LTL and FTL Ship Strategies to Make the Most of Your Money

About 71% of freight ends up getting moved on trucks. This is the most cost-effective way to get large shipments across the country. 

When looking to book your freight shipment, it can be easy to fall into what you are comfortable and familiar with. The freight process is complicated enough with many moving parts, why purposefully add more? 

This complacency can be costing you money. If you aren’t fully utilizing your LTL and FTL ship strategies, then it is time to reevaluate your shipping methods. 

Start using these strategies to optimize your shipping methods and make the most of your budget. 

Choosing FTL Shipping 

As a rule of thumb, full truckload shipping is more expensive than the less than truckload. But if you have a lot of product to move, this is the ideal choice. You can load up to 40,000 pounds on a single truck. 

This method tends to be faster. This is because there is no need to move the freight between trucks to get it to its final destination. 

You also get more security with this method of shipping. Again, because your shipment is put on the truck and then not taken off until it arrives at the destination. There is no risk of loss, theft, or accidental misplacement on the wrong truck. 

Choosing LTL Shipping 

This is the ideal shipping method for small freight shipments. It is cheaper than FTL because the carrier is combining your shipment with many other shipments to fill a single truck. 

The price you pay for the lower cost comes with longer shipping times. This type of shipping gives businesses more flexibility though. 

National carriers that offer LTL shipping tend to have extensive networks of shipping lanes. This gives businesses many solutions for getting their shipments to anywhere in the country. 

Are You Using These LTL and FTL Ship Strategies?

When it comes to quoting your freight shipment, you could be wasting more money than you realize. Use these strategies to help you choose the right method for your shipping needs. 

Know Your Dimensions and Class 

One of the biggest mistakes shippers make is estimating their dimensions and weight. Get these wrong, and you end up using the wrong NMFC class for your shipping quote. 

This can result in a difference in price that is hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Carriers depend on the information you give them to plan out which shipments will go on which truck for transport. 

If the carrier has to reweigh or rework a truckload, this will be costly for them. The carrier will turn around and pass this cost off on to you by readjusting your freight class. 

It is the shipper’s responsibility to report the correct information for their shipment. 

Choosing Between LTL and FTL 

One to three pallets will generally be cheaper when you choose LTL over full truckload. When you start having five to six pallets, it will become more affordable to choose full truckload. 

Of course, this greatly depends on the size and weight of your pallets. 

Consider Your Origin and Destination 

When a carrier dedicates an entire truck to your shipment, they are losing that truck in their rotation. This can result in lost profit for the carrier. 

Because of this, the carrier will charge you extra if the truck has to drive out of the carrier’s standard shipping lanes. When looking for a carrier, you will want to find one that regularly ships to your origin and destination locations. 

Choosing Between LTL and FTL 

If you can ship your load by LTL, you may get a price break on shipping to a more remote location. The carrier will hold your shipment until they have enough loads to fill the truck, then take all of the shipments to the remote area. 

This lowers the cost for the shippers and makes the trip worth it for the carrier. 

If you need to ship by full truckload, try looking on load boards. You may find a shipper that is already scheduled to your remote origin location. You can score a discount by booking the truck’s return trip. 

Get Creative with Your Options 

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to how you arrange your shipment. You may find that using multiple carriers and shipping solutions will get you the best price. 

For example, you can combine multiple shipments to create a full truckload and send it to the carrier’s terminal for the region. You save by combining shipments and having convenient locations for the carrier. 

Then arrange for a final mile service to take your individual shipments the final leg of their journey. These services have more focused efforts and trucks available in a smaller geographic area. This means they can give you a better price for the local shipments than the national carrier.

Doing this will get the shipment to the customer faster also. Instead of everyone waiting for one truck to make many stops, multiple trucks will deliver at the same time. 

Start Saving Money on Your Freight

Choosing the right LTL and FTL ship strategies is all about knowing your options. Be sure to measure and weigh your shipment correctly so that you can get accurate quoting. 

Get quotes for both LTL and full truckload. Get creative with your shipments to create a solution that both works for your needs and is budget friendly. 

Get a quote for your final mile and other shipping needs today.