5 Easy FTL Tips to Save Time & Money on Freight

Full truckload (FTL) shipping, in general, can represent a much more cost-efficient way to move your freight or cargo. Even though FTL freight shipping is a better value, it’s still more expensive than less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping costs.

Fortunately, there are a number of smart ways to reduce your FTL freight rates and master the ins and outs of truckload shipping. At On Track Freight Systems, we are the leading provider of both LTL freight shipping and FTL shipping. 

We are proud to offer fast and efficient solutions for moving FTL freight throughout our region and the broader United States. In the process, we always look to save our clients money on their LTL freight and FTL shipments. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of our top FTL freight shipping tips you can use to reduce your overall cost.

Work to Limit Time Delays on Shipping

Repeated delays by shippers and consignees can greatly increase the overall FTL shipping costs and create bottlenecks in your supply chain. Carriers mainly make money when the wheels of the truck loaded with freight are moving. 

And if your load isn’t moving and is in detention, most carriers will levy some sort of additional charge to your invoice. This is because most carriers already have the subsequent pickup scheduled after your pickup and delivery.

Any delay can put the carrier behind schedule, which can be a very costly situation for carriers. Here’s why: it could cost carriers valued customers.

Just about any FTL carrier will report the frustration and additional expenses associated when shippers schedule an appointment and fail to load the truck on time for several hours. These expenses will be passed on to you to raise your overall shipping costs. 

However, you can dramatically reduce your carrier rate by being the shipper with freight ready to go upon arrival of the truck when you are the shipper that has the FTL freight or LTL freight ready to go upon the arrival of the truck.

Understand How the FTL Freight Rate Is Calculated

If you’re looking to save money on your FTL shipments and enhance your supply chain, one of the first steps is to understand how the FTL freight quote is calculated. And when it comes to FTL freight, supply and demand are supreme.

Unlike smaller LTL shipments, FTL freight rates aren’t regulated by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). The NMFTA manages freight class, which is essential when shipping LTL.

Because freight class isn’t important for the FTL shipping method, it can be more difficult for shippers to adequately compare the FTL shipment rate. In either case, it’s imperative for you to understand the factors that determine the quoted price for FTL freight.

 Some of the key factors that impact FTL costs include:

  • Mileage plays a critical role in determining the total cost, but not in a straightforward manner. Longer distances will typically incur higher rates due to diesel fuel prices and fuel surcharges as well as driver costs.
  • Fuel surcharges are based on diesel fuel’s market price.
  • The trucking lane cost can influence truckload freight rates, and not all lanes cost the same.
  • Market capacity and demand for trucking services can have a direct impact on rates.
  • The overall demand for trucking services and truck availability will always be a factor in FTL freight rates. 
  • The attractiveness of the load, such as ease of appointment scheduling, ease of access, and availability of backhauls.
  • Lead time impacts FTL freight quote.

Increase Lead Time to Save on FTL Shipping Rates

One way you can potentially save on FTL shipping rates is by increasing the lead time. Longer lead times boost your ability to find the best carrier option based on:

  • Delivery dates,
  • Dates of service, and
  • Shipping rates. 

In addition, longer lead times can promote greater levels of accuracy and reduce the amount of time FTL shipping takes. For example, if you have a lead time of five to six days on your current shipments, you may have sufficient time to accurately arrange shipments. 

By extending the lead time between the order and deal, it will be a more cost-effective option. 

Pay within the Carrier’s Terms

Another way you may be able to generate lower FTL rates and savings on LTL shipments as well is by reviewing the terms in which you pay. Most carriers operate on extremely tight budgets, which means they expect timely payment.

In most instances, the standard term for FTL and LTL shipping will be 30 days (or less). If you have payment terms longer than this, you are most likely paying a premium for the accommodation.

Ask for a Quick Pay FTL or LTL Shipping Rate Reduction

On the other hand, several smaller FTL carriers and LTL carriers may factor their invoices for a % of the invoice (load). You may be able to save money on your FTL shipping or LTL shipping by inquiring whether the carrier offers a “quick pay” rate reduction.

With this, the LTL or FTL carrier will offer you a reduced rate for you simply paying earlier. Instead of the carrier having to pay the rate for factored invoices, the savings can be passed on to you.

This is an easy way to slash your transportation invoices by anywhere from three to four percent. While this may seem small, it can quickly add up when you consider the significant expense associated with FTL shipping. Simply put, pay on time or early for your shipping to make sure you enjoy the best possible rate.

Consider Shipping Freight Intermodal to Save

Full truckload shipping is undoubtedly the fastest and most efficient way to move your freight or cargo from one point to another in terms of ground shipping. However, if you are looking to save some money on your freight delivery, consider shipping intermodal.

Shipping freight intermodal simply means you will be shipping by several modes of transportation, such as: 

  • On-the-road truckload, 
  • Ocean shipping, 
  • Rail shipping, and 
  • Air shipping during a single trip.

If you’re shipping by land, the most common mixture of intermodal transportation is rail and road. This means your freight and shipments would move by train. 

Deciding to move by train may be cheaper and greener. However, rail shipping isn’t designed to save you time. It’s actually one of the slower options.

If you have time-sensitive shipments with extremely rigid delivery times, this may not be the best option. On the other hand, if on-time delivery isn’t as important, intermodal shipping may be a way to save money.

Always Work with an Experienced Carrier & Logistics Provider

Whether you’re shipping less-than-truckload or full truckload shipments, the carrier or logistics providers you use play a vital role in helping you keep costs low. Because of this, one of the most important steps you can take is to work with an experienced carrier.

An experienced trucking company will work to save you time, money, and headaches in the future. And full truckload carriers always appreciate the consistent business and often reward repeat customers with reduced shipping rates and/or discounted rates. 

As a result, it’s important to ask carriers about the potential for discounts on other shipments for consistent business.

Contact On Track Freight Systems for the Best Whole Truck Shipping

When you opt for FTL shipping, your cargo will arrive fast, experience less handling, fewer stops, and have the entire truck dedicated to the freight. However, not all FTL shipping carriers are created equally.

At On Track Freight Systems, we are a proven freight shipping leader with a large, nationwide footprint. For several decades, we have provided businesses with fast, efficient, and reliable FTL and LTL freight shipping solutions.

We offer fast and affordable, next-day delivery solutions throughout the New York and New Jersey metro areas. Even if you live outside of the New York and New Jersey metro areas, the team at On Track Freight Systems can help. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems today to request a rate quote.