LTL freight shipping varies from full truckload freight shipping. Freight shipping is simple: the carrier loads the pallets on the truck, drives to the delivery location, and drops the freight off where it’s supposed to go. It’s less simple, however, to figure out the pricing of freight shipping. It’s particularly difficult to understand pricing for LTL freight shipping.
LTL freight is a mode of shipping in which the goods being shipped are too large for parcel carriers, but not large enough to take up the entire truck. It’s a way to cut shipping costs by saving on the price of an entire truckload. The shipping rates for this type of freight is determined by complicated matrices factoring in several different criteria. It’s important to understand the different influences in LTL freight pricing to manage and cut shipping costs.
The main criteria for LTL freight pricing are: weight, freight class, and shipping distance. These are sensible criteria for deciding on freight shipping rates, but they’re put on matrices used as tariffs to rate each shipment to come up with the shipping rates. So, let’s look further into these criteria to better understand LTL freight shipping and shipping rates and how it affects transportation management.
Shipping rates for LTL freight are usually broken down by hundredweight for shipping between pickup and delivery on the carrier’s tariff. These two criteria are fairly straightforward. As the weight of the LTL shipment increases, costs per hundredweight will decrease, but the underlying concept is that as the overall weight of the freight goes up, shipping rates increase, as well. It can be a little confusing, but the logical understanding of higher weight equals higher shipping costs remains true. Additionally, the same thing is true for distance. The farther the LTL freight shipment goes, the greater your shipping rates are going to be.
Weight plays a significant role in determining shipping costs, but that isn’t the only criteria that matters for carriers. The space in the truck is also very important to understand. Carriers factor in the space a shipment will take up into LTL freight shipping rates through class. Different freight shipments have different classes depending what’s in them.
This influences LTL freight shipping rates, because high value and less dense freight is billed at a higher class than heavy and cheap goods. The value of the LTL freight is factored in, because that changes the liability for damage to the carrier. The shipping rates are based on weight, so carriers can’t charge as much for freight with small weight to rate ratio.
The final thing to keep in mind is that LTL freight shipping rates are negotiable. You can use transportation management strategies and negotiations to cut shipping costs. There are always discounts which can be given for LTL freight, but how much of a discount will depend on your negotiations and transportation management abilities. There are contract negotiation specialists you can hire to help negotiate cheaper LTL freight shipping rates. It’s a good decision for supply chain management, because shipping rates are a significant factor in the LTL freight shipping industry.