LTL shipping simply means less than truckload shipping, otherwise known as shipping a small amount of cargo. The shipment does not have to fill an entire truck therefore it is available to be used to ship other company’s goods all going to the same general location. The truck space is sold through shipping companies or freight brokers, at a discounted rate so that the space within the truck is completely filled.
The same approach is taken to unfilled hotel rooms and cruise ships. The space would sit empty if it was not brokered out. The shipper makes less on unused space then it does on space that is discounted. The shipper can’t always coordinate a small shipment that is why they use brokers to fill in the small spots that have not been filled. This allows shippers to maximize the space on their trucks, helping to maximize their income while being able to pass the savings on to shipping brokers who coordinate with their customers to ship out smaller shipments.
For companies to maximize the benefits of LTL shipping for you cargo shipments you need to take time to do some preparations on your own.
- First find a company that ships a wide selection of goods and that offers additional service options to the customers they serve.
- Have a list of requirements that need to be met for your general shipping needs. Consider the immediate need and also the future needs of your company.
- Gather a list of names and phone numbers to carriers that provide the services you need for shipping your cargo.
- Talk with your account manager at each of the shipping providers. Developing a relationship with them will help get you the services you need when others may be vying for the same shipping space.
- Be sure before signing contracts or committing to shippers that you thoroughly check the references of each company you are interested in working in conjunction with.
- Check to ensure that the companies you are interested in working with have all the licensing requirements needed to handle all of the cargo that you need shipped.
Not every shipping company is the same. It is crucial that you find a Less than Truckload shipper that works with your business model. This may take some time and the process should not be rushed. If at first the services of the shipper initially chosen don’t fit well with your needs move on to find one that does. You will reap the benefits over time when you chose a carrier that can provide the services you need.