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 average in supply chains. Consolidating freight helps optimize supply chain logistics, saves time, and lowers overall unit costs. 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. You can avoid higher costs by combining your internationally-bound freight with other shipments.
Benefits of Consolidating Freight
- 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 shipments 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 deliver your freight without being unloaded and loaded multiple times. This is done by transporting the freight 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 deliver your freight 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 reach 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.
- Planning: Shipping is a complicated endeavor that requires you to be aware of pricing methods, dimensions (check out our density calculator), timing, and other variables 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 more steps are involved in the process. As a shipper, you must be aware of this and plan accordingly.
How Much Does It Cost to Consolidate Freight?
FreightCenter helps keep your freight costs down by automatically consolidating it with other freight 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.