Transportation of goods and services is one of the most important aspects of any economy. People take for granted whatever they bought will be delivered to them somehow or other. When you go to the store to buy something, that product had to be brought to the store in the first place. But rarely do people think about all that until something goes wrong and they don’t get what they want. Most people don’t know much about trucking or logistics, let alone Less-than-truckload or LTL type of shipping. The simple definition of LTL is, freight that will not fill a large semi-truck trailer. It is a fancy term for the smaller trucks or the little guys in the trucking business. And it is also one of the most challenging parts of the trucking business for, both, the sender and recipient of goods.
The reason why LTL is the weakest link in the freight business is of course because of money. If there is only a small amount of freight, such as one box or pallet, finding an exclusive ride for it is difficult. There are basically only two options in front most senders; wait for the next big truck or hire an entire van to get the job done. However, waiting for the next truck is not an option for time sensitive goods. Now the sender is left with finding a smaller van to send the goods. Most large shipping companies do not even offer LTL services. This leaves you looking for 3rd party vendors. Whatever the method, it is important to follow some basic policies when handling LTL shipping. The following are some ideas.
Insurance is a cost that people tend to overlook when shipping something. Most carriers offer only limited liability coverage. The final rate will be decided by the shipper and there may be times when the insurance does not match the value of what is being shipped. In that scenario, it is a good idea to find out if additional insurance is provided. Peace of mind is not something to be compromised when shipping something important. Next on the list is to find a company that will ship the things, when they say they do. This may seem obvious, but the fact is that small amounts of freight hauling just doesn’t make a freight company as much money as a large amount of freight. That means there is always a chance that the box you are trying to send sits in the back somewhere, unmoved.
All said and done, the dynamics of the freight hauling business is changing. The business is actually shifting more and more towards LTL style of business. The good news is that there are more and more companies stepping up to the plate. With some research and due diligence, it is not that difficult to find a competent LTL.
Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics
Michigan Freight Broker