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.