3 Ways to Prevent LTL Shipping Problems

Tips for Avoiding Common Shipping Issues

Problems in a business's less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipping and receiving processes can negatively impact broader operations and revenues. To be effective, preventive actions must start with developing a clear understanding of common issues. LTL shipping involves a lot of moving parts, literally and figuratively. But sustained success in business shipping operations depends on efficiency in many areas of management planning.

Here are three key tips for better planning to help you improve your in-house LTL shipping management process.

1. Expand Your Base of Proven LTL Carriers

Many LTL shipping issues tend to be attributed to the chosen carrier. Repeated incidents of missing freight, damaged goods, frequent delays, unexpected charges, incomplete or ambiguous documentation or poor customer service are serious problems. These can cost your company significant loss in time investigating and resolving issues. Such ongoing problems can also lead to lost revenues from new and repeat sales.

Unishippers has vetted and partnered with more than 75+ of the top LTL carriers to provide you with the best rates and exceptional customer service for your LTL freight shipping. We evaluate our freight shipping partners on their reliability, rates and ability to meet the needs of our customers. Plus, our knowledgeable shipping experts understand the specialties and strengths of our freight shipping partners and can provide consultation on which carrier to use when, and for what type of shipments, based on your business's unique freight shipping needs.

2. Invest in the Best TMS

A growing business needs an updated transportation management system (TMS) technology to optimize its shipping and receiving department logistical planning and execution. A modern TMS does much more than merely book your LTL freight shipments on a single platform. A TMS serves as your hub for efficiently managing communications between your order management system, your distribution system and the carriers.

Today's state-of-the-art TMS platform provides shippers with comprehensive management resources to:

  • Compare rates and calculate mixed class pricing
  • Compare transit times and route planning
  • Add insurance and initiate claims
  • Create commodity lists to reduce time spent on shipping common items
  • Get real-time tracking updates on shipping status by SMS/Text and email
  • And much more!

This advanced technology can significantly increase the timeliness, accuracy and overall quality of your LTL shipping-related customer communications.

3. Properly Package and Label Your LTL Shipment

LTL shipment packaging is one of the most important components for any company. It is the senders job to make sure that shipments are packaged properly. Here are a few tips to help your LTL shipment arrive safe and sound:

  • Load your freight shipments onto a wood shipping pallet with four-way access
  • Stack the heaviest items on the bottom of the pallet and the lightest in the top
  • Use a slip sheet in-between every third layer to help evenly distribute weight
  • Stack boxes squarely edge to edge, and do not allow overhang of your shipping pallet
  • Shrink wrap your pallet a minimum of five revolutions to avoid items from moving around
  • Shipping crates sent international express freight (air) that weighs over 150 lbs. must be locked or secured with two bands in each direction (four bands total).
  • Add a label to the shipment with any special handling requirements such as "This end up" or "Fragile" to increase the likelihood the items are handled properly

If you have unusual or irregularly shaped items, a 3PL can help advise on the best way to ship those items.

A 3PL Like Unishippers Can Simplify Your LTL Shipping

We are a 3PL service for small parcel and large freight shipping throughout the U.S. and internationally. Our domestic and foreign shipping network consists of a vast web of leading LTL and FTL carriers and an enormous base of shipping customers. Our specialists find the safest and most efficient combination of shipping options to transport your freight by air, sea and/or ground resources.

If you need a more practical shipping resource that can seamlessly scale with your company's growth, contact us to discuss your business's unique needs.

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