How to secure LTL capacity with e-commerce growth in mind.

Over the past few years, the growth of e-commerce has had a profound effect on the freight industry. Along with increasing the number of shipments we have seen, the rise of e-commerce has also resulted in customers making new demands for the faster fulfillment of their orders. These demands have led many carriers to adjust their approach to shipping, leading to significant changes within the LTL market.  
As we approach the holiday season, we are also entering the busiest time of year for e-commerce shopping and, subsequently, freight shipping. While the influx of e-commerce orders presents small to medium-sized businesses with an opportunity for growth, they must have a strong e-commerce shipping strategy in place to take full advantage of the increase in business.

When building a holiday e-commerce shipping plan, it is essential that SMBs look at how e-commerce has shifted the freight market, as this will directly impact how they secure LTL capacity. 

Let’s take a look.


How e-commerce has changed LTL freight.

In order to keep up with e-commerce customer demands, many retailers have begun opening regional distribution centers. These distribution centers act as hubs where retailers can store inventory and ship out orders once they have been purchased online. This distribution model allows for quicker order fulfillment times and has played a major role in re-shaping the freight landscape. As a result of this, we have seen an increase in “last-mile” shipments, as many orders are now shipped directly from distribution centers to the customer’s doorstep.

The rise of e-commerce has also prompted many carriers to begin utilizing technology to help meet customer demands. The increased visibility that technology brings has helped carriers optimize their shipping routes and maximize the logistical efficiency of their freight. This has been a major contributing factor in carriers being able to offer the expedited shipping times that customers demand.


How to secure LTL capacity for holiday e-commerce shipments.

When building a holiday e-commerce shipping strategy, it’s important to begin as soon as possible. For SMBs, a good place to start is by analyzing past e-commerce data as this will help you determine how much capacity you need to secure for the upcoming holiday season. Once you have an estimate, you can create a plan that will help guarantee you have the capacity you need during the holidays.  

Furthermore, if you plan on shipping to a distribution center, it is important to know that many have a list of preferred carriers. For this reason, it’s crucial that you schedule freight appointments as early as possible, as their trucks tend to fill up quickly during the holidays.


How Freightquote can lend a hand.

Many times, the success of your holiday e-commerce shipping plan relies on your ability to meet customer demands. With that in mind, having access to online freight tools is essential as they increase the number of shipping options you can offer to customers, and allow you to be more flexible with shipping schedules. This is especially beneficial during the holidays as it allows you to be proactive with customers who need to make sure their shipments arrive before crucial deadlines.

We provide you with a set of comprehensive online self-service tools that allow you to fully manage your freight. We place a focus on equipping you with technology that gives you full visibility into your freight, allowing you to keep customers informed on the status of their shipments, and meet their expectations for deliveries. Backed by the information advantage of C.H Robinson, our online tools will provide you with the valuable insights you need to stay on top of holiday e-commerce shipments, giving you time to focus on the other aspects of your business.


Final thoughts.

While managing e-commerce shipments can be difficult for small to medium sized businesses, planning ahead and working with a freight service provider can help considerably during the holidays. To begin quoting your holiday e-commerce shipments, try out our simple shipping tool.


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