Successful Transportation Plans Comprise Right Mix Of LTL & FTL
Succeeding in building a shipping strategy is next to impossible without detailed assessment of the available options of truck transport companies and negotiating the price.
The business environment is highly dynamic and organizations who adapt themselves according to the quick changes happening around win their battles. It is though impossible to control the actions but you can be prepared with best of reactions.
For most of the companies, it is an intimidating task to choose between the two chief alternatives of shipping- Less than Truckload and Full Truckload (FTL). Do you think you can win the game of shipping without solving this conundrum? Well, discussing two common scenarios may offer you a helping hand in this:
Startup firms that typically send out small consignments should consider meeting their quick demands while saving money by amalgamating their shipments with others, through LTL.
Small to mid-sized companies that have to transfer parcels in bulk but their pain is missing the dates of delivery leading to chargebacks and unhappy customers can think about leveling up to FTL solution.
If you lack the detailed knowledge about LTL and FTL like when to use them and their pricing, it is too difficult to carve an efficient and cost effective freight strategy.
Efficiency & Predictability Is The Second Name Of Full Truckload
By opting FTL, you are showing your interest in owning the entire trailer. There will be no shared space and there will be no stops except yours. According to freight experts, businesses that have more than six pallets or their shipment weighs more than 12,000 lbs. You should be quick in taking decision in favor of FTL.
Undoubtedly, FTL is an expensive alternative but it can provide the best value in the aforementioned contingencies. Other than price, it provides many valuable advantages like timely delivery, no intermediate stops and satisfied customers for you.
There are products which demand minimal handling or special handling FTL serves the purpose very well. With FTL, your shipment is loaded and unloaded only once. Hence, it automatically reduces the chance of cargo mishandling.
Choose Less Than Truckload For Economic And Flexible Services
When goods in transit are shipped by LTL they share space with other parcels. There are obviously multiple stoppages on their way. It is also clearly understood that with LTL your shipment moves slow and is handled multiple number of times.
But as you share the cost of trailer with other entrepreneurs, it is a less expensive choice to make for you.
This budget friendly alternative is quite suitable for moving small quantities frequently.
Why Successful Shippers Oscillate Between LTL and FTL?
It is time to stick to LTL when:
Number of pallets to be moved is between 1 and 6.
Weight of shipment is from 150-12,000 lbs.
You can manage with slower deliveries.
You are buying and it is a good financial call to purchase a pallet of items or it will be adding to your inventory.
Switching to FTL is a sound decision if:
You have enough of products to fill a trailer.
Weight of your shipment is between 5,000 and 44,000 lbs.
There are six or more pallets to be shipped.
Your shipment needs to be delivered on or before a particular date, and there is a penalty for not meeting the deadline.
You are into transport of fragile and high value merchandise.
How Easy Is FTL Pricing?
For most of the businesses, the most determining factor remains the price. This is important for you to get that pricing of both the options LTL and FTL work quite differently.
While pricing of FTL is very simple to understand, the same cannot be said for LTL shipping. It is usually a flat rate or a flat rate plus fuel.
There are some other factors that make a difference on the carrier’s pricing of FTL shipments such as weight, season, origin and destination etc. Remote pickups and drops are expected to be costlier than rest. Each carrier comes with its own expertise, operational costs and hence, its strategy may differ from other to some extent. It is in your best interest to take quotations from multiple carriers before going with one of them.
Why LTL Pricing Is Challenging?
Undoubtedly, LTL is the more popular way of transporting merchandise but the pricing is complex to understand by the shippers. Different carriers levy different rates, which are based on the cargo’s National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC).
NMFC is the standard grading system prevalent in the industry which has categorized commodities into 18 different classes. Here low class is of 50 and high class is 500. The score a commodity gets is based on cargo’s four characteristics- density, handling, liability and storability. These characteristics together determine its transportability and ultimately the tariff.
Cargos or consignments which are on the higher side of the scale are more prized and therefore, more costly to transit. Nevertheless, NMFC provides a standard for negotiation to the shippers and carriers. The NMFC code is the only factor that decides the cost while other factors like fuel surcharges, origin and destination, time of the year, weight etc. also contribute to LTL pricing.
How To Set Long Term Reducing Transportation Expense Goals?
Juggling between the complexities of LTL and FTL pricing is extremely tricky. When shippers make attempt of incorporating flexibility with dependability they are forced to make challenging choices.
If you are going through similar transportation conundrum, trust the data gathered from inventory and transportation costs. This way you will be taking informed and logical decisions. Comprehension of these numbers to investigate them not only lowers the transportation costs for you but also saves time and generates better opportunities.
Having a system working with data and providing you useful cues can prepare you to better compare carrier offers and extract best rates from them.
Besides being calculative you should master to liaison with carriers. Every carrier comes with its own expertise and you should know whose potential to tap for which shipment of yours. You cannot work always with only one carrier. Talking to more carriers equals enhancing your knowledge so that you can take smarter decisions.
Another way of securing the best rates at suitable terms is to hire a third-party logistics provider (3PL). Getting in touch with them can be an ideal choice for many shippers as they are influential to many carriers, their rates and offerings which lead to get the best choice.
With online pricing and booking systems of 3PLs, shippers can avail the most suitable options from countless alternatives. 3PLs and various affluent carriers deploy transport management systems (TMS) which proves to be instrumental in deciding the best way to fuse consignments and roaster LTL and FTL shipments. Since access to these technologies is highly expensive, the best way to take their leverage is by associating with a 3PL or carrier that have their TMS.
These systems can be utilized in many ways but with the most popular attribute, shippers can analyze the compiled data as and when they want. With big datasheet in your hand, it gets much simpler and easier to pull down the transportation costs in the long run.
Any company that is well versed with the use of LTL and FTL and has got access to compiled data can streamline the freight expense. Spending lavishly on transportation is not good for the health of a business. Save money while keeping parcels in good shape is something you should aim at.