Monday, November 30, 2015

Six Factors That Smaller LTL Shippers Need To Consider

In order to avoid being squeezed out by large LTL freight carrier’s small freight carriers must be resourceful.  Smaller LTL companies but consider the factors that follow to provide efficient freight services and compete within the shipping industry with so many large carriers. 
  • Transit Time: How fast do shipments need to get to you or to your customers?  Slower transit times are common with long-haul carriers within regional lanes.  Whereas regional and multi-regional carriers tend to produce faster transit times in these lanes but may not provide services in longer haul lanes.
  • Geographic Coverage: It is crucial to understand where different carriers deliver. When you understand where carriers offer their services you can optimize which carriers are best suited for the service.  There are many carriers that provide only regionalized direct pickups and delivery services.  Find carriers to work with that provide service to the areas you desire.
  • Service Performance: Customer service is incredibly important in shipping. You need vendor shipments to make it to you when you need them and your carriers need to deliver to customers when they are expecting them.  Reliability for most carriers range within the ninety percent range for on time pickup and delivery performance.   Long haul carriers have less reliability than most regional carriers.  Almost all carriers however provide guaranteed delivery services for additional fees. 
  • Liability Insurance Coverage: Liability insurance coverage is offered on most shipments.  The price that this coverage will cost is different depending on the carrier, freight classification and if your product is new or used.   Most LTL carriers provide coverage to shippers at a rate of ten dollars per pound.  Best in class coverage is harder to find and tend to be a bit pricier at twenty five dollars per pound.   Some regional carriers offer liability insurance coverage for as low as a dollar per pound. 
  • Financial Stability: It is necessary to use carriers that are financially stable. Carriers that are struggling with profitability and debt issues have complications that should be avoided.  It is a risk that can be avoided and should be. With so many LTL carriers it is unnecessary to choose a carrier that is unstable in any element of their business.
  • Pricing Factors: When working with different carriers it is crucial to understand the pricing. This is especially important for smaller businesses.  In order to determine the true cost of transportation consider: discounts, base rates, net pricing, minimum charge floors, freight classification, weight, accessorial fees and FAK provisions.
Other things to consider when looking for LTL freight carriers there is almost never one carrier that fits every need you may have.  Work with and established freight broker to do the heavy leg work so that you can focus on what is really important, running your own business.
Jefferson Diversified Group, LLC is a Global Logistics expert offering LTL shipping and more. Check out available rates today at

Friday, October 30, 2015

Four Of The Most Common Answers In LTL Shipping

In shipping there are many more questions than answers.  Freight carriers involved in less than truckload shipping are a unique entity in the shipping equation.  Below you will find the answers to the top five questions asked about LTL shipping.
What is less than truckload (LTL) shipping exactly?
When shipping a load that consists of freight that takes up less than a full truckload it will be less expensive for freight to be sent LTL.  In shipping there are there are three main shipping modes, less than truckload, parcel carriers and full truckload carriers.  Parcel carriers usually handle smaller packages and freight that is broken down into units that are less than one hundred fifty pounds.  Full truckload carriers move freight that consists of a load fitting into a semi-trailer.  Semi-trailers are between twenty six and fifty three feet.  They require a large amount of freight to make it cost effective for shippers to choose this option in freight shipping.
How exactly do LTL shippers operate?
An LTL shipper usually carries a load of freight between one hundred and fifty one pounds and twenty thousand pounds.  Most LTL carriers work through a hub and spoke system.  This allows smaller shipments to be sent through a variety of channels and paired with other shipments headed to the same place to create a full truckload.  This keeps the costs down and allows for many smaller shipments to get where they need to be without the expense of a full truckload shipment. Many small picks ups can occur, creating smaller shipments, centered in one local hub shipped out through a variety of spokes to other LTL carriers at a lower cost to shippers.
What is the advantage of using a carrier that ships LTL?
The major advantage of using an LTL carrier is that you can decrease the costs associated with transportation on your freight shipments.  Also, additional services are offered through LTL carriers such as lift gate services at pickup and delivery, residential services, indoor deliveries, notification of pickups and deliveries, freeze protection and more.  If you need a more hands on approach to your shipment it is ideal for you to look at LTL carriers for transporting your goods.
What is the main difference between the operations of LTL shippers and parcel carriers?
Parcel carriers usually ship pieces that weigh less than one hundred and fifty pounds.  LTL carriers and parcel carriers still compete for shippers as larger shipments can be broke down into smaller packages.  An LTL carrier prefers to ship loads that don’t need a great deal of handling.  An LTL carrier prefers to ship pallets.  LTL shipper ship one pallet which may contain many boxes wrapped together to form one shipment where as a parcel carrier will break it down into smaller loads.   The typical per pound rate of LTL carriers is less than the per pound rate of parcel carriers overall.
Jefferson Diversified Group, LLC is a Global Logistics expert offering LTL shipping and more. Check out available rates today at

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Freight Shipping Methods Used In Less Than Truckload Shipping

It is important that you choose a freight company that meets your needs when you are shipping larger items. Less than truckload shipping is a popular option within the freight industry. There are several methods used to ship freight. The one that you choose will depend on a few things such as what you are shipping, when it needs to arrive, if it’s perishable or fragile. Below you will find each method used within the industry. When you are choosing a freight carrier you can choose one or more methods of getting your LTL shipment where it needs to be when it needs to be there.
Options for Shipping Freight
Shipping By Road: Trucks are used for large items that can fit into a transport vehicle. This method is most often used when travel from one location to another is convenient. It is however, one of the slowest methods in shipping so time should not be a factor when shipping by road.
Shipping By Rail: When you have a large cargo shipment that does not fit into a transport vehicle railway is the way to go. Rail is a quick method of shipping large cargo items. When there is a time crunch rail is one of the best shipping methods. Rail is most often used for shipping vehicles, manufacturing goods, equipment and farm supplies.
Shipping By Sea: Shipping by sea is one of the most cost effective ways to send large shipments. It is also one of the slowest; it takes a lot longer to ship an item via sea over other options in shipping. Larger vehicles, industrial vehicles, heavy machinery, manufacturing vehicles and more are shipped by sea.
Shipping By Air: Using an airplane to ship is another option. This method is used to get goods to remote locations, when there are no time constraints, there are no roads or routes to the location or your shipment needs to go to another country.
Consider the type of shipment you are sending as well. If you are shipping perishable items or hazardous items you will want to be sure the carrier you select is equipped to handle it. Some companies will not ship these items that need to be handled with special care.
You will also want to look into the companies shipping track record when choosing a shipper. Make sure they are reliable, honest and have a solid customer service record. Also check to the carrier’s damage history. Carriers that offer 24/7 support is preferred over those that are only offer support during normal business hours.
The shipping rates and transportation methods carriers’ use are important as well. LTL freight shipping can be complex but when you take your time to understand the process and research freight carriers you will come out on top.
Jefferson Diversified Group, LLC is a Global Logistics expert offering LTL shipping and more. Check out available rates today at

Monday, August 31, 2015

Freight Pricing Simplified

Freight pricing is a bit confusing especially when it comes to less than truckload companies. LTL companies use a variety of methods to determine the price to charge for your shipment. The most common way this is done is using freight class. Rules and guidelines are in place for the trucking industry to use to determine the classification of shipments. This directly affects how much you pay to ship an item.
Not only does the classification on your shipment affect how much you pay so does the shipments density. Density is calculated by determining how many pounds per cubic foot your shipment is. This allows the carrier to figure out how many other shipments can also be put on the truck. Less than truckload companies load several LTL shipments onto one truck to make a full trailer. The lower the classification of your shipment the less it will cost to ship.
Another factor that helps determine what you are charged is the items likelihood to be damaged. Fragile items or items with a lot of bulk fall into freight classes between one hundred twenty five to five hundred and account for most expensive shipments. Your service provider is knowledgeable in these differences and will assist you in figuring out the freight class charge of your shipments.
Some brokers are granted “Freight All Kinds” pricing with certain carriers that they contract with for LTL shipping. This means that higher classed items are shipped at lower cost classification. The only way an individual shipper can benefit from this is to ship though a broker such as those you can find online. Trucking companies do not offer direct discounts to private individuals.
Shipping a full truckload is usually calculated by mileage. The company figures in all the factors such as operating costs per mile as well as a markup that adds up to the amount you pay. You will realize bigger logistics savings when working with a freight broker. Brokers work with many trucking companies and can instantly shop for the best price to send your shipment. Freight brokers can always work out a better deal than you can as a private shipper. Dealing directly with shippers is more expensive by upwards of fifty to eighty five percent over what brokers can negotiate. The most private shippers can negotiate is usually five percent.
When choosing a broker to work with to handle your shipments look for other qualities other than a low price. Find a broker that only works with trucking companies that have the same customer service values as you do. Work only with freight who work with shippers that value on time shipments and consistent quality service.
Jefferson Diversified Group, LLC is a Global Logistics expert offering LTL shipping and more. Check out available rates today at

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Finding A Global Logistics Partner Part 2

Accessing a new freight broker or shopping for one initially often comes with some confusion.  Every freight broker works a bit differently, no two are the same.  There are several things to consider in your quest to find a perfect match with your business philosophy.  We will look in depth at questions to use when you are interviewing freight brokers.  Remember that the freight broker you choose will be an integral part of your business success; your goal is to find a dependable company to work that has the same customer service philosophy as you do.

How do they select their carriers?

Just like you have to research a freight broker they have to investigate carriers to work with.  You need to ask about the selection criteria they use to choose carriers for shipping your freight.  They should be concerned with the carrier’s safety records, reputation within the industry, length of time they have been in business, the age of their equipment fleet and the number of trucks and drivers they have.  Their carriers are about to become your LTL freight shippers.

How are their communication skills?

You need to choose a freight broker that works with carriers that will represent your company and product as if you were hand delivering it.  The carrier’s dispatchers will be working directly with your clients on status updates, delivery notices and ensuring that the shipment arrives where it should and in the condition it was promised.  How well the broker communicates with you is a solid indicator of how well communication runs throughout their operation.   

How good is their billing department?

This may not seem super important to you but in reality is a key aspect of logistic organization.  Find a freight broker that offers accurate, detailed and timely billing.  This is important to your business as many times the cost of shipping can be passed off to your customers.  Inaccurate billing on the part of the freight broker in turn leads to billing errors to your customers, thus throwing off the finances within your logistic department.

Ask them to provide references?

Check out the freight brokers references.  Meet with references that manufacture and ship similar goods to what you offer in the same areas that you ship too.  This will give you a complete idea of what you can expect from them.  Talk in depth about recent performance, including issues and how they have been handled. 

There is a lot to consider when choosing a broker to handle your LTL freight services.  Follow your instincts.  The cost of their services should not be the only reason to hire or not hire a freight shipping broker as good customer services is often worth some extra pennies here and there.

Jefferson Diversified Group, LLC is a Global Logistics expert offering LTL shipping and more. Check out available rates today at

Thursday, May 28, 2015

4 LTL Shipping Tips To Improve Freight Carrier Relationships

Following the rules of less than truckload freight shipping is the most important thing you can do to make sure you maintain a positive relationship between shipper and carrier.  The tips below will help to ensure you continue to improve your relationship with your LTL carriers while helping yourself reduce costs and improve the shipping efficiency of your company.
Don’t Falsify Freight Weight: When it comes to creating a relationship with an LTL carrier one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to falsify the weight of your shipments.  It is important to accurately report all of the cargo’s correct weight.  This information is critical to less than truck load freight carriers as incorrect reporting of weight increases the expenses on their end.  Note that LTL shippers re-weigh eighty percent of their freight as this is the key element to keeping down their expenses and improving their efficiency.
Accurate Bill of Lading:  Decrease the errors in your transportation mananagment system by automating the intergration of your address and commodities books.  Accurate bill of ladings are important for carriers.  LTL carriers are becoming increasing aware of inaccuracies and are working to prevent them.  You can imporve your reputation with your frieght carrier by providign an accurate bill of lading each and everytime you ship a less than truckload shipment.
Lessen or Avoid Accessorial Charges:  Accessorial charges are the fees charged for extras such as residential services, lift gates, set appointment deliveries and more.  In parcel shipping there is a great deal of accessorial charges whereas in LTL shipping there are around fifteen.  When the load capacity is tight many shippers will choose the shipments with less accessorial charges as these are the things that slow the pickup and delivery of shipments.
Properly Packing Your LTL Shipments:  It is important that your shipments are packaged correctly to travel via the mode of transportation chosen by you and the LTL carrier.  If a shipment is not packaged correctly the shipper will have to repack it to prevent damage.  This takes away from the carrier’s efficiency.  If a shipment is packed improperly it can drop off the forklifts when being transferred damaging the contents thus creating more work for both you and the carrier.  This can all be avoided with proper packaging.
By abiding by these simple tips when shipping freight with a LTL carrier you can greatly improve the relationship between you and the carrier.  Following these basic tips will allow you both to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Jefferson Diversified Group, LLC is a Global Logistics expert offering LTL shipping and more. Check out available rates today at

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Understanding LTL Carrier Rates

Seven things to understand about Less Than Truckload carrier rates:
Base Rates:  One of the challenges with purchasing less than truckload freight services is comparing the similarities and differences in costs between different carriers.  Every carrier determines their own base rates which will differ a great deal between carriers and shipping lanes.  A base rate is quoted per one hundred pounds often referred to as centum weight, CWT.  When determining the CWT it is important to understand what it is based on.  CWT takes into consideration the freight classification, the weight of the shipment, the distance travelled, as well as the origination and destination zip codes.
Classification of Freight:  The National Motor Freight Classification, NMFC publishes the different classifications or classes comparing commodities that are moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce.  According to the NMFC there are eighteen different classes that range from fifty to five hundred and are based on the products density, ability to be stowed, handling and liability.  If the freight is a lower class it represents a low risk, dense shipment.  Higher class freight indicates freight that takes up a lot of space and is charged a higher rate.
Freight all Kinds: FAK is an agreement that enables multiple items with different classes to be shipped and billed at the same rate.  This agreement is made specifically between the carrier and customer.   This allows negotiations with the carrier to ship multiple commodities that range in class to ship at a specific rate.  Commodities range in class from one hundred to two hundred that are being shipped are charged at one hundred fifty because of the FAK agreement between the carrier and customer.
Distance: CWT calculations for less than truckload freight also take into consideration the distance the freight needs to travel.  This is a bit trickier as of course the longer the distance the more it will cost to ship.  Some LTL carriers will only service specific regions and if a shipment is sent outside the normal service area the trucking company will transfer the load to another LTL carrier.  This can add to the cost of the shipment.
Weight: With less than truckload shipping you actually pay less per pound the more a shipment weighs.  So a shipment that weighs two hundred and fifty pounds may actually end up costing $1.49 a pound where as a shipment weighing one hundred pounds may cost $2.00 a pound.
Minimums:  With less than truckload carriers there is an absolute minimum charge otherwise known as an AMC.  This is considered the minimum amount that will be charged or the shipment will not go.
Accessorial Charges: The accessorial charges are the fees that are charged for services that go beyond shipping the freight from one point to another.  Examples of these charges are inside pick-up, lift gate services, residential delivery, packing and many other extra services.
Jefferson Diversified Group, LLC is a Global Logistics expert offering LTL shipping and more. Check out available rates today at