Guaranteed LTL Shipping: Quick Guide

Most of the time, standard LTL shipping is all you need to ensure that your shipment arrives within an acceptable window at an economical price. However, when it's absolutely crucial that an LTL shipment arrives at a specific date, investing in guaranteed LTL shipping can give you the assurance you need.

What is Guaranteed LTL Shipping?

Guaranteed less-than-truckload shipping ensures your freight shipment arrives by an agreed-upon timeframe of your choice on a standard-service delivery day. In general, LTL freight shipments are quoted with an estimated transit time. Each LTL freight carrier has its own standard transit time, which depends on everything from distance to truck availability. While those transit times are typically reliable, they are only estimates; this can mean your shipment can be delayed. Guaranteed LTL, by contrast, has a near 100% on-time delivery rate to get your shipment where it needs to be during the window you specify.

  • Standard Guaranteed Shipping: Depending on the service level, a standard guarantee shipment is guaranteed to be delivered on the standard service day by 10 a.m., Noon, 5 p.m. or within a one-hour window with a money-back guarantee. Standard guarantee is a good option for shippers who can't afford for their freight to be delayed.
  • Day/Time-Specific Critical Guarantee & Expedited / Weekend Guarantee: A day/time-specific critical guarantee shipment ensures delivery on a specific day/time or on a non-standard service day. Some LTL or expedited carriers offer expedited service for delivery on holidays, weekends and after hours. These services are a good fit for shippers who have freight that must be delivered on a specific date, within a short window of time or outside of the standard transit day timeframe.

When Should You Use Guaranteed LTL?

Today's businesses run faster than ever before, and customers have come to expect fast delivery. Retailers are looking for ways to manage inventory more effectively and run a leaner supply chain. Delivery windows are shrinking as financial penalties for missed or late shipments continue to rise.

Guaranteed LTL shipping can provide you extra security in a range of circumstances when on-time delivery is essential:

  • When your customer needs just-in-time (JIT) delivery. If your business ships components to a manufacturer that uses JIT inventory management, shipping delays can mean delaying production runs.
  • When your delivery is required for new construction. Large components can't be left sitting around waiting for the space to install them. Likewise, not getting the parts when needed can lead to unnecessary delays. Guaranteed LTL ensures that your customer gets what they need when they need it.
  • When you ship to retailers with rigid delivery windows. Missing a delivery date when your retailer has a Must Arrive By Date in place can expose you to chargebacks. Investing in guaranteed delivery can help protect your sales.
  • When other shipping activities reply on on-time delivery of your goods. If you are delivering items in a monthly subscription box, a delay on your part can mean delayed shipping to all of their customers. Ensuring on-time delivery helps preserve relationships.
  • When your shipment is traveling overseas. These shipments must make it by a particular time to make it on a boat or plane.

Things to Know About Guaranteed LTL

When deciding on whether to use guaranteed LTL, there are a few things that you need to know. First, guaranteed LTL shipments can only be made on business days during business hours; this means that your shipment may not be able to be made on a weekend or a holiday. If you're unsure whether a specific date is considered a holiday, double-check in advance to avoid confusion. Second, guarantees are not available for every type of delivery.

A few situations and shipment types where guaranteed LTL might not be an option:

Get a Guaranteed LTL Shipping Quote from Unishippers

Ready to get a guaranteed LTL shipping quote or to learn more about how guaranteed shipping can work for you? Existing customers can use myUnishippers™ to compare rates and delivery times from multiple carriers. New customer? Just give us a call or use our form to get an shipping quote.

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