The most common costly LTL freight-shipping mistakes happen when people try to do something that seems perfectly logical to them. Common logic, it seems, doesn’t always work in the world of freight. By taking a proactive approach, FreightCenter does its best to help you avoid making these mistakes (and paying the price for them).
Here are five common and costly LTL shipping mistakes, a brief description of how to avoid them, and links to more in-depth information on the subject.
Mistake: Guess-timating the Shipment’s Weight
While it may seem logical to take your best guess at your cargo’s weight, that decision can come back to bite you in the wallet. Carriers are precise. They weigh the completely packaged cargo digitally. Your guesstimate could be right on the nose, or it could be way off. The further off it is, the more it will affect the cost of shipping your cargo.
If your business ships on a regular or semi-regular basis, you should look into buying a digital freight scale. Scales are available online, and a good scale will pay for itself in three to six months. Although you’re an occasional or one-time shipper, you can find a public scale in your area on Google. Call first to make sure you have access.
800.716.7608. Speak with a shipping expert about vital freight measurements.
Mistake: Ignoring Accessorials and Optional Services
From its origins, freight shipping has been a commercial service for picking and delivering the freight at a loading dock. Everything else is extra. Need a lift gate because the item is heavy, and you don’t have a loading dock? It’s an additional charge if it is not located in a commercially zoned area? That’s extra too. And this is just the beginning.
When you use the online quote system on freightcenter.com, there are checkboxes for most shipping accessorials and optional services, so you can add them to your order before you get your quote. To ensure you don’t leave anything out, our account managers will be happy to review your order with you and discuss any options you might need or want.
Mistake: Entering the Wrong Freight Class
Getting the freight class correct can be tricky. Getting it wrong can be expensive. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) has assigned thousands of items to a freight class. New items are added all the time. But some things are covered by obscure sub-classes, and others are not classified. Unless the class of your cargo is crystal clear, it’s better to leave freight class to the experts.
If there is no class for an item, it is known as “Not Otherwise Indicated (NOI).” For NOI items, freight class is determined by the cargo’s density. The caveat is that the weight and dimensions must be correct, or the computed freight class will be wrong. In most cases, it’s best to consult a shipping expert, such as one of FreightCenter’s National Account Managers, for the correct freight class.
Mistake: Incorrect Packaging
Incorrect packaging can lead to shipment delays and unnecessary billing adjustments. In addition, mistakes like this can lead to damaged goods and profit loss for sellers.
Packaging is a big subject, from choosing the right type of container to selecting the appropriate way to secure the shipment in or on the container. Also, we encourage you to send a photograph of your packed shipment to your National Account Manager to get their thumbs up before completing the booking process.
One Easy Way to Avoid Costly LTL Shipping Mistakes
If you’ve fallen victim to these five costly mistakes while shipping LTL freight (or others that have cost you money), you have our sincerest sympathies. Just know that you are not alone in making costly freight shipping errors. Prefer not to do it again?
Next time you have freight to ship, save money and start by getting a quote from FreightCenter or give us a call at 800.716.7608. Look for the company that gives you the right combination of technology with a personal touch. The money you don’t waste will make you feel good. The peace of mind you get from a solid business partner is priceless.