Value Over Price in Freight Shipping… Is It Worth It?
Are you a price shopper when it comes to freight shipping? Did you know you could actually be losing money in the long run if you choose your freight shipper based on a better price? Let’s dive into why value should exceed the price every time.
Especially when It comes to shipping your freight effectively, reliably, and efficiently.
The words value and price are not synonymous, especially when it comes to freight shipping. At Willy’s Trucking Service, we’re interested in offering value over price. What does this mean?
First, let’s look at a hypothetical shipper to better explain the difference between value over price in the freight shipping industry.
The Beginners Freight Shipping Experience
Let’s say that you’re a new business owner, one who will need to ship freight on a pretty regular basis (Anywhere from every day, to a few times a week or a few more times a month). How do you start?
You might think the smart move is to find a list of ten or so freight carriers or brokers, blast out your shipping information, wait a few hours for all ten quotes to come back, and then save $15.00 on a shipment that costs $200.00 upfront.
Let’s say that the carrier selected doesn’t provide insurance, and your freight is damaged in transit. Or delayed because the carrier doesn’t have a liftgate. Or held up because of capacity and market woes.
How do you fix the problem? Who do you contact? How do you get to the person who can help you, instead of being transferred again and again? Ask yourself, Are these headaches worth $15.00?
The answer is mostly likely a resounding No!
In the freight world, the lowest price isn’t always the best value. In fact, it rarely is. And this is where a freight shipping carrier like Willy’s Trucking Service comes in. We offer value. We abide by the age-old adage, You get what you pay for. Using a consistent freight carrier helps you avoid additional charges and delays, and can get you special freight shipping rates for future shipments.
You have a team set up for freight tracking, invoice issues, pickup and delivery reports, overnight and hotshot shipping, etc. These are indicators of value, and if you’re a freight shipper, these are what you should be looking for.
Maybe you’re only looking to move one piece of freight; a one-time deal. If that’s the case, maybe you’re willing to deal with the headaches and hiccups of the freight industry for that extra $15.00. But if you’re a shipper that’s going to be continually moving freight, save money in the long run, and partner with a freight carrier.
Find the right value, and the price, well the price will pay for itself. (Especially when you partner with Willy’s trucking service.)
By the way, if you are freight shipping freight and you are in the early stages of learning how a great partnership with a carrier can help streamline your supply chain…
We at Willy’s Trucking Service would like to offer you a Free E-book: The beginner’s guide to freight shipping. This will give you the in’s and out’s from A to Z of the freight shipping industry. to make sure you are checking off your list value over price.
P.S. If you would like great value and amazing freight rates, feel free to download and fill out a form to open an account with us. On our resources page.
When you open the account with us you will automatically get 20% off all future shipments just for being a loyal shipper at Willy’s Trucking Service.
An (LTL) less than truckload shipping rate is based on several different factors. All of which we’ll go over in this article. If you’re unsure of how these relate to your product, just let us know and we’ll help you out!
Typically, an LTL quote will take up less than 12 feet of linear space on a truck. For those of you who don’t have truck dimensions tacked to your office walls, this equates to 6 standard size pallets, not stacked. A standard size pallet is typically 48” x 40” or sometimes 48” x 48”. If your less than load truckload shipment takes up more space than this, you may need a volume shipping quote or a full truckload quote.
Now that we’ve defined LTL, what exactly do we need to get accurate less than truckload rates? It comes down to 3 basic must-haves. Origin address, the destination address, and total weight (or cubed weight which we will go over in a later article). I can’t say this enough: THESE THREE PIECES OF INFORMATION ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. The locations and total weight are self-explanatory.
The actual vs cubed weight may be a bit more difficult to understand and will need this article. (Will be Linked When Available)
Truckload Shipping Rates Example
Another vital piece of information for less than truckload rates is the mention of additional services. The standard LTL shipment is business-to-business and dock-to-dock. If you don’t have a shipping dock or forklift to get the pallets off the truck, you’ll need a lift-gate. (which can cost extra). Residential shipping also costs extra, as do several other things. Check out our Additional Services Cheat Sheet (named terms and conditions) for more information on these. They can change your freight quote and can make a difference in which carrier you select.
Less than truckload shipping has a lot of moving parts, and this article is just a primer. If you’re new to shipping, be sure to download our Beginner’s Freight Shipping Guide.
Everyone wants to save money on shipping. No great secret there. At Willy’s Trucking Service, we’re committed to helping our customers, and their customers (and really anyone that’s interested in shipping) save time and money on their logistics.
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of 25 Genius Tips for Saving Money on Your Shipping. We’ve categorized them for easy digestion between the General Freight Industry, Less-Than-Truckload (LTL), and Full Truckload, but you’ll find that most of our tips can be used in any form of shipping. So buckle up, call the kids in for dinner, and prepare to save some serious cash next time you ship.
It’s easy to save and reuse bubble wrap, packing peanuts, air pillows, and any other sort of packing materials you might get in your next online retail purchase. Anything you save and reuse is something you don’t have to buy.
3. Don’t Spend Money on Cardboard Boxes
With a little effort and ingenuity, you can find these bad boys in all sorts of places. Hit up liquor stores, grocery stores, and places like Starbucks to help save the environment and cut costs. Brand new cardboard boxes are expensive, and used ones usually work just as well.
4. Make Sure Your Freight is Ready Before Scheduling a Pickup
Shipping is not like calling a cab or Uber. You can’t get your freight ready to ship while the driver is on his way. Make sure your freight is ready to go, or else you might end up with a dry run fee, and that can cost you cash.
5. Know the Difference Between “Value” and “Price”
The lowest price is not always the best value. Sometimes, paying more upfront can avoid additional costs later on. By using a freight carrier, you might pay a higher initial cost, but oftentimes they are an excellent investment further down the line of your shipment, or if/when something goes wrong.
6. Pay Attention to Your Invoices
Don’t assume your freight charges are always correct. Always review your invoices, and don’t be afraid to take your questions and concerns to your broker or carrier.
7. Don’t Always Trust Freight Calculators
LTL shipping quotes are about more than weight and shipping locations. Online freight calculators can give you a false idea about your freight quote, and that can cost you money in the long run. That goes without saying they are a great tool to get an idea of how much you will pay for the shipment.
8. Know the Lingo
Don’t get confused by weird acronyms or definitions in the freight industry. The pages of a shipping dictionary are numerous and can feel never-ending. Get to know your freight terms, and you’ll be able to put them to good use to streamline your freight experiences.
9. Inspect Your Shipment at Delivery
Make sure to notate any damage on your delivery receipt. Even if it seems like a little thing, a scratch here or there, mark it on the POD (Proof of Delivery). Without notated damage, you won’t be able to file a freight claim for any damage/loss, and this will cost you money.
10. Cut Down on “Stated” Shipping Costs
Nobody likes paying a ton for shipping (obviously). Adjust your prices to include some of those costs, and your customers will be more likely to buy.
11. Shop Around on Volume Quotes
Not all volume quotes are created equal. Some freight companies specialize in large markets, small markets, or particular geographic locations. Start your quote search early, and try to find your best deal.
12. Lighten Up
Weight is a major component of pricing in shipping, so avoid heavy packing materials. Go with packing peanuts instead of wool blankets. Anything you can do to cut down on the total weight of your shipment is going to help you get a cheaper freight quote.
13. Know Your Freight Dimensions
Another major factor in the price of a quote is the freight dimensions. By making sure you know the proper dimensions of the freight it will save you money later on during the reweigh.
14. Cut Out Delivery Appointments
It can be tough but carve out an afternoon to hang out at the house. By giving the freight carrier a large window to deliver your shipment, you can avoid paying extra for a delivery appointment.
15. Get Third Party Insurance
It might cost a little more upfront, but if you’re shipping expensive or fragile items it will make all the difference if something gets lost or damaged during transit. Most carriers have their own freight insurance, but it rarely covers the full cost of a damaged shipment. Getting third party insurance gives you peace of mind and makes filing a freight claim much easier.
16. Consolidate Your Shipment
Packaging items together can significantly cut down on shipping and packaging costs. By consolidating your shipment you can cut weight, density, and a chance of damage or loss. It’s easier to keep track of one piece of freight than it is to keep track of five or ten (especially if they’re small boxes).
17. Pick Up Your Freight at the Terminal
To avoid additional shipping fees like liftgates and residential deliveries, you can always go pick your shipment up from the delivering freight terminal. All you have to do is call the carrier and let them know you’re on their way.
18. Determine if Your Shipment is LTL or Parcel
If your shipment is small enough, you can save money using a small package or parcel shipping instead of LTL. Parcel shipping is a totally different animal than LTL, so it’s important to recognize the difference between the two.
19. Use a Dedicated Freight Carrier
With more and more freight carriers arising, if you were to choose to work with one specifically that covers all your needs than you can strike up a deal.
20. Hire a Professional
Freight carriers can get you better shipping quotes, not to mention they can help out with claims, damage, tracking, and so much more.
21. Ship Early to Avoid the Holiday Crunch
Avoid delays and expedited costs by shipping at least a week early around the holidays. Both LTL and truckload slow down as drivers and carriers take off work for the holidays. Don’t wait to send your stuff.
22. Know-How Much Room You Need
Always know how many square feet of truck space you’ll need. There is always the chance of “Partialling” a shipment to save money, but if you don’t know exactly how much space your freight will take up then that won’t be an option. If you’re using standard pallets (you should be), know your count and if they’re stackable.
23. Don’t Forget About Intermodal
If your freight is not time-sensitive you can save some serious dough by utilizing the rail and shipping your stuff intermodal. You’ll need a broker to help you out with the intermodal process, but by using the rail you can get cheaper freight quotes for your full truckload shipments.
24. Track Carrier Performance
Just like volume quotes, not all freight carriers are created equal. Try different carriers and track their performance to make sure you’re using the right carrier for your freight. Once you find one that you like and that treats you right, stick with them. Having great relationships with owners and operators can get you out of a shipping bind in the future.
25. Take Advantage of Backhauls
When you’re shipping truckload, getting a carrier on a backhaul can save you serious cash. Once again, you’ll need a carrier with knowledge of the trucking markets to get you the best deal on backhauls. Some times of the year are better than others, so ask your carrier if backhaul could work for you.
Let us know which one you found most insightful and come back to let us know which one saved you the most money.
It’s no secret that the freight industry is complex. Whether you are a first time shipper, or a residual expert that ships daily, there is an entire language of freight terms that you need to be familiar with if you’re going to get a firm handle on your shipping. That’s what our FREIGHT TERMS blog post is for.
Here you’ll find a constantly updated list of freight terms that will cover both LTL and truckload shipping freight terms. Throughout you’ll find helpful links to other blogs and Freight Papers, and you can download the list as our Freight Dictionary.
— A —
An additional service requested for a freight shipment. Most accessorials require an additional payment that varies based on the service or carrier. Some common accessorials include liftgate services and residential delivery. Download our LTL Additional Services Cheat Sheet for more information.
Accessorial charges are for administrations that are notwithstanding run of the mill transportation administrations, for example, inside delivery, a private delivery, liftgate delivery, and other comparative administrations.
Part of the billing department in charge of paying carriers, operators, or factoring companies for services rendered.
Part of the billing department in charge of collecting payment from carriers or customers for services rendered.
Air Bill (Air Waybill)
Documentation for an air transporter that gives data about the cargo, weight, cargo charges, shipper, proctor, and the party liable for cargo charges. An air bill is basically an LTL cargo bill, however for an air bearer.
Forms of freight shipping that uses planes instead of trucks, or trains. Airfreight is usually more expensive, but also more expedited. Check out our blog on air shipments for more information.
The notice that the agent gets when their cargo has landed at its destination.
The process performed by some freight carriers and brokers to confirm any additional charges before passing the final freight bill on to the customer.
— B —
In truckload shipping, transit required to reposition a truck and its driver after the initial load he was hired to transport. Also known as “head haul.” Learn more at our backhaul shipping blog.
Department at carriers or brokers in charge of invoices and payment.
Bill of Lading (BOL)
The document given to the carrier at the time of freight pickup with all necessary information for the shipment. This information includes pickup and delivery locations, weight, class, commodity, and much more. Download our Freight Paper, The Importance of Using the Correct BOL, for more information.
A Customs-controlled warehouse for the retention of imported goods until the duty-owed is paid.
A technique used to secure freight in the truck during full truckload shipments.
Separating mass comprises of breaking a heap from one shipper that is being sent to various agents.
Break Bulk Point
The terminal or area that break bulks happen.
Third-party logistics provider that acts as a conduit between customer and carrier to secure freight pricing and services, among other things.
A grouping of products shipped that are generally unassembled. Similar to pallets or crates.
Business to Business (B2B)
Standard LTL shipment protocol that deems both the pickup and delivery location to be certified businesses, often with loading docks. If the shipment is not B2B, then additional services such as residential delivery will be required.
— C —
In truckload shipping, capacity is determined by the number of goods to be shipped, and the number of carriers/trucks to ship them. It is a large factor in truckload pricing. Read our blog on capacity in produce season for more information.
A company or operator that transports both LTL and truckload freight. Read our blog on the differences between brokers and carriers for more information.
A common term in truckload shipping referring to the actual commodities and freight being shipped.
Cash on Delivery
Also known as “Freight Collect.” The process of paying (in cash) for a shipment at the time of delivery. Read our freight collect blog for more information.
A charge made against the freight carrier for shipments that are damaged or lost. Download our Freight Paper, How to File a Freight Claim, for more information.
Freight class is an identification number assigned to all freight shipped LTL that helps determine the price. Download our Freight Paper, The Mysteries of Freight Class, for more information.
state that the consignee is liable for the cargo charges.
Document from the manufacturer that determines an item’s value. Often used for freight claims.
comprises of harm to the substance of a bundle without the harm being remotely obvious.
The receiver of an LTL or truckload shipment. The opposite of a “shipper.”
the individual or business that begins the shipment. Likewise, known as the shipper.
anything that the freight is contained in.
an authoritative record between parties. With respect to cargo, a contract states particulars of the cargo shipment process.
Corrected Bill of Lading (CBL)
a document that the shipper would issue to correct the first bill of lading.
used to confirm client data with respect to credit value.
The carrying capacity of a truck or other piece of equipment measured in cubic feet.
Customer Service Representative (CSR)
An individual that works with customers to schedule pickups, deliveries, and freight tracking. CSR works closely with drivers, dispatchers, and claims departments.
Government authorities that collect duties on freight imports.
A broker that handles all necessary paperwork and practices to get freight across the border. Customs services are not included in all freight broker services.
— D —
In truckload shipping, when a driver returns to a point of origin or market carrying no freight.
The value of the freight declared on the BOL at the time of pickup. Often used for claims or custom purposes.
weight put on a tab with the goal that the shipment will cost less because of the rate decrease for higher loads.
Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)
Seller is liable for conveying the merchandise to the named destination in the nation of the buyer and pays all expenses in carrying the products to the goal including import obligations and assessments. The seller isn’t answerable for unloading. This term is frequently utilized instead of the non-Incoterm “Free In Store (FIS)”. This term puts the greatest commitments on the seller and least commitments on the buyer. No risk or duty is moved to the buyer until the delivery of the merchandise at the named place of destination.
The most significant thought for DDP terms is that the seller is answerable for clearing the products through customs in the buyer’s nation, including both paying the obligations and charges, and acquiring the fundamental approvals and enlistments from the experts in that nation. Except if the principles and guidelines in the buyer’s nation are very surely known, DDP terms can be an exceptionally huge risk both in terms of deferrals and in unanticipated additional expenses, and ought to be utilized with alert.
Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU)
This term implies the seller delivers the merchandise to the buyer, not cleared for import, and not emptied from arriving methods for transport at the named spot of destination. The seller bears all expenses and risks engaged with carrying the merchandise to the named spot other than “duty” (which incorporates the duty regarding customs conventions and installment of those conventions, obligations, and duties) for import into the nation of destination. The buyer is answerable for an installment of all customs and obligations and assessments.
Appointment set with the consignee to deliver freight. In LTL, most delivery appointments are considered accessorials and require additional payment.
Delivery Receipt (DR)
Also known as a Proof of Delivery (POD). Document signed at the time of delivery notating if the freight is accepted in good condition. Most often used for claims purposes. Read more at our delivery receipts blog.
the confinement of a holder or cargo vehicle past the assessed time period.
Measurement of an item’s pounds per cubic foot. Important for freight quotes, and density-based freight class.
Fee assessed by a carrier when a truck is held up at delivery or pickup longer than the time allotted for the service.
a postal district that gets administration by the contracted bearers possesses gear and driver. See likewise Indirect Point.
the way toward booking and overseeing intra-city traffic and intercity pickup and delivery
When freight is diverted to a different location while in transit. Also known as a consignment.
a charge that happens when cargo is pulled on trucks, drays, or trucks.
a term that identifies with cargo charges. It implies that the driver gathers the cargo charges from the agent at the hour of delivery.
A carrier trailer that is left at a location for pickup at a later date, once it’s filled. Read more at our drop trailer blog.
Standard truckload trailer either 48 ft. or 52 ft. long. Neither heated nor cooled. Learn more in our Truckload and LTL Trailer Equipment Guide.
The packing material used to protect freight in the trailer during transit.
— E —
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Computer to computer transmission used primarily in freight to schedule pickups with carriers through a transportation management system.
Estimated time of arrival.
Estimated time of departure.
errors observed at the hour of trade or delivery and are identified with the physical qualities or number of bits of the cargo.
Freight that is delivered faster than a standard shipment, for an additional fee.
— F —
Equipment used in truckload shipping to transport large items or machinery.
A shipment that was emptied at or lost to an inappropriate terminal and is then charged and sent to the right terminal for nothing.
The sum that is expected for cargo transportation.
A logistics company that acts as an intermediary between the shipper and the carrier.
Freight of All Kinds (FAK)
A rate agreement between the shipper/broker and the carrier. Learn everything you need to know about FAKs.
See Cash on Delivery.
— G —
Global Positioning System (GPS)
A system that uses satellites to find exact positions of objects on earth. Used in truckload freight to track carrier trucks/loads. Learn more about GPS truck tracking at our blog.
The total weight of an item including packaging and palleting.
An LTL shipment that is guaranteed for delivery by a certain time. An additional fee is paid for this service, and if the delivery time is not met the shipping charges can be wiped away.
— H —
A factor in determining an item’s freight class. Items that are fragile or over-sized are often hard to handle, resulting in a higher freight class.
Items designated by the Department of Transportation that pose a risk to health and safety. These materials require special permits, carriers, and drivers to move.
A common shipping commodity in LTL that moves at class 150. Learn more about shipping household goods.
— I —
When freight is held by Customs until fees or other charges are paid. In Bond, shipments have not cleared Customs.
a transportation line that conveys import or fare traffic among ports and inland zones.
A system where the shipper or broker will agree to pay a premium for coverage in case of loss or damage to the freight. Most carriers carry insurance, and third party insurance is often available as well. Coverage and deductible amounts vary. Download our Freight Insurance Guide for more information.
the place cargo is traded between two transportation lines. The exchange point postal division ordinarily determines the split of the income.
The process of using multiple carriers to transport freight to its final destination. Learn more about interline freight here.
moves over the lines of at least two transportation organizations from the purpose of starting point to the destination.
a transportation line that takes a shipment between two transportation frameworks. An intermediate transporter doesn’t begin or deliver the shipment.
Interstate Commerce Commission
the government association that is answerable for implementing demonstrations of Congress identifying with interstate business.
The process of using multiple forms of transportation to move freight, such as van to train or shipping vessel. Learn The Basics of Intermodal Shipping here.
— L —
Less Than Truckload (LTL)
A form of freight shipping focused on moving freight that takes up less space than a full truckload. LTL has different pricing and functions than full truckload freight shipping.
A lift on the back of some trucks that assist in getting freight on and off the truck. Often used in place of a loading dock.
a driver that doesn’t ordinarily get or deliver shipments. Rather a line driver moves cargo between terminals.
Comprises of hardware and individuals who cooperate to move cargo starting with one terminal then onto the next.
An online message board where jobs/loads are posted allowing carriers and brokers to schedule pickups and deliveries.
When the driver helps load or unload the truck at pick up or delivery.
— M —
a report that portrays the shipment or the substance of a vehicle, compartment, or ship.
the most minimal contracted rate that may be charged.
— N —
National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC)
Tariff containing descriptions, classifications, and rules for shipping commodities. NMFC codes are tied to freight class.
This shipping term is often used in the context of the NMFC number which helps to determine the class for all LTL shipments.
Freight class is an especially complicated part of the shipping/freight process, but know that each and every LTL shipment will have an NMFC number and without it on the BOL, you’re more likely to get hit with a Re-Class.
Things are “nested” when they are stuffed one inside another.
Weight of a shipment not including packaging.
Additional service where the carrier will call the receiver to alert them that their shipment is out for delivery.
— O —
the transporter that gets the cargo from the shipper. The root transporter additionally gets the bill of filling.
the terminal that gets the cargo from the shipper. The source terminal likewise gets the bill of replenishing.
Over the Road
implies that the cargo is between terminals or inside the line pull framework.
Over, Short, and Damaged (OS&D)
Carrier department that is in charge of overages, shortages, and damages. They are in charge of finding lost freight, and play a part in the filing of freight claims for damage or loss.
— P —
a stage that is versatile and holds materials for capacity or transportation.
A metal support that enables two pallets of freight to be stacked on top of each other in a trailer. Pallet decks are usually used in line haul movements.
Small package shipping that is usually handled by couriers like UPS or FedEx.
Point of Origin
the postal district of the shipper’s area.
The act of combining multiple shipments into one truckload to cut down on freight costs.
Port of Entry
an administration assigned port where remote merchandise are assessed before being conceded into a nation.
imply that the shipper or a Third Party is liable for the cargo charges.
Tracking and identification number is given to freight once it is picked up and in transit.
Proof of Delivery (POD)
Also known as a Delivery Receipt (DR). Document signed at the time of delivery notating damage or loss, or if the freight is delivered as expected. PODs are valuable in the filing of freight claims.
— R —
a distributed arrangement of rates.
Invoice discrepancy where the carrier invoices the shipment at a higher or lower class than notated on the BOL.
Type of equipment that is temperature-controlled, most often a refrigerated truck used to transport perishable items.
the estimation of the merchandise that is set by the shipper as the bearer’s furthest reaches of risk. The discharge esteem identifies with characterization and cargo rates.
the archive conveyed by the first shipper that approves the cargo to be returned.
Invoice discrepancy where the carrier invoices the shipment at a higher or lower weight than notated on the BOL.
Here’s a shipping term that you might be familiar with if you’ve ever had a change of plans with your freight. A re-consignment happens when freight that is already in transit is re-directed from one delivery location to another.
This charge can vary based on how far apart the delivery locations are. For instance, if the new location is just down the street, the charge will probably be minimal. However, if freight was heading to California and is being reconsigned to Florida, you will be in for a hefty re-consignment fee.
— S —
estimates the security of a company. A security rating depends on what number of miles have been driven between any forms of accident.
used to ensure that a trailer isn’t opened during travel.
Origin party of a freight shipment, and the opposite of a consignee. Shippers are responsible for getting the BOL to the carrier at the time of pickup.
When freight is delivered, but is missing pieces as notated by the BOL.
the point at which the measure of cargo delivered is not exactly the measure of cargo got at pickup.
Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)
The Department of Transportation gives this code to each cargo transporter to distinguish between them uniquely.
Type of equipment used in truckload shipping for larger pieces. Learn more about step deck trailers.
— T —
Tare weight is the heaviness of the bundling materials.
In transportation, a tariff refers to any fees, agreements, or rules that a carrier has in relation to a broker or customer.
Terms state who is answerable for paying the cargo charges.
Carrier hub where freight is loaded and unloaded during LTL transit.
Third-Party Billing is where neither the shipper nor the proctor is liable for paying the cargo charges – rather there is an outsider who is liable for the charges.
Third-Party Logistics Provider (3PL)
A freight broker that acts as a go-between for customers and carriers. 3PLs often have discounted freight rates, and offer customer service.
The act of tracking a shipment from pickup to delivery.
A tractor is the power unit that pulls trailers. There are two kinds of tractors: single axle and double axle. Single axle tractors are normally utilized for pickup and delivery while double axle tractors are ordinarily utilized for line hauls.
The time between when a shipment is picked up and delivered. Standard LTL shipments have estimated transit times.
Transportation Management System (TMS)
A web-based tool that assists customers in scheduling pickups, creating BOLs, tracking shipments, and more.
Triples allude to one tractor pulling three trailers.
A type of freight shipping that specializes in moving freight that takes up a full truckload of space. Truckload shipping is different from LTL and has its own carrier and pricing structures.
— V —
The manufacturer or distributor of a product. Many carriers will make pickups directly from vendor warehouses.
A type of LTL quote for shipments that are larger than the standard LTL size, but smaller than a full truckload quote. Download our LTL Volume Quotes Freight Paper.
— W —
Warehousing is the storing of products.
Document used by the carrier containing relevant shipment information such as pickup and delivery locations. Also known as a Bill of Lading (BOL).
Weight and Inspection Certificate (W&I)
Document created by the carrier when a shipment is reweighed or reclassed. W&I certificates contain the date, location, and agent responsible for the discrepancy. They are used in freight claims.
Was this freight list helpful?
If so, don’t forget to comment what term you didn’t know previously. Also, you may enjoy this freight dictionary from YRC.com
Also, you may find some of our helpful freight papers here
If you’re new to Less Than Truckload shipping you’ve come to the right place. The freight industry is a big pie and Less Than Truckload (LTL) is just one slice. It’s not exactly UPS or FedEx. Not exactly post office shipping. And not exactly full truckload shipping. LTL has its own set of rules, practices, and quotes.
If you’re going to be getting LTL quotes and setting up LTL shipments, there are some things that you need to know. This introductory blog will get you the basic information you need to get started with less than truckload shipping.
We’ll discuss the freight industry, less than truckload, what a freight carrier is, and the life of an LTL shipment. We’ll also briefly touch on what you’ll need to get a less than truckload quote.
The Freight Industry
Freight shipping is a global, multi-billion dollar industry based around the movement of goods by commercial carriers. These goods can be transported via shipping containers (boat), plane, train, or truck. At Willy’s Trucking Service we specialize in the “truck” side of things. Freight transportation via truck can be broken into two categories: Less Than Truckload and Full Truckload.
This blog will deal with LTL, but we have Willy’s Trucking Service Experts that are professionals in the full truckload system, so if you’re looking for full truckload quotes we can help there too. But as for now, let’s focus on Less Than Truckload Shipping, and the definition of a freight carrier.
A freight carrier (Like Willy’s Trucking Service) is a company that owns and operates the trucks. They are made up of drivers, dispatchers, customer service representatives, dock workers, and many more people.
These carriers can be large national carriers, with hundreds of trucks and coverage maps that stretch from coast to coast, or they can be smaller, regional carriers with less manpower, and more specialization.
Less Than Truckload
Less than truckload is a lot like what it sounds. When you ship LTL, your freight takes up less than a full truck.
A standard LTL shipment will take up 12 square feet of truck space or less. That’s equivalent to six standard pallets, stacked side by side, and not on top of each other. Anything over that will likely require a volume quote from the freight carrier, or an additional fee such as “overlength.”
The life of a regular LTL shipment is linked closely to carrier freight terminals. These terminals are hubs operated by the freight carriers. A shipment is picked up and taken to the origin terminal. From there it is unloaded from the first truck, and loaded on to another truck.
The freight is loaded and unloaded, from terminal to terminal, until it arrives at the destination terminal, where it will be delivered to its final location. The pickup location is always called the shipper, while the delivery address will be known as the consignee.
LTL Freight Quotes
You’ll need four pieces of information for every LTL freight quote.
The total weight of the shipment, packaging, and palleting included.
The item’s dimensions
The pickup location address.
The delivery location address.
Keep in mind that standard LTL shipments are B2B, which stands for “business to business” or “dock to dock.” If either shipper or consignee are residences you’ll need to pay additional fees. If a shipping dock is not available to easily retrieve the freight from the truck, you’ll also need to pay an additional fee for a liftgate.
Like any big industry, there is a lot to know when it comes to less than truckload freight shipping. Hopefully, this blog gave you the confidence and information you need to get started, but as you ship more you’ll want to become more educated about the different services that LTL can offer.
At Willy’s Trucking Company we’ve developed a HUGE database of information through our freight blogs (where you’re reading now) and also through our downloadable Freight Papers. When the time comes, feel free to read and download these informational materials.
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our Freight Experts are full-service carriers, and we’re always available to help. Happy Shipping!
If you’re new to shipping and looking for a freight carrier, how do you decide who to go with? Do you just Google the phrase “Freight Carrier?” Do you reach out to your shipping contacts and see who they’re using? Shouldn’t it be easier to get started?
Below you’ll find 8 questions to consider when choosing your freight carrier. These questions are not in any particular order or level of importance, but if you can answer all or most of them, you’ll be on your way to getting the right freight carrier for you and your shipping.
It’s important to remember that the relationship between a shipper and a carrier is a two-way street. Some carriers are experts in certain fields, some put a higher priority on different kinds of service. Freight carriers are always looking to work with great shippers, and a good carrier-shipper relationship should be a great exchange of services, that make BOTH parties happy.
Whether this is your first foray into freight, or if you’re an old pro looking for a new carrier, utilize these 8 Questions to Consider When Choosing Your Freight carrier:
1.) LTL, Truckload, or Small Package?
What kind of stuff are you shipping? I’m not talking about the commodity (we’ll get to that in a bit). I’m talking about what form of shipping you’re looking into. There are a lot of different ways to move freight, and different carriers specialize in different shipping options.
The skills involved in being an LTL carrier do not always translate to the truckload side of the freight industry (not to mention other forms a freight) – both of which have totally different practices than LTL or truckload).
Some carriers offer multiple services, some carriers are more specialized. To be able to get the best rates and service, you should figure out what kind of freight you’re shipping, and find the freight carrier that knows the ropes for your particular shipping type.
2.) How Often Are You Shipping With A Freight Carrier?
There’s no base number of “You must ship BLANK many times a week to utilize this freight carrier.” Like most things in this industry, there are no hard and fast rules.
And while you can use a carrier to set up any shipment (For instance: If you wanted to ship from Edmonton to Fort St. John), there are carriers that focus more on “one-time-shipments,” and then there are carriers that focus on residual shippers or shippers who ship daily, weekly, or monthly.
These carriers are known as “full-service freight carriers,” and can assist in invoice discrepancies, freight tracking, and even negotiate FAKs or lower rates. If you’re a residual shipper, you’ll want to be in contact with a carrier that can handle more than just pickups and deliveries.
3.) Where Are You Shipping To & From?
Truckload rates heavily depend on the seasonal capacity and geographic coverage. That means, depending on the time of year and capacity of drivers, a shipment going into Northern British Columbia might be more or less expensive than a shipment leaving Northern British Columbia. The up and down of truckload capacity is an art, and you need a truckload carrier that’s not only aware of the game but has mastered it.
On the LTL side, certain carriers only operate in certain geographic areas. Of course, there are national carriers with coverage maps that extend across the whole of the Canadian Province. But sometimes, small regional carriers can offer better freight rates in their area.
A good carrier will be able to customize your freight experience and get you the best rate, depending on where you’re shipping to and from.
4.) Dock to Dock? Liftgate? Warehouses?
Standard freight shipments are “dock-to-dock,” which means that a loading dock is required for both pickup and delivery. But what if your shipments are not moving out of warehouses, or don’t have docks? This is something that you’ll have to look into when choosing your freight carrier.
Liftgates can be used to load and unload freight when there’s no dock, but these usually carry additional prices. There can also be additional “limited access” fees when delivering freight to places like government facilities, or distribution centers.
Some carriers will be aware of these locations and can be proactive in negotiating rates with fees included or getting additional fees removed altogether. These are determined on a shipment by shipment basis, but if you know where your freight is being delivered, that gives your carrier the best opportunity to save you money on freight quotes.
5.) Looking for Value or Price?
Before you select a freight carrier you should know the difference between value and price. For a full-service carrier, the quote is just the first part of the journey. Other carriers can offer cheaper quotes and less post-transit service.
Before you select a freight carrier, consider where your priorities lie when it comes to your freight shipments. It’s easy to think the bottom line is the price, but it’s important to consider what you might be losing once your freight is in transit, whether it’s dealing with accidentally damaged freight, invoice discrepancies such as reweighs, and any other hiccups that can occur during transit.
6.) White-Glove Service or Inside Delivery?
While most freight carriers regularly offer services such as “inside delivery,” it’s important to note the difference between ID and white glove services. Due to liability issues, LTL carriers are not often eligible to enter a consignee’s home. LTL carriers are not moving companies.
If you’re shipping items that need to be hand-delivered, or installed in the consignee’s house or store, you’re going to need to hire a white-glove service. Your freight carrier can help you navigate residential pickups and deliveries, but make sure to note if you need the assistance of white-glove services.
If all of your shipments will require that sort of handling and care upon pickup or delivery, it might be worth it to look into a moving company, instead of using LTL or full truckload shipping.
7.) How “Hands-on” Do You Want To Be With Your Freight Carrier?
Different carriers will offer varying levels of service, so before you choose your freight carrier, determine how hands-on or hands-off you want to be with your shipments. Some carriers offer the services of a TMS (Transportation Management System) allowing you to set up shipments on your computer or mobile device, print BOLs, and even track shipments.
Other carriers will handle all of that for you, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. Determine how involved you want to be in the daily ins and outs of your shipping, and choose the carrier that handles (or provides the tools for you to handle) your unique freight shipping practices.
8.) What Kind of Freight Carrier Do You want to Work With?
Trust is imperative in any successful business relationship, and selecting the right freight carrier is no different. But it’s not just about trust. Before you select a carrier, think about what kind of companies you want to work with, and what kind of business relationships you want to cultivate.
Do you want to work with a local carrier? Or do you prefer the scope of something on a national scale? A small freight carrier with a dedicated team, or a larger one, with more resources but less personalization? There’s no wrong answer to these questions, just preferences.
Finding a good freight carrier is a two-way street. You’ll want to work with them, and they’ll want to work with you. By considering these sorts of questions, you can save you and your business time and money.
Our clients aren’t displeased with the results we help them achieve.