Part 4 of 22 Ways To Reduce LTL Costs That Don’t Involve A Price Reduction

  • Part 4 of 22 Ways To Reduce LTL Costs That Don’t Involve A Price Reduction


    4.  Reduce Carrier Time

    A wise LTL sage noted that LTL carrier costs are tied to space, time, and risk. To reduce your cost of LTL shipping, one must reduce the space your shipments occupy in the carrier’s network, the time it takes to service your freight, and the risks associated with your freight.

    Time for an LTL carrier can be either operational, the movement and handling of your freight, or administrative, the billing and collecting personnel interactions associated with your freight.

    From an operational standpoint, several things can be done to minimize LTL carrier time:

    • Have freight ready for loading, properly labelled, and paperwork prepared before the driver arrives
    • Ensure your customers are able to perform deliveries promptly with no delays; eliminate driver detention
    • Have adequate dock and yard space for the driver to quickly bump the dock, get freight loaded, and leave for the next pickup
    • Maximize the number of shipments per pickup; space pickups every other day, for example
    • Minimize the number of handling units; one tall pallet is better than 2 short pallets
    • Properly package your freight to eliminate any extra handling or recouping, allow for stackability, and reduce likelihood of damage
    • Palletize your freight; do not tender loose pieces that cannot be easily conveyed via forklift
    • Allow flexible pickup and delivery windows including late pickups so carriers can adjust routes as needed
    • Consider carrier terminal location, and choose carriers near you to reduce peddle distances
    • Use a quality TMS to automate tracking/tracing and eliminate phone calls or emails to the carrier
    • Use a quality TMS to submit a standardized BOL, preferably in electronic format.
    • Provide an accurate BOL to reduce invoice disputes, and pay bills timely to reduce collection costs.
    • Include all services on the BOL, including residential delivery and liftgate; request and pay for a notification where appropriate to help carriers eliminate bringbacks
    • Switch to trailer swaps rather than live loads if you have the volume
    • Load freight to your carrier’s furthest transfer station if you have the volume


    And most importantly, keep an open dialogue with your carrier and their local terminal; ask them what you can do to help them.  Be prepared to implement any suggested changes.

    The above is certainly not an exhaustive list.  What are other techniques and tactics that LTL shippers can use to help reduce the time a carrier requires to service freight?

    Leave a comment

    Required fields are marked *