LTL Shipping: Top 3 Trends and Tips for 2013
A new year has begun, and new challenges await, yet the same goal remains: reduce spending while allowing the company to grow and maintain its current relationships. In hopes of helping you navigate through what promises to be an interesting year, here are a few trends and tips for Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shippers:
- Driver shortage: Typically something that affects the truckload side of your business, LTL carriers will also be feeling the tightening of their driver base. Due to an aging workforce and tighter government regulations, more drivers are leaving the workforce than are joining. This will drive costs up for carriers, and we may see them pass those costs on to you.
- Carriers turn focus to profit: For years, we saw carriers pushing rates lower and lower in an attempt to gain additional market share. This has caused them to operate at or below their operating expense, pushing their companies into the red. Expect carriers to find ways to recoup loss revenue through accessorial charges and inspections.
- Mergers and acquisitions: As government regulations continue to change, companies that are operating in the red are merging to expand service offerings and fill some service voids that other carriers have.
How can you stay ahead of the curve and continue to hit your objectives?
- Economy carriers: The marketplace is becoming filled with economy carriers. They offer cheaper rates, with extended transits. If you can plan ahead and have product ready, you can avoid procuring the more costly carriers and still hit on-time delivery to your customer.
- Account-specific pricing: Load Delivered can negotiate rates on your behalf to the carrier base. Large carriers want commitment from a customer, so they are more than willing to be flexible on price. Savings can be anywhere from 5 – 15% over your last year’s freight spend.
- Knowing your freight: Of course you know the type of product you sell, but do you know how an LTL carrier looks at it? Have an LTL Specialist come out and inspect your freight. From packaging to class, the specialist can provide you with information to help limit reclassing and other unnecessary accessorial fees.
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