Guide to Getting the Best LTL Rates

Long gone are the days of viewing LTL shipping rates and logistics costs as a fixed cost. There are several steps and best practices you can take and use to ensure you save on LTL rates. And the team at On Track Freight Systems can help. 

As the leading logistics and transportation provider throughout New York, New Jersey, and beyond, we have outlined a few of our top, insider tips on how you can get the best LTL rates. Continue reading to learn more and don’t hesitate to reach out to On Track Freight Systems for the most competitive LTL rates. 

The Denser Your Shipment the Better

The way most LTL carriers make money is by consolidating a variety of LTL shipments into one trailer. Meaning the more physical space your order takes up in the trailer, the more it will cost you to have it shipped. Another factor is how much your shipment weighs, but that’s out of your control.

What you can control is how dense your order is. The largest, most profitable logistics departments do everything they can to compact their shipment as densely as possible in order to minimize the square footage used within the trailer. 

If you think your pallets cannot be double stacked, try to find an alternative so they can be. Little things like less space between products and an extra row on top of each pallet can go a long way in reduction of LTL rates.

Negotiate Competitive LTL Rates & Pricing When Possible

Although operating and shipping costs continue to rise, most carriers are willing to negotiate with businesses that frequently use their services. For example, reducing or waiving accessorial charges for your items shipped via an LTL carrier can add up to significant savings by the end of the year.

Another possible negotiation is to agree on a FAK rate structure to account for all the different types of freight classes you ship. If you aren’t already aware, FAK stands for “freight all kinds”. This term refers to customers that ship a variety of different freight classes. Getting individual rates for all the freight classes can be time-consuming and difficult, so agreeing to have everything shipped under one class simplifies the agreement and saves your business money. 

Look for a Carrier’s Specialties to Get the Best LTL Rates

Not all carriers deliver the same. For example, shipments that are comprised of products that need to be installed by professionals often need an LTL carrier that can deliver at a specific time to accommodate the installation team’s schedule. Another example is some LTL carriers don’t like to do residential deliveries and will charge a high premium for the service while others charge significantly less. 

One excellent path to the best LTL rates is to use carriers who specialize in your products and accommodate your shipping expectations. At On Track Freight Systems, we specialize in delivering pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, health and beauty aids, non-perishable goods, linens, cosmetics, bottle and label products and much more. Because of our size and nimble capabilities, we are often able to create efficiencies for companies that ship freight throughout the metro New York and New Jersey area.

Accuracy Is Key When It Comes to the Best LTL Rates

Sometimes, shippers feel the urge to underestimate the size or weight of their LTL shipments with the hopes of lowering their transportation costs. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the same trap. Stating your shipments are lower in weight or smaller in size than what they are can lead to freight inspection by the carrier. This will result in the shipment being re-rated at a higher cost and an inspection fee being assessed as well. 

The easiest way to avoid these unnecessary fees is to ensure the size, weight, and all the information related to the order is accurate on the BOL (bill of lading). And when you establish a partnership with On Track Freight Systems, we will work closely with you to ensure your information and billing is accurate. 

Consolidate Your Shipments for Better LTL Rates 

It’s less expensive to ship a fully loaded trailer compared to shipping multiple LTL shipments. Let’s say you do have multiple LTL shipments you need to send out, wouldn’t it be easier to just consolidate them on a multi-stop trailer load? If your shipment destinations are close to each other or make a relatively straight line through the country, it would be wise to look for a consolidated truckload shipment quote.

However, this strategy may not be effective if you have scattered destinations that are not close to each other. Attempting to use this strategy in this scenario could cost you more in the long run. 

Avoid On-The-Spot Quotes

Commitments build trust, not only with people but with businesses as well. Consider forming a contract with an LTL carrier rather than using different carriers all the time or only calling on them every so often. You will avoid paying higher rates per shipment and this will assist you when trying to negotiate LTL rates.

Looking for the Best LTL Rates? Contact On Track Freight Systems

As a business owner or logistics department manager, every cent counts. And when you partner with On Track Freight Systems, we will work closely with you to help you turn your shipping into a competitive advantage. 

Contact us today to learn how partnering with On Track Freight Systems can help you achieve the best LTL rates.