected timing of logistics, carriers are sometimes told to leave within 15-30 minutes of their pick-up time with or without the load. Having a good system in place will put both parties ahead. If you plan to ship long distances, make sure the carrier reaches the destination. Some carriers will pass off your freight if they don’t cover the region. This is costly and increases time in transit.
When planning your routes, ship near the metropolitan area to reduce the likelihood of delayed freight and reduce costs. Metropolitan areas usually have a larger concentration of carriers and shipping terminals. If you have multiple items going to a single location, try to ship them at the same time. This will reduce the number of shipments you have to create and reduce the amount of packaging needed. Essentially, your freight has to be palletized and properly packed so it’s easier to stack. Any inappropriate packaging will probably lead to a delay, extra charge, or a failed shipment.
Extend lead times
It’s not a secret that advanced planning leads to more consistent on-time deliveries. There are numerous benefits to prolonging your lead times by at least a few days more. With limited LTL capacity, the earlier you start planning, the more access you get to the pool of top carriers. Consequently, you have more diversity and flexibility in choosing an LTL carrier that will match your requirements, and not settle for options that are left on the market. With better quality carriers and more time to plan, you can get an accurate delivery time estimate, communicate all the additional services needed, and eventually increase on-time performance. It’s recommended to leave 5-6 days of lead time to successfully plan an LTL shipment.
Use expedited shipping
Expedited shipping is a special service when freight is delivered faster than regular transit times. The freight is delivered within a tight deadline through dedicated equipment. The principal difference between standard and expedited shipping is much shorter transit times and fewer touchpoints during transportation. Usually, expedited shipping takes 1-2 business days, but these transit times may vary depending on the carrier, lane, and destination. PLS Logistics Services can arrange your freight shipment regardless of its size and distance. Our experienced freight brokers will provide professional help so you can be sure that the shipment arrives safely and on time.
Optimizing LTL transit times with PLS
PLS provides fast and convenient less-than-truckload (LTL) expedited service. We use our carrier network to satisfy the specific needs of your freight and business. We can help you find the right carrier at the right price to ensure that your expedited delivery is made on time, every time.
Whether you have a rush order or need the highest shipment security, expedited shipping has the speed to meet your demand. Scroll to the bottom of this page to get a quote and get started with PLS today!