5 Small Business LTL Tips to Generate Big Savings

Using the right LTL tips can save you time and money. Most importantly, it can ensure your freight is delivered on time and as intended. 

At On Track Freight Systems, we are the leading provider of LTL and FTL shipments in New York, New Jersey, and throughout our expansive coverage area. As leaders, we regularly meet the FTL and LTL freight shipping needs of businesses of all sizes. 

And when you partner with On Track Freight Systems for freight shipping, you’ll open the door to decades of experience and savings. Let’s take a closer look at a few simple LTL shipping tips and best practices you can use to supercharge your supply chain.

Use Reliable, Higher Quality Shipping Materials to Package Freight

As a business owner, it’s imperative to create savings where and when you can. However, choosing cheaper and inferior boxes and packaging materials to save a few extra dollars is hardly ever worth it.

This practice often leads to damaged shipments or total losses. Whether you have fragile items or not, it’s imperative to use high-quality protective material. 

Here are a few simple tips you can use to increase the security and integrity of your packaging. 

Use High-Quality Boxes for Shipments

Well-constructed and new cardboard boxes will provide significantly more protection than boxes that have been reused or recycled.

Avoid Using Damaged Pallets

Faulty or damaged pallets are the leading cause or most common causes of damaged freight. A faulty pallet may not be able to hold the weight of your freight. By choosing functional pallets, you can have peace of mind that it’s up to the task at hand and is likely to handle the rigors of the journey.

Place Fragile Items in a Crate

To protect fragile items throughout delivery, consider using crates. Adding extra protective materials or cushioning materials for small packages can help reduce empty space. This can help ensure safe delivery by preventing parts of your shipment from moving during transportation.

Make Sure to Select the Right Sized Pallets

In addition to choosing pallets that are well-constructed, you should also make sure you choose the right size pallet for the shipment.

Use Sound Pallet Stacking Techniques for Freight

Whether it’s a large shipment or small shipment, it’s important to properly stack pallets. Failure to properly stack heavy and lightboxes will significantly increase the likelihood of your load failing.

Specifically, failing to properly stack boxes can slash the integrity and stability of your boxes by up to 60%.

Stack Boxes Squarely on the Pallet & Distribute Weight Evenly

To avoid this scenario, ensure all boxes are squarely stacked on the pallet. You should also aim to distribute the weight as evenly as possible. Another one of the key freight shipping tips is to prevent having boxes hanging over the edge. 

Avoid Stacking Freight and Boxes Over the Edge of the Pallet

While having freight as close to the edges is fine, you should avoid crossing the line. Stacking boxes over the edge of the pallet can decrease the strength of the load and expose your freight to unnecessary damages.

Avoid Using Interlocking Patterns for Boxes

You should also avoid utilizing the interlocking pattern practice for stacking boxes. If you do use the interlocking pattern, it can compromise the integrity of your boxes.

Use Shrink Wrap and Straps to Secure Load

After you’ve stacked the boxes properly, using shrink wrapping, stretch wrap, and other packing materials is the most cost-effective option to ensure the load is secure.

Provide Accurate LTL Freight Shipping Information to LTL Carriers

Anytime you request an LTL freight shipping quote, it’s heavily dependent on the size and weight of the products you’re shipping. Because of this, some customers look to generate cost savings by underestimating the dimensions or weight of their LTL shipment.

However, this rarely works out as the shipper intends. Instead of saving money, it can result in you being charged more or even fined for your shipment. 

Misclassifying an LTL Shipment Can Cost You More

The majority of LTL carriers will perform double-check to ensure accurate freight class and to spot paperwork errors. If actual LTL freight classes and dimensions do not align with your paperwork, you will incur extra costs (accessorial charges). 

These fees may be in the form of inspection fees and accessorial fees when the carrier must reclassify to higher freight classes.

Misclassifying LTL Shipments Can Ruin Carrier Relations

Even worse, consistently misclassifying less-than-truckload shipping can hinder carrier relations. Specifically, it can cause your account to be flagged, which may mean additional inspections for future less-than-truckload shipments.

Get the Freight Class Right to Avoid Accessorial Charges

To get the freight class right, it’s best to avoid guessing. If you don’t have the proper scale, take the weight of all of your boxes and add the weight of the pallet. 

When possible, you should weigh the wrapped pallet to be as precise as possible. And above all, communicate with the carrier if you don’t have the proper equipment. 

Always Confirm LTL Shipping Address

While this may be simple and seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how often the shipper gives the wrong address. When this happens, the final delivery schedule may be thrown off. 

As a result, one of the top freight shipping tips is to verify the accuracy of the LTL shipping address before labels are printed.

The Wrong Address Can Cost You Extra Dollars

Far too often, when a trucking company is given the wrong address, it results in missed deliveries and the assessment of redelivery fees and accessorial charges. 

When it’s a once-in-a-blue-mood event, giving the LTL carrier one wrong address may not be a big deal. But when you add up several wrong LTL delivery addresses, it can quickly drive the cost of deliveries up. 

It can result in you paying more for LTL shipping than necessary, collectively. At the same time, it can lead to late deliveries, which can make your business seem incompetent, which can cost you customers. 

In the end, having an accurate delivery address can help facilitate a more efficient shipping process and ensure the shipment arrives safely.

Make Sure the Receiver Has Proper Facilities Capable of Receiving Shipment

As the shipper, it’s best to verify the recipient has a loading dock to receive the freight. When the receiving address or shipping address does have limited access concerns, it’s best to speak with the carrier before the freight is shipped to avoid reattempt hassles.

In most instances, addresses that do not have a loading dock will require special equipment to deliver. If you fail to inform the carrier of the special delivery needs, they may or may not have the equipment on hand to make the delivery. 

This exact scenario often results in delayed deliveries or undeliverable freight. You can, however, overcome this by clearly communicating with the recipient and shipper. 

Addresses without a loading dock will have by carriers, the shipper will incur an additional fee for the service, delayed delivery, or undeliverable cargo. This is why it’s important to ask the recipient about the delivery location and convey this information to the carrier. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems

At On Track Freight Systems, we are one of the top LTL and FTL carriers in the New York and New Jersey areas. Since we opened our doors back in 1991, we have consistently delivered on-time LTL and full truckload freight shipments for business owners throughout New Jersey, New York, and beyond. 

We regularly work with small to medium sized businesses to help them achieve their logistics and supply chain goals. When you partner with On Track Freight Systems, you’ll have access to Fortune 500 logistics and supply chain resources at a price you can afford. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems today for fast freight shipping and affordable LTL shipping rates.