5 easy ways to save on LTL shipping

Posted by Harriet Mills on Nov 29, 2016 9:43:25 AM

3PLs are seeing an uptick in LTL freight because buyers are purchasing smaller quantities for just-in-time deliveries.  

Whether you are shipping temperature-controlled LTL or dry, the situation remains the same.  Inventory carrying costs have risen *5.1% just in the last year and with technology playing a large role in e-commerce, the experts are forecasting that ov
erblown inventories will soon be a thing of the past.  This means that logistics managers are changing their inventory strategies and more freight is being shipped by LTL.

Choptank Transport has seen a surge in frozen LTL business over the past year.  A common question the company gets from its customers is how to get the best price for only a couple pallets of frozen freight.

forklift with 2 crates sm.jpg“If you want to save money on LTL, it’s all about mode utilization,” says Steve Covey, executive vice president of Choptank Transport. “With LTL, you have choices.”

There are so many ways a frozen LTL shipment can be handled.  For facilities that have warehousing capabilities and dock space, a shipment can be picked up and then routed back to its original location to be cross-docked.  Cross-docking will pair it up with other freight heading in the same direction to create a full truckload. That’s just one way to maximize the shipment.

Sign me up for  the Choptank blog!  Then again, it may be more cost-effective to transport the freight on what’s called a “load to ride” shipment.  Here too, you have choices.  Sometimes this type of shipment will be calculated on a 100-weight basis; depending on the variables, however, it may save you money to use a pallet-weight instead.  Some 3PLs will offer it only one way or the other.  Good 3PLs will offer what works out best for your company, explaining why that mode is most efficient and cost-effective for the shipper. 

3PLs have to be flexible.  The minute they tender the shipment they should know what the best options are for you.  This is a large part of the value that a 3PL offers its customer.

Below is a list of 5 ways to get the best rates on your next LTL shipment.

  1. Submit tenders in advance – the more time you allow a 3PL to arrange your LTL shipments, the more options it can find to save costs.


  1. Combine with Rail - If you have an LTL shipment that is not time-sensitive, you can combine it with rail and often see substantial savings.


  1. Regular, repeat freight - If you have the same weekly shipment it creates “anchor freight” which allows a 3PL to arrange and manage multiple loads around that freight in advance.


  1. Contract ratesNegotiate quarterly or annual rates with your 3PL. This will give you an advantage when market conditions get tight and capacity shrinks.


  1. Communicate – Make sure that purchase orders are correct, contact information for the shipment is up-to-date, and details are specified on the BOL. This can save time, which saves money and deters lost or mis-delivered freight.


Do you have an LTL shipment that you have questions about? Contact Choptank Transport’s LTL specialists today at 800.568.2240 ext. 290, or contact: coldltl@choptanktransport.com.

* http://www.joc.com/economy-watch/us-economy-news/some-signs-indicate-long-awaited-destocking-under-way_20160629.html