5 LTL shipping questions small businesses should ask

July 6, 2019

Small business owners have their plates full with business demands that keep them busy all day. They’re hard-working people with an entrepreneurial spirit we can all admire. Small businesses deal with many of the same issues as larger companies, but due to their nature and size, the challenges in front of them are increasingly more difficult to overcome. However, thanks to LTL shipping, small businesses have found a solution for many of their shipping concerns.

While LTL shipping offers a great deal of support, there are still questions that need to be asked. Here are five LTL shipping questions every small business shipper should be asking.


1. Do I have the proper packaging in place?

LTL shipping is great for businesses who need to send out a shipment, but don’t have a big enough load to fill an entire trailer. This method is ideal for small businesses in particular, as you’re able to share the space (and cost) of a trailer with other like-minded shippers. 

The last thing any business wants to happen – regardless of size – is goods they’re shipping to arrive at the destination damaged or broken. Many small businesses prefer LTL shipping because of the cost savings, but some will look to cut costs even more when it comes to packaging.

This could be a big mistake. Damaged or broken freight often times portrays the company in a bad light and could result in a loss of business. It’s important to package every item with care in order to avoid any possible damage during the shipping process.


2. How do I track my shipment?

Searching for a missing delivery can cost you valuable time and money, while also causing unneeded stress. In order to assure that your shipment has been fulfilled and delivered to the customer on time, it’s wise to invest in a system that allows you to track your shipment from start to finish.

Naturally, LTL shipping service times heavily depend on which carrier you select and the distance being traveled. Partnering with an online freight service provider, such as Freightquote, provides you with a wide selection of professional carriers that offer great service and fair rates. When using Freightquote for LTL shipping, as soon as your shipment is picked up, the latest tracking information can be seen when signing in to view that shipment.


3. Is my freight classification correct?

LTL shipping requires careful attention to freight classification. Always double check to confirm you have the correct freight class for your shipment, as it’s essential for determining the carrier’s shipping rates. The classification of your freight is determined by the weight, dimensions, density, ease of handling, value and liability. Generally, the lower the class number, the lower the freight shipping cost.

If the freight classification is incorrect and the freight has to reweighed and reclassified, higher freight charges could be added on. Partnering with an online freight service provider gives you access to the tools you need to properly calculate the freight class of your entire shipment.


4. Do I have the right carrier for the job?

There are numerous national, regional, and local metro carriers across the United States that specialize in LTL shipping. With so many carriers, it’s important to understand which ones offer the best price for the service you’ll be needing. 

Ideally, small business shippers should look to partner with a provider that specializes in LTL shipping. This allows you to easily compare carriers against each other and ultimately select the one that fits your business best. We go one step further by offering you our carrier recommendation based on your provided information.


5. How are my LTL shipping rates determined?

LTL shipping rates in general don’t fluctuate by the size of your company. There are a wide variety of factors that are used to determine the freight rate. Weight, distance, and what you’re shipping are all used to configure the total freight shipping rate. Likewise, any additional accessories that are needed for pick-up and delivery, such as appointments and lift-gate services play a role in determining the shipping rate. LTL rates in particular are very dependent on the freight’s class. 


Final thoughts

The LTL shipping process can be a headache if you don’t have the right tools. Small business shippers are often limited when it comes to securing the best freight shipping resources. 

Be sure to take a look at our self-service tools to get an idea of what easier shipping looks like.


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