With parcel carriers UPS & FedEx recently increasing rates, it is safe to assume that the LTL industry will not be far behind. LTL carriers have been practicing rate discipline. But as the year progresses and the economy begins to turn around, there will be an influx of rate increases, further complicating transportation management and creating a steep climb out of what has already been a highly uncertain 2020.
Here are some ways to stay in front of these increases and beat the grade during these unprecedented times:
- Utilizing a transportation management system (TMS) that provides carrier selection options allows for increased freight valuation in real-time. On a shipment-specific level, freight can be assigned based on published transit days, historical service levels, and cost. Whether your freight is JIT time-sensitive or delivering to a stocking warehouse, a TMS can assign the proper carrier for your freight needs.
- System integration & application programming interfaces (API) can provide function automation, improving shipment information accuracy. Employee time is optimized by without having to jump between various websites, portals, or programs for shipment scheduling and tracking. Additionally, these technology options provide for the streamlining of data aggregation and reporting.
- Having a robust carrier portfolio reduces your supply chain vulnerability by ensuring multiple resources are available to handle your freight. As part of that carrier portfolio, there should be a mix of carrier resources based on coverage size (cartage, regional, national) and service offerings (guaranteed delivery, variable transit times, accessorial services).
- Carriers have invested in technology improvements over the past few years, increasing their freight scanning and weight dimensioning capabilities. By doing so, both regional and national carriers to become much more strategic in bidding on desirable freight opportunities.
Special Service Needs
- Additional services like Liftgate, Inside Delivery, and Over Dimensional freight play a significant role in carrier pricing. Specifically, the increase of Business to Consumer freight has led to the need for Residential Deliveries more than ever. Understanding your customer base is vital in providing accurate freight details to carriers to ensure timely delivery of your freight. Special services have a significant impact on carrier operating costs, as these services tie up equipment and personnel. Finding ways to mitigate the need for these services yields positive feedback from the carrier marketplace.
- As NMFTA increases its review of products, more and more freight classification is adjusted to density-based. This means that products that were historically set classes are now variable, depending on weight and dimensions. Understanding your product and improving on ways to package and ship it can significantly improve on the density and class, and therefore price.
Beat the grade. Contact Evans today.