Truck load Shipping: What is it?

truck load shippingTruck load shipping involves moving an amount of similar cargo of a large enough quantity to fill a semi-truck trailer or an intermodal container. It delivers one customer’s freight dock-to-dock. Full truck load or FTL as it’s often called may also include flatbed, refrigerated, heavy haul, or hotshot freight.

There are several factors that separate truck load from partial truck load or LTL shipping.

Freight Handling. Once truck load freight gets loaded, it does not get touched until it reaches its destination dock. This differs from LTL freight that may get moved on and off a trailer on its way to the customer. Partial truck load ships more like truck load as the freight, once loaded, stays in place until it reaches the customer dock.

More Shipping Options.  Truck load shipping can handle more types of freight. Perishable freight can ship in a refrigerated truck. Large freight and heavy haul can go on a flatbed truck. Hazardous materials can ship with the special attention they require. LTL freight and partial truck load typically only ship in a trailer without the ability to accommodate special freight needs.

Faster Delivery. As truck load freight ships from dock-to-dock, it arrives faster. LTL freight makes many stops before delivery and can stop at multiple hubs on the way to its final destination. Truck load shipping serves one customer and goes from point-to-point making it a faster delivery type for long hauls.

One note on truck load delivery speed…its speed depends on it being a planned shipment. Unlike LTL freight which ships the same day, truck load needs to be arranged in advance. That’s one reason LTL is often described as a faster type of freight. The immediate solution for a business with a large amount of freight and a need to get it out the same day is partial truck load shipping.

Lower Risk of Damage. Since truckload freight doesn’t get moved after loading, there is much less risk of damage to the freight compared to LTL freight.

How to Get a Great Truck Load Shipping Service

There are really two ways to arrange truck load shipping. Call truck load carriers until you find one with the service and rates that match your need. Then you can negotiate the rate as needed.

The second option is to call a truckload freight broker like Longshot Logistics. Freight brokers work with hundreds of truck load carriers and owner/operators. Their software allows them to filter carriers to identify the ones who offer the service you need. Then they can get you already negotiated freight quotes and identify lanes with discounts to save you money, all with one call.

How To Avoid Truckload GRIs

No more truckload GRIs Every year it seems the truckload industry introduces another round of general rate increases (GRIs).  2016 was no different.

While GRIs may seem inevitable, they’re not.  Our customers didn’t see their rates rise this year.  That’s the advantage of working with a 3PL.  Our business model doesn’t require GRIs.

Here’s why:

Leverage

Our database contains thousands of truckload carriers based around the United States.  When they partner with us, they know they have to compete to win your business.  In this way we get aggressive rates we pass along to you.

Access to so many carriers also means special services like hazmat or refrigerated truckload (“reefer”) aren’t unique.  We have our pick of carriers.  These often includes carriers in your location – that helps keep costs down too.

Logistics Software

We use a proprietary logistics software to quote, manage, track and analyze every shipment.  This means we can get more done quickly.  A lean and efficient office allows us to keep overhead down.

We use the software to organize carriers, consolidate invoicing and expedite claims.  It allows us to create freight quotes fast and track shipments with multiple carriers immediately.  All of this translates into valuable time savings.

Through technology we turn the old saying “time is money” into a fact.  In this case, that money is the money you save.

Industry-experience

A professional staff makes all the difference.  They understand your questions and logistics needs, can create money-saving strategies and prevent costly problems.  You might even find truckload isn’t the most cost-efficient way to ship your specific load.  Partial truckload may make more sense.

Experience is the reason a live voice answers your call.  When you call us you won’t find yourself connected to an industry newbie.  You’ll be on the phone with someone prepared – and able! – to give you answers.

No More GRIs

Partner with a 3PL and you’ll say good-bye to GRIs.  A stable of carriers ready to bid on your business combined with logistics strategies will give you control over freight costs.  Plus, a 3PL can get it done faster and easier.

For more information on how a 3PL can help you business click here.

How to Maximize Supply Chain Savings

Truckload rates look to rise and impact supply chain costs even as volumes are down for the first part of 2016 . supply chain truckload shipping

If you’ve shipped truckload, maybe price pressures have brought you a little savings.  Now’s not a time to take a wait and see approach.  Take advantage of the slight dip to maximize your supply chain savings.  Here’s how…

Do a Comprehensive Logistics Review

Many companies have big savings hiding in their supply chain.  A comprehensive logistics review will reveal them.

This analysis goes beyond rates.  It looks at what shipped, how it was shipped and where it was shipped.  The information uncovered creates opportunities for strategic thinking to reduce logistics costs.

It also identifies areas where savings exist.  Claims is an area we often find huge savings opportunities.  Partial truckload shipping in place of LTL and truckload is another area of big opportunity.

You won’t find any of these without the review.  If you haven’t analyzed your supply chain in awhile, click here to contact us and learn more about Longshot Logistics’ complimentary logistics review.

Identify Customer Requirements

Now it’s time to plan.  Start by evaluating your customers.  Do any have special requirements?

Some of these might be hazmat, reefer, or flatbed.  Some customer’s may need additional services.  If you can anticipate these in advance, then you can make sure you’ve got the services lined up and priced to your need.

It also gives you an opportunity to find other areas of cost-savings.  Will you ship more truckload or LTL?  Does it make sense to find a carrier who can do both?  Will you ship local, regionally or cross continent?

Based on the answers to these questions you can build a plan in advance to lower the costs.  This way you don’t have to negotiate rates when the best direction of your focus is meeting your customer’s delivery schedule.

Find a Supply Chain Partner

Ok, so you’ve identified areas of savings and planned for future needs.  Now use that information for leverage.

Find a logistics partner who will help you strategize, build the plan and secure your rates.  If you decide to go carrier direct, you’ll have to do this yourself.

If you look to a third party logistics partner, or 3PL for short, they’ll do the work with you.  A 3PL will do the analysis, review the data and help you plan for the future.

Another advantage of the 3PL is their database of carriers.  Rather than relying on one carrier, they give you access to dozens.  In some cases, they have a database of thousands.  In instances like these, carriers actually bid on your business.  That keeps your rates low and helps to avoid GRIs.

For example, Longshot Logistics is a truckload 3PL who can provide complete logistics management and LTL services as needed.  For more information, contact us.