6 Insider LTL Freight Shipping Tips the Pros Don’t Want You to Know

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner with experience in shipping or you have a growing business that is just switching to LTL freight services, it’s important for you to know certain freight shipping tips. The team at On Track Freight Systems has outlined some of our top insider freight shipping tips that our competition probably doesn’t want you to know. Continue reading to learn more and don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at On Track Freight Systems. 

LTL Freight Shipping Tip #1: Understand Freight Class 

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. And when it comes to freight class, it may seem as if it’s another “thing” for you to consider. However, it’s important for you to have some level of understanding of freight class when shipping LTL

In the most simple sense, freight class is a standardized pricing classification representing uniform parameters for shipping. Freight class is based on a number of factors, such as height, weight, liability, ease of handling, value, length, and density. There are a total of 18 different freight classes. If you know nothing, you should know that:

  • Lower freight classes represent freight that is dense, can be handled relatively easily, and isn’t damaged easily. 
  • Higher freight classes represent cargo that may be difficult to move, maybe fragile, is less dense, and can be lighter

LTL Freight Shipping Tip #2: Always Verify Times and Addresses 

While this may seem evident, it’s important to verify addresses and times. The biggest issue most New York and New Jersey freight shippers face is simply forgetting to verify the business they are shipping to, who should receive it, and when they should have it. 

You shouldn’t be intimidated to ask your customer if they are in an area designed to handle LTL shipments. In the event you set up an LTL delivery that can’t be delivered because of a lack of proper facilities capable of receiving the shipment, the onus will most likely fall on you. You can avoid this hassle by being proactive and double-checking ahead of time. 

LTL Freight Shipping Tip 3# Ensure Freight Is Prepared 

Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you should ensure your LTL freight is ready to go when the carrier shows up at your loading dock. Because LTL and FTL carriers have to make several stops in a day, it’s best for your shipment to be ready when they arrive. 

Failure to do so may result in the carrier leaving without your shipment. In addition to potentially costing you a “dry run” fee that can drive up your costs, this can result in delays to your final delivery schedule. 

LTL Freight Shipping Tip #4: Think Through Delivery

If you’re looking to create efficiencies, it’s critical to not only think about the pickup process — but also make sure to consider the delivery as well. Are there any limitations of your customer’s delivery location, such as limited access concerns or liftgate requirements? 

If so, make sure you communicate these concerns to your carrier when you’re receiving a quote. Failure to do so could potentially delay your delivery. At the same time, it could result in re-delivery fees as well as other accessorial charges. 

LTL Freight Shipping Tip #5: Become a Master at Avoiding Accessorial Charges

Until now, we have mentioned a few ways you can avoid accessorial charges, which are additional charges that compensate carriers for extra services and equipment use beyond normal procedures. In the end, the best way to avoid these charges is by being prepared and diligent. A few of the most common sources of accessorial charges include:

  1. If you intentionally or unintentionally misrepresent the freight class
  2. The consignee isn’t at the location when the delivering carrier arrives
  3. If a driver is unable to make a delivery and is turned away
  4. If the Bill of Lading isn’t properly completed

Freight Shipping Tip #6: Utilize Pallets & Crates Effectively

To properly package your freight, it’s important to understand how and when to use pallets and crates. Pallets are portable platforms used to package freight, and crates are wooden containers utilized to organize freight. While different, pallets and crates work toward the same goals:

  • Protecting your shipment
  • Allowing carriers to maximize space in the trailer
  • Expediting the loading and unloading of your cargo.

Why Use Crates for LTL Shipments?

Wooden crates are excellent for helping to protect and organize your freight. You can separate non-fragile and fragile items into their own individual crates for a robust level of protection. This method can prevent parts of your shipment from scratching or hitting other parts. 

 If you are shipping fragile items, make sure to wrap them in a protective material, such as bubble wrap, kraft paper, etc. Then, fill the crate with some type of filler material that will help prevent shifts and movement while in transit.  

Why Use Pallets for LTL Shipments?

Wooden pallets are recommended for the majority of shipments whether it’s fragile or not. The standard pallet is six inches tall, can handle a maximum of 3,000 lbs, and is designed to expedite transportation by allowing a forklift to easily lift and load. 

The most common type of pallet is the GMA pallet, which has a size of 48″ x 40″. However, there are other types of pallets that can vary based on the structure and the type of forklift opening. Some of the most common types of pallets include:

  1. Two-way unnotched pallets have openings for forklifts on two ends.
  2. Four-way partial entry pallets feature typical openings for forklifts on two ends while smaller openings are on the other ends. 
  3. Full four-way entry pallets offer full accessibility with openings for forklifts on all sides.
  4. Stringer pallets offer two-way forklift access and utilize additional stringer boards for extra support. This type of pallet may be necessary for heavier loads. 
  5. Block pallets offer full four-way entry for forklifts, and these pallets use blocks of solid wood for extra support. This type of pallet may be necessary for heavier loads.

Contact On Track Freight Systems for Expert Freight Solutions

At On Track Freight Systems, we are a leading carrier for LTL shipments throughout the New York and New Jersey metro areas. We offer fast Next-Day Delivery and a host of other value-added solutions designed to meet your unique needs. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems today for a free shipping or logistics quote