5 Ways Businesses Can Optimize LTL Shipping 


5 Ways Businesses Can Optimize LTL Shipping 

The current market size, in the US alone, of LTL shipping, or less than truckload shipping, stands at USD 103.5 bn, and it is expected to grow over the next few years, given the rate of growth of D2C, SMEs, and online shopping. LTL shipping gives a middle ground to sellers with modest but notable parcel volumes that exceed the limits of parcel shipping and are still less than a full truckload capacity. As customer expectations become more demanding and the delivery windows shrink rapidly, LTL shipping is emerging as an easy choice to expedite deliveries and ensure cargo safety. 

However, the inability to efficiently manage LTL shipping providers and lacking visibility over shipment movements can lead to a higher number of trips and increased operational costs. Here are five ways to optimize LTL shipping for cost, resource, and time efficiency.

5 Tips for Optimizing LTL Shipping 

#1 Partner With Multiple Carriers

Partnering with multiple carriers or shipping partners helps reduce costs, amplify business reach, unlock competitive advantages, and more. The businesses can leverage individual carrier strengths and opt for the most profitable and relevant shipping partner for every shipment. They can also enter special contracts, such as volume commitments for particular zones or areas, depending on their customers, and also increase their serviceability by offering more than one type of delivery, such as next-day delivery, same-day delivery, etc.

#2 Manage These Partners Efficiently

While having multiple carrier partners is good, it is important to have real-time insights and a unified view of all the operations and parties as well. This unified intelligence ensures the most efficient planning and orchestration of LTL shipping by smart shipment clubbing, smart routing, and smart carrier choice. Further, businesses can set specific parameters for particular shipping partners and decide the shipment allocation based on those parameters to unlock higher cost efficiency.

#3 Optimize for Vehicle Capacity 

There are times when businesses end up sending different LTL shipments to the same destination or on the same route just a few hours apart or a day apart. This means they end up spending more. The shipments with flexible or non-stringent delivery windows can be merged together to utilize the vehicle capacity in a better manner and reduce the number of trips as well. Likewise, businesses can merge shipments for specific routes, areas, or destinations to optimize their LTL costs.

#4 Track Shipments Closely

Losing track of shipment movements can result in higher turnaround times and, ultimately, poor SLA adherence. While this might become cumbersome when done manually, automated shipment tracking features offered by tech-empowered 3PL service providers help obtain real-time status reports with details on key milestone events. Thus, businesses can stay updated with the exact shipment movement insights and plan for future journeys accordingly. 

#5 Leverage Automation 

Smart planning, efficient allocation, multiple carrier management, and real-time tracking – all these functions can easily increase the operational complexity for businesses having dependence on manual elements. Having an intelligent solution for carrier management and logistics management can not only help unify the operations, but it can also reduce failures and delays. Businesses can set specific custom criteria for choosing different carriers depending on the type of shipment, area, volume, etc. They can track all their shipments, vehicles, etc., in real-time and also optimize for vehicle capacity, routes, and shipment volume.

Optimizing LTL shipments requires careful consideration of all the cost functions and operational variables, which is impossible when done manually. Hence, investing in AI-powered automation that helps optimize in real-time and for multiple constraints is definitely the right step forward.


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