In today’s ultra-competitive market, shipping can make a huge difference in giving you an advantage over your competitors. It’s no understatement to say that it’s critical for businesses to deliver their goods as quickly and efficiently as possible.
That’s why more companies are turning to less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping as their transportation option of choice. This type of shipping is particularly beneficial for B2B companies, as it offers flexibility and cost savings over full-truckload (FTL) shipping.
Let’s explore the benefits of less-than-truckload shipping, what to consider when choosing an LTL carrier, and tips for optimizing your LTL shipping.
What Is Less-Than-Truckload Shipping?
Less-than-truckload shipping is a type of freight transportation where goods are delivered on a shared truck rather than a dedicated truck. This means that multiple businesses’ goods can be shipped together in the same truck, allowing for lower costs since you only need to pay for the space you use.
In general, LTL shipping is faster than FTL shipping because shipments are usually picked up and delivered more quickly.
For B2B companies, LTL shipping offers flexibility with different-sized shipments and allows businesses to save money by only paying for the space they need. Less-than-truckload shipping includes visibility of your deliveries via real-time tracking technology, keeping you and your customers up to speed on their status.
What to Consider When Choosing an LTL Carrier
When selecting a less-than-truckload shipping carrier, it can be helpful to consider several key factors.
It’s important to take a close look at each carrier’s reliability and reputation by researching previous customer reviews and experiences.
Prices can vary widely from carrier to carrier based on a variety of factors including region, timing, distance, or volume. Any smart business owner understands the significance of cost when choosing a third-party carrier.
LTL shipping carriers also differ — sometimes greatly — in their various policies such as returns and other restrictions. Reading fine print may not be fun, but it’s essential to ensure you choose a carrier that’s compatible with your needs.
Take time to learn about — or, when possible, experience for yourself — each carrier’s customer service quality. Do they offer options? Are they always available? Is their team professional and knowledgeable?
Benefits of Less-Than-Truckload Shipping
Less-than-truckload shipping offers several benefits for B2B companies. The main benefit is cost savings compared to FTL shipping since you only need to pay for the space you need, rather than an entire truckload.
There’s also more flexibility with different-sized shipments, so you can ship whichever dimensions or quantity of product your business needs without worrying about having to fill up an entire truckload.
LTL shipping also offers faster delivery times because shipments can be picked up and delivered quickly. With enhanced visibility and tracking, it’s easy to stay up-to-date on where your shipment is in real time.
Common Challenges with LTL Shipping
As with any type of shipping, there are a handful of issues that sometimes arise when using less-than-truckload shipping.
If your business is shipping products from different locations, you may need to deal with multiple carriers, which can require more attention and time on your part. Due to their unique regulations, additional paperwork and documentation may be necessary when sending shipments via LTL carriers.
There may also be a higher risk of damage or loss since LTL shipments are often handled by multiple people throughout the shipping process.
While none of these challenges may be deal-breakers, it’s helpful to be aware of them before they happen so you and your carrier are as prepared as possible.
Tips for Optimizing Your LTL Shipping
To make the most out of your less-than-truckload shipping experiences, here are some tips for optimizing your process and saving time and money:
- Consolidate shipments for better pricing by grouping items that are going to the same destination.
- Utilize technology for tracking and documentation to keep everything organized and up-to-date.
- Use palletization and shrink-wrapping for fragile items to protect them during transit.
- Standardize your packaging for maximum efficiency when packing, loading, and unpacking your shipments.
Less-Than-Truckload Shipping with BLS
Beitler Logistics Services (BLS) is an experienced and dependable LTL shipping carrier based on the East Coast with services throughout North America. We provide all the benefits of LTL shipping listed above for B2B companies, including cost savings, flexibility, faster delivery times, and optimum visibility.
Be sure to consider all of these factors when choosing an LTL carrier to get the best deal for your business. Give BLS a call to talk about your shipping needs and how we can provide you with the best less-than-truckload shipping services.
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