LTL shipping and multi-carrier software

November 3, 2014 at 2:02 PMAdministrator
Multi-carrier software improves LTL shipping practices.

Multi-carrier shipping software can improve a warehouse's LTL and FTL freight shipping practices.

LTL stands for "less than truck load" shipping. It is the movement of smaller, lighter packages that weigh anywhere between 151 and 10,000 pounds. These shipments do not take up all of the space available in a carrier's truck. Senders must only pay for the space they use up in the truck and carriers fill their semis with goods from multiple clients. On the other hand, FTL shipping will likely use every inch of a truck to ship items out. This stands for "full truck load" and should only be used when economically viable.

Both FedEx and UPS offer LTL shipping capabilities. Each may have their own definitions of what constitutes an LTL versus an FTL shipment. For example, FedEx considers a larger volume shipment to take up more than 10 feet of space in a trailer or weigh more than 4,000 pounds. 

State of LTL sector
Currently the LTL industry is growing. Saia, a carrier based in the southeastern U.S., has seen increased weights this year. Compared to quarter three, tonnage is up by 8.2 percent and the number of shipments the organization completed increased by 7.6 percent as the company enters its fourth quarter. Saia has been able to grow and develop a higher profit margin thanks to new equipment and technology. In the industrial production category as a whole, goods have increased in production by 4.3 percent. As part of a response to this increase in LTL shipping, UPS has upped the cost of their freight transportation rates for both air and ground items beginning Dec. 29. Customers will be paying 4.9 percent more for both air and ground packages sent through UPS LTL shipping. This is the same day UPS will institute its dimensional weight pricing. 

Multi-carrier shipping software can help shippers and distribution centers become more lucrative. Even if tonnage, volume and client engagement grows, without an effective method of managing inventory, success can be short lived. In addition, because LTL shipping must adhere to delivery dates for every single client with items in the truck, arrivals are more at risk to be delayed. Multi-carrier shipping software helps maintain a more reliable delivery schedule, track and maintain sufficient inventory levels, and enhance customer relationships. 

Plus, when senders need to shop their options to find the most cost-effective method for LTL freight shipping, a multi-carrier software solution can help a warehouse make the best choice.