3 Steps for Successful LTL Shipping

Apr 1, 2024 | Toolbox

Streamline your LTL shipping practices by finding the ideal shipping partner.

By Tony Jenkins

In (LTL) shipping, if you or your yard handle all the shipping in-house (quoting, booking, scheduling, packaging, loading, etc.), you know it’s not easy. You understand that everything needs to be done nearly perfectly to achieve success. Once you navigate through the quoting, booking, scheduling, and pick-up stages, and your shipment is in transit, transport issues may arise. Upon delivery, other unexpected issues may emerge, such as added services that were not requested. For those who frequently ship, this scenario is familiar. Raise your hand if you’ve experienced unexpected fees added to your shipments or witnessed a slow trainwreck in your own shipping endeavors.

Finally, when you receive your invoice from the carrier, you may find charges galore, leaving you unsure where to start. Most shipping vendors prioritize completing shipments over building relationships or always prioritizing cus-tomer needs. However, amidst the busy shipping industry, there are individuals who understand what world-class ser-vice entails and are eager to help your business succeed.

While some shipping vendors prioritize offering the lowest price over providing quality service, it’s essential to recognize that opting for the lowest price may lead to additional shipping problems and costs.

Here are three ideas (in box at right) on how you can improve your company’s shipping practices and find partners who offer both competitive pricing and exceptional service.

  1. Look for outside shipping assistance from various vendors, including:
  • Sales representatives from local LTL carriers
  • Local freight brokers
  • 3PLs (Third-Party Logistics providers, offering outsourced logistics services such as transportation, warehousing, distribution, and freight forwarding, providing more than just LTL shipping or brokerage services).

 2. Treat your interactions with outside shipping assistance providers as if you were hiring them to work directly for your company. Approach it as a job interview, comparing prices and services from multiple companies. When evaluating potential partners, ask insightful questions to understand how they can support your business. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How do you contribute to my business’s success?
  • How do you handle additional charges from carriers?
  • What are your payment terms?
  • Will I be exclusively tied to your services?
  • Do you offer shipment tracking?
  • Will I have a dedicated contact based in the United States who knows me by first name?
  • How do you handle problems or damage to shipments?

3. Evaluate how local carriers, freight brokers, and 3PLs utilize technology to enhance your shipping experience. Consider whether potential partners offer technology solutions for:

  • Real-time shipment tracking
  • Automated documentation generation
  • Streamlined communication with carriers
  • Predictive analytics for better decision-making

When considering technology solutions, ask pertinent questions about the features, integration capabilities, customer support, security measures, scalability, and additional costs associated with the technology.

While some shipping vendors prioritize offering the lowest price overproviding quality service, it’s essential to recognize that opting for the lowestprice may lead to additional shipping problems and costs. Seek out individuals in the shipping industry who are committed to delivering exceptional service and facilitating your business’s growth. Embrace the opportunity to leverage outside shipping assistance to enhance your operations. Surround yourself with people who are dedicated to serving others and eager to address your shipping needs.

Tony Jenkins grew up in the salvage business (Birmingham Auto Parks, Birmingham, MO) and his family still owns a salvage yard in Kansas City. After spending 25 years in corporate America, in 2020 Jenkins started InXpress 308. Today, the majority of the business for InXpress 308 is with salvage dealers and other related industries. InXpress 308 is the only place where you can ship blinker fluid, flux capacitors, and muffler bearings for free. To learn more about Jenkins and his background, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/asjenkins.

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