freight companies

The Basics of NMFC Codes

In the world of shipping, National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) codes are critical to the freight classification process. Nearly every type of product or commodity shipped in this country has its own NMFC code that helps carriers determine the cost of any given load. Therefore, it’s essential for freight companies to use the right one to ensure timely delivery and accurate price estimates.

The History of NFMC Codes

When regulators became aware of the need for better industry standardization, The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) developed a classification system. The system breaks every type of freight into 18 different classes, each denoted with a code number between 50 and 500. These codes allow carriers and shippers to determine tariffs and rates for shipments.

The Basis for Classes

The well-defined classes of this system are based on four factors that determine how easy it is to transport a specific commodity. This is often referred to as a commodity’s “transportability.” In general, the higher the code number of the item, the more expensive it will be to transport.

These factors include:

Density

How much space does the cargo use in a trailer relative to its weight? This requires accurate information about the product’s weight and dimensions.

Stowability

Is the commodity particularly heavy, bulky or large? Is it a unique shape that requires a certain position in the trailer?

Liability

Is the product fragile or perishable? Does it need to be temperature-controlled? Does the cargo contain hazardous materials? What is the commodity’s value?

Ease of Handling

How difficult is it to handle the commodity?

Why NMFC Codes Are Beneficial

In addition to enabling realistic pricing estimates for carriers and shippers, NMFC codes illustrates specific packaging requirements for every class. This helps make sure that shipments get to their destinations in the best condition possible.

Visit this link to learn how top freight companies like Best Yet Express ensure the safest, most efficient delivery for every type of shipment.

trucking companies

How to Minimize the Impact of Rising Trucking Costs

How do you lower the costs of freight transportation when trucking industry prices are rising dramatically? Trucking companies are facing skyrocketing prices and cost volatility in the current economy. A recent 2019 update to the “Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking” study released by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) shows that almost every carrier cost has risen since 2018.

The average marginal cost per mile for carriers rose to $1.82, a 7.7 percent increase from 2018 to 2019. Fuel costs rose nearly 17.7 percent, marking the highest year-over-year-growth of all trucking costs. The second highest cost growth was the price of insurance, which increased 12 percent. Due to the driver shortage, which is expected to more than double over the next 10 years, wages increased approximately 7 percent while benefits increased around 5 percent. The costs of repair and maintenance also rose to 17.1 cents per mile. While the technology associated with diagnostics and repairs has advanced, there are less technicians versed in the newer equipment. The severe shortage of these technicians has resulted in higher labor costs in this field.

The best way to ensure you’re not overspending is to work with a service provider you can trust. Weigh all the options your provider offers and check to make sure that you’re only paying for what you need. For example, if your cargo doesn’t warrant a full truckload, you can opt for Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight shipping. In this scenario, you only pay for the portion of the trailer that your cargo uses. This option is commonly used by shippers with freight between 150 and 12,000 pounds.

Cross-docking is another strategy for reducing costs while expediting delivery. Cross-docking services involve unloading freight from an incoming truck and loading it onto another vehicle with little to no storage time. This eliminates the need for products to be put away and warehoused, which saves time and money.

Most importantly, be sure to choose a freight company that keeps their fleet up-to-date and focuses on preventive maintenance to reduce the chance of breakdowns during cargo delivery. This minimizes impact on your bottom line and keeps your customers happy.

Visit this link to learn about how Best Yet Express sets itself apart from other California trucking companies.

Warehousing services

The Benefits of Warehousing Services

Warehousing plays an essential role in logistics management. Often times, customers don’t have their own warehouses, yet need to store their cargo for a certain period of time. At Best Yet Express, we understand that the journey doesn’t end once your cargo is on one of our trucks—storage is often an important element that needs to be managed. This is why we offer warehousing services at both of our state-of-the-art facilities in Los Angeles. Whether you need short-term or long-term warehousing, we can customize our reliable services to meet your requirements.

Here are just a few of the benefits of using our warehousing services.

A Central Location

A warehouse provides a centralized location for your freight. This makes it easier to track and manage inventory. It also keeps your freight closer to a loading dock so that delivery can be facilitated faster once it’s scheduled. This makes for a much more efficient overall process, ultimately saving you money and boosting productivity.

Availability

Customers want instant gratification in the form of timely delivery in this day and age. They don’t want to hear about stock issues or the fulfillment process—they just want their orders quickly. When you warehouse your freight with Best Yet Express, we offer same-day pull and delivery of your products, making them available for shipping much faster than if they are at your production facility. This expedience gives you a competitive edge, keeps customers happy and adds value to your brand.

Security

Our high-end 80,000 square-foot and 90,000 square-foot warehouses provide a safe space for your products. Both facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art cameras, cutting-edge security technology and an on-site security guard 24 hours per day. This prevents theft and helps reduce loss and damage during handling.

Reduced Costs

Our services ultimately save you time and money. We have staff in place to manage all logistical aspects, you won’t have to hire and train warehouse personnel. We already have all the equipment necessary for fulfillment, from pallets and forklifts to multiple loading docks. You won’t need to arrange for pickup or hire staff to manage the process. Our tracking tool makes it possible for you to follow your cargo in real-time so you can communicate its progress to your customers without missing a beat.

Our warehousing services allow you to focus on what you do best, while we worry about the safety and delivery of your cargo for its entire journey with us. Visit this link for more information about our warehousing services.

freight

5 Holiday Shipping Tips

The holidays are a busy time and can be especially hectic, especially for retail and parcel shippers. Nowadays shoppers love the convenience of making online purchases that get delivered directly to their doorstep in time for Hanukkah or Christmas day. This increases pressure for parcel carriers to deliver high volumes of freight at a fast rate—and at the busiest time of year.

Here are a few tips to help you master shipping and keep customers happy amidst the holiday chaos.

1. Plan and Prepare

While it’s difficult to know what your exact holiday sales will be, you can make a good estimate based on data from previous years and forecast based on Y-T-D sales. If you see a pattern of growth, hire extra help for the shipping department. There are always students on winter break looking to make extra cash. Create a protocol and print it out so that it’s easy to get temporary help up to speed.

2. Stock Up

A common problem among shippers is inadequate stock. When a retailer runs out of product, they may have to wait for the arrival of new stock and then pay a higher cost to ship it. This cuts into the bottom line or may alienate the customer and prompt them to shop elsewhere. Again, try to anticipate holiday demand as best you can, so that you can have enough inventory on hand.

3. Create Promos That Drive Early Sales

Last minute orders increase stress for everyone involved. While you cannot control the of your customers, you can incentivize them to order early with good promos. This gives you more time for delivery which means less internal rushing and more on-time arrivals. The trend for Black Friday sales has evolved significantly over the last two years, with companies starting sales campaigns as much as two weeks in advance of the actual day after Thanksgiving. Follow suit with your Christmas sales by offering promotions earlier rather than the days directly before the holiday. While last minute sales are appealing, they increase pressure on the shipping process and are risky—you may ultimate alienate customers if their shipments don’t arrive on time.

4. Pack Extra Safely

Just like you’re busier this time of the year, so are freight carriers. They are moving more cargo than normal, which leads to more chances for damage to occur. Extra packaging can help prevent the damage that can lead to holiday disappointment. Just using a box with a crease in it can diminish its strength by more than half! Recycled boxes can be weaker and deteriorate faster. Use new boxes and surround items by at least two inches of cushioning. Use high-quality packing materials, such as foam packing peanuts and bubble cushion. Only use packing tape, not scotch or masking. For extra security include an additional address label on the inside of the package in case the external label incurs damage or becomes unreadable.

5. Manage Expectations

One of the best things you can to do to keep customers happy during the holidays is to manage expectations. Be clear on exactly how fast you can fulfill an order and provide specific delivery deadlines. Don’t delay during this time of year—ship products out the same day they’re ordered to avoid any surprises. Use our tracking tool to follow your packages’ journeys in real-time and receive shipment notifications and delivery updates that you can share with your customers.

With a game plan and extra precautions, you can help the holiday season run smoothly for your business and customers. Click here to learn more about our freight and cargo transportation services.

freight companies

The Impact of the AB5 State Law on Freight Companies

The California Assembly Bill 5, also known as the AB5, passed in September and is making waves across many industries, including transportation and freight. The AB5 bill limits independent contractors in the state of California, including owner-operator truck drivers and freight companies. It may be a wise decision to take a look at your vendor list and decide who you should work with. Although it may not seem like too large of an issue as a vendor, hiring independent contractors or companies that use independent contractors in 2020 may become a larger issue.

In order to be marked as an independent contractor, the worker MUST follow these three rules known as the ABC Test:

(a) the worker is free from control and direction in the performance of services; and
(b) the worker is performing work outside the usual course of the business of the hiring company; and
(c) the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.

This law has quite a large effect on many companies who classify their drivers not as employees but as independent contractors, like Lyft and Uber, as well as a large effect on the hiring entity, such as yourself. You should expect to see price increases from many vendors who use independent contractors as their main workforce. In order to still manage their workforce the same as they normally would, they’ll have to increase rates to pay their “new” employees correctly.

However, many of these independent contractors may choose to step away from companies and look for ways to maintain their freelancer status, including leaving California. Unlike many other positions, truckers may benefit more as independent contractors than they would as an employee of a larger company. However, these independent contractors that you may have considered hiring before may not be able to pass the ABC test and you may find yourself in a complicated legal situation as their potential employer and financially responsible for more than just their paycheck. Prepare yourself for next year by investigating your vendor list and reading up on the AB5 law as time goes on to make sure you don’t overpay for services and that you are compliant with the law.

The good news is, Best Yet Express customers will not be impacted because all of our staff, including our truck drivers, are employees. You’ll never have to worry about AB5 compliance or added costs due to legal issues surrounding it. We will continue to take care of our customers’ needs without any negative impact from this law passing.

Click here to learn more about Best Yet Express, our services and what sets us apart from other freight companies.

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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