What Is Consolidated Freight?
Outside of using highly specialized carriers, there is another option that can provide more opportunity for bottom-line savings and increased efficiency: consolidated shipping. Consolidating freight, or ‘partial shipments‘ services involves combining multiple LTL (less-than-truckload) freight or LCL (less-than-container load) shipments into a partial or full truckload or cargo container shipment.
Partial shipments are normal in supply chains. Consolidating freight helps optimize supply chain logistics, save time, and lowers the overall cost per unit. This happens when you fill one container or truck with loads from multiple shippers. Consolidated freight can be shipped via road, rail, air, or ocean. This way, you can avoid higher costs by combining your internationally-bound freight with other shipments.
Benefits of Consolidating Shipments
- Save Money: Shippers often only use a fraction of the space on a trailer. But they have to pay for the whole thing. Consolidation services combine multiple shipments that are going to similar locations into one truck. You only have to pay for the space your freight takes up.
- Reduce Risk of Damage: Consolidation is a way to quickly get your freight delivered without it being unloaded and loaded multiple times. This is done by having the freight go from the shipper to the consolidation center to the receiver/consignee. This reduces the chances of your freight being damaged.
- Direct: Consolidation is a way to get your freight delivered quickly and directly. You will need a shipping company with a lot of freight. They can develop a plan that sends your freight on one truck, so it can use the truck space more efficiently and get to its destination faster.
Challenges of Consolidated Shipping
- Finding Carriers: Not all carriers participate in consolidated shipping because of the added complexity. Therefore, you’ll probably need a 3rd party logistics provider (3PL) to work on it for you.
- Planning: Shipping is a complicated endeavor that requires you to be aware of pricing methods, dimensions (check out our density calclulator) , timing, and other variables in order to execute a successful delivery. Consolidated shipments require more organization and planning than FCL or FTL shipments.
- More Time: Consolidated shipments can take longer than FCL shipments because there are more steps involved in the process. As a shipper, you need to be aware of this and plan accordingly.
How Much Does It Cost to Consolidate Freight?
FreightCenter helps to keep your freight costs down by automatically consolidating it with other freight that is going in the same direction. This happens when we put multiple shipments on the same truck. This way, we don’t have to use as many trucks, which reduces truck capacity issues.