How to find the cheapest way to ship LTL freight.

January 31, 2020

For many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), competing for capacity can be difficult to do without breaking the bank, or being priced out of the market. For this reason, securing consistently affordable capacity is often one of the main factors SMBs consider when developing shipping strategies. With that in mind, you must understand what factors directly impact the price of LTL shipments in order to build a shipping strategy focused on obtaining affordable capacity.

Understanding these factors will not only inform your current shipping strategy, but you will also be able to use this knowledge to plan future shipments. Let’s take a look at the main factors that influence the cost of LTL capacity, as well as how you can use this information to create a price-focused shipping strategy.


What factors impact the cost of LTL shipments?

One of the main determinants in the price of an LTL shipment is the size of the freight you are shipping. Carriers will want to know the dimensions (length, width, height and weight) of your shipment so they can determine how much space it will take up in their trailer. Using this information, they will build out prices, with larger shipments typically costing more than smaller shipments.  

There are several factors that you must consider when evaluating the cost of LTL shipments. The amount of available capacity is one of the main influences on the cost of freight. Additionally, major storms tend to drive the prices up as well, so it is important to plan around the weather if you can. 


What this means for your shipping strategy.

In order to optimize cost, it’s important to begin creating your shipping strategy as soon as possible. A good place to start is by using past shipment data to help you forecast how much capacity you will need for the coming year. From there you can begin to determine pricing by evaluating the current trends within the market. 

Additionally, measuring your shipment dimensions in advance is beneficial, as it will allow you to compare rates between carriers, and ultimately find the cheapest freight option. With that in mind, these measurements must be accurate. If they are not, you will be charged with an adjustment fee. For this reason, it is recommended that you invest in a dimensioner, or follow best practices when measuring. 



How Freightquote can help lower shipping costs.

When planning shipments, it can be difficult to accurately determine the price you will pay for freight ahead of time. While having an understanding of how factors influence cost is beneficial, price fluctuations cannot always be predicted. Here at Freightquote by C.H. Robinson, we aim to make the shipping process as simple as possible by providing you the tools you need to optimize cost while not sacrificing the quality of your shipments. Our online self-service tools allow you to instantly compare high-quality carriers and competitive rates, ensuring that you are able to find the right freight option for your business. 

Additionally, using Freightquote’s density calculator allows you to generate quotes based on the dimensions of your freight, so you can be sure that you are getting the fairest pricing. Finally, once you select a carrier, you will be able to instantly print out a bill of lading (BOL), giving you time back to focus on other aspects of your business. 


Final thoughts. 

With cost playing a major role in how many SMBs approach shipping, building a shipping strategy focused on price is a necessity. Partnering with Freightquote will ensure that you get the best prices for your freight and enable you to ship with confidence into the new year. To schedule your next shipment, click here, and we’ll get you started.


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