Are you a small business looking for affordable ways to distribute your products? Perhaps you’re considering your delivery options. If you’re wondering how much LTL freight shipping costs and how you can save on transportation, we’ve got you covered.
But first, let’s see if LTL freight shipping is right for you.
What Is LTL Freight Shipping?
Less than truckload shipping, or LTL for short, is the term used for transporting small loads or quantities. LTL usually covers deliveries that weigh between 150 and 15,000 pounds. That’s equivalent to roughly 12 linear feet or 10 pallets.
It’s called LTL because the amount or size of goods being shipped does not require using an entire trailer, unlike full truckload shipping (FTL).
LTL is great for smaller deliveries, sample orders, subscriptions, and recurring orders. This shipping mode is also ideal for time-sensitive items that cannot be stored for long periods.
How LTL Freight Shipping Saves You Money
LTL freight shipping costs are usually lower than FTL because multiple shippers can use the same truck to transport their goods. Instead of being billed for the entire truck, you will only get billed for the space your goods are going to occupy. Your fee will also factor in the distance the truck is going to travel.
With LTL, you don’t have to pay for the unused space in the trailer. The best part? You don’t have to wait until an entire truck is empty and available.
How Much Would Your LTL Freight Shipping Cost?
LTL freight shipping costs are calculated based on the following:
- Weight: Remember that the heavier the item, the more expensive it is to transport.
- Linear Feet: This refers to the space your shipment occupies, including the box or packaging. Some companies multiply the weight and space occupied and charge according to dimensional weight.
- Distance: This is calculated from the point of origin to the destination. Long-haul deliveries are usually more expensive.
- Freight Class: Most beer fall under Class 65.
- Accessorials/Additional Services: This refers to extra services needed (e.g., residential pickup, liftgate services, inside delivery, limited access locations, and fuel surcharges) to get the item to its destination.
- Absolute Minimum Charge (AMC): Most carriers have a required minimum fee for each delivery.
- Base Rates: This refers to the carrier’s assigned rate based on weight, density, distance, and freight class.
- Negotiated Rates and Discounts: This amount is determined by different factors like the shipping lane and number of shipments, among others. Long-time clients can usually avail of special rates.
Your carrier will use the above information to match your item to specific rates which will then determine the final delivery price. This price should not be less than the AMC.
How to Save on LTL Freight Shipping
You can amplify your savings by further reducing your LTL freight shipping cost. Take note of these tips to get the best rates and avoid surprise charges:
1. Take Accurate Measurements
Make sure you take accurate measurements of your items so you don’t end up overspending on one shipment. Wrong measurements and freight classification could delay your shipment. Not only that, but the carrier can charge for additional fuel and a reweigh fee.
2. Prepare for Pickup
Make sure all items are packaged properly. This is especially important if you are shipping perishable items like fresh produce or beverages. Coordinate with receiving and dispatching staff to ensure smooth loading and drop-off. Otherwise, you may end up with detention and truck waiting fees on your bill.
3. Review Your Bill of Lading
Make sure your items arrive at the intended location by checking the information on your bill of lading. You need to ensure that none of your items are lost or damaged in transit. Errors like double entries or incorrect quantities are common, so make sure you read all documents carefully.
4. Use Efficient Packaging
Avoid bulky packaging that only adds weight and size without serving a purpose. Aside from increasing your LTL freight shipping costs, using too much packaging material can potentially harm the environment. If possible, use stackable packaging so you can get the most out of every linear foot.
5. Avoid High-Traffic Times
Rates spike when the demand is high, so take advantage of low-traffic days. Work with your carrier to identify these low-demand days and see if you can make adjustments to your schedule. Holiday deliveries are usually expensive, so try advancing or rescheduling your deliveries if they fall on those dates.
6. Ship More at Once
Shipping more items at a time will save you on delivery fees. Remember, you will have to pay an amount equivalent to the absolute minimum charge even if the final price is actually lower. You’ll also save more by stacking stackable items and paying once instead of multiple times on toll fees, fuel, lifts, etc.
7. Negotiate Your Rates
Ask your logistics service provider how you can save on your shipping costs. Discuss your needs and schedule so you can take advantage of volume discounts and special rates. For example, you can schedule night pickups for a lower rate.
8. Arrange for Backhauling
Backhauling is when a truck picks up a load on its return trip. Backhauling saves the logistics company money by being able to use the fuel and truck space for another delivery. Otherwise, the trucker would be driving it back to the garage or another pickup point without any load.
Logistics service providers offer lower rates on backhauling because it is more difficult to get customers from specific locations on specific dates, so check with your service provider if there are opportunities for backhauling.
9. Choose a Reliable Carrier
When selecting a carrier, choose one with a good track record. A careless carrier can cause delays, make your products vulnerable to loss or damage, and frustrate your clients. Don’t lose business by trying to save a few bucks on operational expenses. Good service comes at a reasonable price and can help you grow your business.
Increase Efficiency by Working With Specialty Movers
Specialty movers know your product better than conventional logistics service providers. They provide appropriate attention and equipment for items requiring extra care. Items like beer, for example, need to be handled by people who have the right knowledge and experience to ensure bottles don’t break and beverages don’t spoil while in transit.
Brew Movers specializes in your beer, cider, kombucha, soda and other beverage logistics. We are experts at moving merchandise and equipment anywhere across the country. Our cold shipping solution helps keep your beers fresh during transportation.
Do you need more information about LTL freight shipping costs for craft beer and brewing ingredients? Call our friendly customer support team now and get more tips on how you can expedite deliveries and trim down your shipping budget.