LTL Shipping

The Benefits of LTL Shipping

Less than truckload freight shipping (LTL) is the term used to describe the transportation of small freight—cargo that does not require the full use of a standard trailer. It’s the perfect solution for shippers with cargo that is too heavy for regular parcel/package carriers but doesn’t require a full truckload. LTL is typically used by shippers seeking to transport cargo that weighs between 150 and 12,000 pounds.

Read on to learn about the many benefits of LTL shipping.

LTL Shipping Decreases the Bottom Line

LTL is an excellent way to minimize shipping costs. When a shipper has packages that don’t warrant a full truckload, then multiple shipments from various shippers will be loaded onto a single truck and transported to their destinations. By combining shipments this way, each customer is only charged for the weight of their cargo and the space used in the trailer.

LTL Boosts Security

Unlike parcel shipments, LTL cargo is usually loaded onto pallets or packaged into sturdy crates. This minimizes the risk of damage, protects freight against wear and tear during handling, and reduces the chance of individual packages being lost.

LTL Reduces Emissions

LTL lessens the impact of shipping on the environment. Combining shipments into one full truck load decreases the number of trucks on the road, which translates into less emissions. LTL is an excellent way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.

LTL Expands Service Options

When shipping via LTL, the carrier can provide a wider array of services that are not always available with other modes of shipping. This includes special handling, non-commercial shipping, refrigeration, liftgates, inside pick-up and delivery, regular updates about packages in transit and more notification options, among other services.

LTL is Easy to Track

LTL shipments are easy to track—for example, we have a tracking tool that provides real time trip details, alerts and delivery updates. This is ideal for customers shipping time sensitive cargo and makes it easier to plan for accepting deliveries.

Now that you can understand the benefits of LTL, you can decide if it’s the best shipping option for you. Click here to learn more about our LTL shipping services.

cross-docking

The Basics of Cross-Docking

Cross-docking is a strategy that boosts speed and productivity for logistics companies. When executed correctly, it increases efficiency and expedites delivery so that clients achieve their goals more effectively. It’s how a good logistics company provides their customers with the ultimate in flexibility and reliable cargo delivery.

What is Cross-Docking

Cross-docking is the practice of unloading freight from an incoming truck to another vehicle with little to no storage time. For example, it can involve transferring products from an incoming truck to an outbound vehicle via a distribution docking terminal. The process minimizes time spent in the terminal, which advances the supply chain for certain products while minimizing effort and costs.

Benefits of Cross-Docking

There are several benefits of this strategy—starting with reduced costs. Since there is no need for products to be put away and warehoused, an entire step is eliminated. This reduction in handling translates to less labor costs and can minimize the risk of inventory being damaged or lost. Since the cargo doesn’t need to be stored, there are no warehousing costs.

Cross-docking also provides for a single site to sort, screen or combine products. It offers an excellent solution for producers who want to split or combine products coming or going from different locations. It also allows the opportunity to switch the type of truck used for delivery.

For many customers, the greatest benefit is expedited delivery time—they can get their cargo when they want it! Since the truck travels directly from its production source to the customer, travel time is significantly reduced.

Ideal Freight

Some cargo is a better fit for cross-docking than others. Items that are ideal include perishable or temperature-controlled freight that require immediate shipping, such as food items. Many retail chains opt for cross-docking services when shipping pre-tagged, pre-packaged products that are ready for sale and staples with consistent demand levels. Other ideal products include high-quality items that do not require quality inspections, new launches and promotional items.

Since this strategy can be complex, it’s critical for freight companies to employ a reliable inventory control system and and properly train warehouse employees on all cross-docking procedures.

Click here to learn how our logistics company provides cross-docking services as a way to expedite delivery and keep our customers satisfied.

cargo

6 Tips for Palletizing Cargo

Good packaging is key to keeping cargo intact throughout its shipping journey. Using a pallet is one of the best ways to ensure your cargo arrives safely and securely at its destination. Pallets are stable transport plates made from wood, plastic or metal that are core components of modern logistical processes. Palletizing your cargo keeps it protected throughout loading, transport and unloading—and makes the entire process faster and more efficient. Pallets also make it easier to move everything from small packages to large bulky items with machinery like a forklift or pallet jack.

It’s essential to carefully prepare pallets and packages for shipping. Read on for tips on properly palletizing your freight.

1. Use Quality Materials

Using quality packaging materials can prevent shipping disasters. Start with good quality boxes that are the right size for your cargo. Get quality packing materials as well—you’ll need sturdy shrink wrap, corrugated cardboard inserts to fill voids in boxes, and either bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts or air pillows to cushion package contents. Be sure to seal all packages with quality packing tape.

2. Choose the Right Size

Look for a pallet that is big enough to hold your cargo without hanging over and sturdy enough to support its weight. Avoid pallets with broken boards or protruding nail heads.

3. Properly Pack Each Box

Make sure each individual box is packed well before loading it onto a pallet. Boxes should be full, with no air spaces and an even distribution of weight. The box’s contents can get crushed and damaged if there is air space and shifting can occur if weight is distributed unevenly. Use your choice of packing material, such as Styrofoam peanuts or air pillows, to fill any voids. Seal with plenty of high-quality packing tape.

4. Stack Carefully

Stack boxes together on the pallet, with weight distributed as evenly as possible. Heavier boxes should go at the bottom, with lighter ones at the top. Stagger or align the boxes to boost stability. Stacking the packages incorrectly or failing to secure them to the pallet can result in injury to the handlers or damage to the cargo.

5. Stabilize With Cardboard

Add layers of flattened cardboard to every few rows of boxes and to the top and bottom to improve stability and weight distribution. Add cardboard corner beads to protect against damage to the corner edges. This strengthens the entire pallet and helps solidify any loose boxes. It’s especially helpful when shipping several small packages rather than just a few larger ones.

6. Go Big With Shrink Wrap

Use high-quality shrink wrap to secure everything on the pallet. Wrap the pallet three to five times to keep packages from coming loose. Twist the wrap to strengthen it as you secure the boxes. Start at the bottom and work your way up, but only wrap the top partially. This ensures that your cargo won’t separate from the pallet while keeping it accessible to forklifts. Further secure your packages by strapping the load to the pallet.

Follow these tips to help ensure the safe arrival of your precious cargo. Click here to learn more about the best cargo transport company in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

freight companies

The Impact of Longer Detention Times

A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that truckers are waiting longer at customer docks than in previous years. The wait times associated with both pickup and delivery, known as “detention,” rose significantly since 2014, when more than 1,900 fleets and 1,600 drivers from various freight companies were originally polled. Drivers reported a 27.4% increase in delays of six hours or more when they were surveyed again in 2018.

This research conducted by the ATRI, which is the independent research arm of the American Trucking Associations, brings awareness to the full financial impact associated with detention times. As truckers spend longer time periods waiting at loading docks, this cuts into revenue and gross profits for freight companies and drivers, and ultimately, increases consumer costs. According to a 2018 report by the Department of Transportation, wait times are estimated to cost trucking companies and drivers over $1 billion per year in revenues lost.

Delays also increase the pressure on drivers, who typically get paid by the mile, to hustle to pick up their next load. While some companies charge hourly detention rates, the length of time drivers wait before the fees begin can vary depending on the contract. As a result, drivers may speed or drive while tired to make up for lost time. This raises the risk of accidents and impacts drivers’ overall health.

Truckers report that it’s common to see 20 to 30 trucks waiting to unload and that detention lasts anywhere from two to eight hours. The 2018 survey found that 40% more drivers reported that the majority of delays were due to customer actions. They cited strained shipping operations and delays at store loading docks or outside distribution center gates. Drivers and carriers noted that well-organized customers who utilized technology, maintained tight schedules and took advantage of flexible business hours were able to reduce delays.

While 2018 was characterized by longer wait times, it was also one of the busiest years for freight companies. The American Trucking Associations reported that trucks moved 11.49 billion tons of freight across the country, a 15.3% increase from 2014. Hopefully, this research will help the industry devise better driver detention strategies for both carriers and drivers, and provide insight to educate customers on better loading and unloading practices.

Click through to learn more about what sets Best Yet Express apart from other freight companies.

What is a Liftgate Service and Why is it Important?

What is a Liftgate Service and Why is it Important?

One of the more commonly overlooked services in the shipping industry is called a liftgate service. It is required for many companies, especially those in residential-style buildings. A liftgate service is required in some instances, but it does come with an extra fee. Since shipping companies often must explain why it is required and why there is an extra fee, here are some common questions and answers.

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Driver Shortage vs Capacity Shortage | Best Yet Express Trucking

Driver Shortage vs Capacity Storage

Freight markets have seen some changes in 2019. The entire shipping industry is seeing changes from several critical points. While some carriers have had steady and reliable contract business, the more common transactional spot market is having a tougher time.

The two main areas of influence are the driver shortage and the issue of capacity storage. Each is slightly different but have a large impact on the current conditions of the freight market.

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Packaging Freight Correctly | Best Yet Express Trucking

Packaging Freight Correctly

There are many potential hazards that cause damage to freight including bumps in the road, packaging fails, and even improper placement. Customers can help minimize potential damage to their freight if they package their freight correctly. This is an important step to not only keep freight safer but also to help minimize costs and save time overall.

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Shipping Companies and the Economy | Best Yet Express Trucking

Shipping Companies and the Economy

Every industry is affected by the economy, but nowhere is this truer than the trucking and shipping industry. The highs and lows of the economy have direct correlations to the number of shipments processed, docked, warehoused, and trucked from every location.

Whether you’re on the sending or receiving end of a shipment, it’s important to pay attention to these shifts in the economy so you understand how it could impact your business.

The aspects of shipping that are most likely to change during economic highs and lows are the volume of loads on the road and the employment needs of trucking companies.

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What Costs Are Included with Shipping? | Best Yet Express Trucking

What Costs are Included in Shipping?

There are several factors that determine the cost of shipping. Effective freight shipping requires specific details and information regarding the freight before anything can begin the journey from point A to point B. This leads to a common customer question: what is included in shipping costs? Here is a quick break down of some of the factors that determine the final shipping price.

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Hiring a Local Trucking Company is About More Than Price

Hiring a Local Trucking Company in California is About More Than Price

When you’re ready to start shipping product, chances are you will field many quotes from different trucking companies.

Obviously, as you go through these offers, one of the most important factors will be a price point that falls within your budget and increases the potential profitability.

However, it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider.

You need to know exactly what the trucking company provides at its price level. More than that, you need to know that it can be a reliable part of your supply chain and support your brand.

In other words, you need to look at more than the price when you hire a trucking company and consider how the following elements will improve this side of your business. Read more