Part 15 of 22 Ways To Reduce LTL Costs That Don’t Involve A Price Reduction – Choose The Right Carrier(s) To Match Your Needs

  • Part 15 of 22 Ways To Reduce LTL Costs That Don’t Involve A Price Reduction – Choose The Right Carrier(s) To Match Your Needs

    15. Choose The Right Carrier(s) To Match Your Needs

    After a bit of a hiatus, we are back to wrap up the remaining 8 of 22 ways to reduce LTL costs that do not involve a price reduction.

    The timing is right. LTL volumes have softened from strong 2022 levels, and capacity is freeing up, But LTL carriers remain in a position of pricing strength. Demand for their services remains high, and carriers are intent on ensuring they offset and cover the increasing costs of providing service.

    Lower diesel prices are providing LTL shippers some respite. But if LTL shippers are looking for additional reductions in cost, they are best served by looking inward rather than expecting carriers to reduce pricing.

    One solid method of right-sizing a shipper’s LTL freight spend is by reviewing your exact needs and ensuring you are selecting the right carriers to service those needs. All LTL carriers are the same in that they haul LTL freight. But the similarities end there. Every LTL carrier is different from the next.

    Some LTL carriers provide very high service levels and charge a premium. For shippers with high-value or sensitive products where freight damage carries a high cost, or whose customers are demanding in terms of transit speed, dependability, and tight delivery execution, these carriers may be an excellent choice. The extra you pay on the freight bill is offset by fewer headaches from transit failures, damage claims, customer service hassles, etc.

    Other carriers may provide a more bare-bones service at a commensurate economical price level.  If your freight is low-value, not susceptible to damage, and requires little transit urgency, an economy carrier can be the right choice. Transit failures and even damages may occur more frequently due to their operating model, but the lower freight bill price may justify these negatives.

    Some carriers target Residential and Liftgate freight, while others shun such business. It does not serve you well to push Residential freight onto a carrier that does not want it.

    The same thing can apply for long or hard-to-handle freight.  You are going to pay more for this freight compared to easy-to-handle standard pallets. But you will pay a lot less if you work with a carrier who has the right skills set to manage these difficult freight types.

    Even geography matters. Are you shipping mostly shorter-haul within say 500 miles of your shipping facility? Using a large national carrier may not be your best option. A regional carrier with a footprint matching your service profile may be the far better choice.

    LTL carriers are like shoes. They may all cover your feet, but every pair is different and serves a different purpose. One size does not fit all. If you have any questions, or need any help deciding which LTL carriers are best aligned to serve you, please reach out. I am more than happy to help you.

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