The Reality of LTL Shipping

by | Nov 19, 2019 | Less Than Truckload

Ensuring LTL shipments arrive on time, undamaged, and to the right destination can be a challenge, especially when your expectations don’t quite align with reality. LTL shipping has a lot of moving parts, and a lot of opportunity for miscommunication. Here are five common “expectations” and how reality may not quite be what you expect.

reality of LTL shipping

“The Paperwork Doesn’t Have to be Perfect.”

Moving too fast and not fretting the details can be a big problem for LTL shipping. Errors in the documentation can include incorrect dimensions or weight, incorrect classification, and incorrect product description or value. All of these can vastly affect the cost and care the shipment receives throughout the LTL shipping process. For example, a highly breakable or hazmat LTL shipment needs completely different care than a non-breakable shipment of apparel.

“The Shipment will Arrive When I Need it to.”

If a shipment has a necessary deliver-by date, the paperwork must all be perfectly in order. Negotiating the contract to ensure the delivery date, shipping route, and shipping method are all paramount to ensuring success. To ensure it all goes off without a hitch, carrier management system with tracking and tracing can ensure the LTL shipment is where it needs to be at the correct time.

“The Shipment Won’t Get Lost.”

A bit of planning ahead can ensure that in the event that something does go wrong, you have time to pivot into a better situation. Shipments can get lost for a variety of reasons, but finding out as quickly as possible is key to getting the shipment back on track. Monitoring and tracking the location and status of your shipments throughout the process is an absolute necessity.

“Nothing is Going to Get Damaged.”

If you avoid looking at the whole picture prior to shipping, such as the shipment destination and dock delivery set-up, you could risk the LTL shipment getting damaged upon arrival. Knowing whether there is a loading dock, a forklift if necessary, and a qualified team who can load and unload shipments is important to ensuring the shipment arrives to the final destination in the same manner in which it shipped.

“I Know the Carrier, so I Don’t Need to Calculate Anything.”

Carriers change their prices, their facilities, and their methods for calculating LTL shipping costs often and often without notifying all of their customers. Just because you’ve worked with a carrier before doesn’t necessarily mean their policies are the same, which is why it’s important to review every contract, check every price point, and ensure you have the flexible terms you need to get your LTL shipment delivered on time and on budget.

What to do When Things go Wrong

At Amware, we prepare for the unexpected. In fact, claims resolution is part of our Amrate web-based 3PL software platform. In addition to finding solutions, Amrate also offers shipment tracking and tracing, customized reporting, and up-to-the-minute carrier management. When on-time, undamaged, and complete shipments are a priority, Amrate makes it easy to keep an eye on all the details so nothing is amiss. Learn more and start your 30 day free trial today.


About Brad Mullins

About Brad Mullins

Brad Mullins is the Chief Operating Officer at Amware and is responsible for ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of all Amware's business practices. His effort and expertise in business management and transportation logistics, combined with a focus on positive customer experience, have had a direct and positive impact on Amware's clients, agents, partners, and vendors.