It’s almost the end of summer, and pumpkin-spiced everything season is right around the corner, and it’s also the start to peak shipping. Our team of experts is looking at how to succeed during this busy season and how 2021 could shape up differently from years past.
What is peak season shipping?
There are four seasons of freight shipping and the peak season of shipping starts at the end of the summer. This time is considered a peak shipping season because there is a combination of demand from different markets. Businesses start stocking up for the upcoming holiday season, there is back-to-school shopping time, and retailers try to sell out their inventories from the summer season. During this peak time, freight rates are at the highest, and the capacity is tight.
What are the four seasons of freight shipping?
The Quiet Shipping Season (January – March)
The Produce Shipping Season (April – July)
The Peak Shipping Season (August – October)
The Holiday Shipping Season (November – December)
How to be successful throughout the peak shipping season
Knowing the market
The key to navigating peak shipping season is to understand the truckload demand and market specifics across various industries. In 2020, demand was low, and freight rates were higher than usual. In 2021 however, shippers are less cost-sensitive, and freight volumes are extremely hot. If you plan to work with high-quality carriers, start navigating the market during spring and early summer. Create a proper shipping strategy to help you define the market trends and successfully ship goods.
During the peak shipping season, you need every advantage you can get! Here’s an example, you can efficiently utilize a transportation management system (TMS) to optimize route planning and ensure efficient deliveries. You can also use other supply chain technology to automate warehousing processes and inventory control, providing up-to-the-minute data on your entire operation.
Work with reliable a 3PL
Reliable 3PL here, and we will make sure you have fast and reliable shipping services. Our team knows that freight, more often than not, is time-sensitive, and capacity can be tight. So we work with a wide variety of professional, high-quality carriers to ensure your products are delivered timely and with ease.
Are you a new business owner that needs to ship your products to your customer? Or has your business grown to the point where you’re going to start shipping? Or are you already shipping freight but want to do so more efficiently with a better understanding of the process? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this guide and our team are here for you. It will introduce you to the freight shipping industry and get you the information you need to ship like a pro!
LTL stands for “less than truckload,” which means that your shipment will take up less than an entire truckload. Makes sense, right? Typically, this means your cargo will weigh between 100 and 10,000 pounds. LTL is the most popular type of freight shipment, and it’s also the most cost-effective form of road transportation. Why? Because the cost of your shipment will be shared with other LTL freight shipments, and you only pay for the space in the truck that you need.
There are four pieces of information that you must-have for a standard LTL quote:
Origin Zip Code: The origin zip code is the zip code where the freight will be picked up.
Destination Zip Code: The destination zip code is the opposite of the origin zip, in that it’s the zip code where the freight will be delivered. Once again, this is the actual delivery address location, not the city or terminal zip code.
Total Weight: This weight includes any packaging or palletizing that is needed to make the freight ready to ship. Ensure that your weights are exact, as carriers will use industrial shipping scales to make sure the weight claimed on the BOL matches the actual weight of the shipment.
Freight Class: There’s a lot more to dive into here, see below!
Understanding Freight Class
Freight class is a standardized system used by carriers to categorize freight for pricing purposes. There are two ways to determine fright class – NMFC codes and density.
NMFC-Based Freight Class
The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), a nonprofit membership organization of motor carriers, uses the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC) system to determine freight class. NFMC codes are assigned a freight class, which is a number between 50 and 500. This number determines an item’s “transportability” and is generated using four factors:
STOWABILITY: Determined by its ability to be stowed or transported in relation to other pieces of freight on the truck. There is no number-based scale to determine the item’s stowability, and this element of freight class is somewhat subjective.
HANDLING: There is no scale to determine this per commodity. Items that are fragile or have larger than standard dimensions are often at higher risk to the carriers, so their handling level will ultimately lead to higher freight classes.
LIABILITY: Takes into account the probability of the freight shipment being damaged, stolen, or damaging other adjacent freight.
DENSITY: Density is used to find a density-based freight class, while an NMFC code is used to find an NMFC-based freight class. It’s a general rule of thumb that the lower the item’s density, the higher the freight class. If you know your cargo’s NMFC number or can provide accurate weights and dimensions when calculating its density, you will be able to determine the freight class, which best represents your freight.
Density is so crucial in LTL; why?
An object’s density is the measurement of its compactness or pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Your shipment density will dictate how much space your freight shipment will require in a truck or shipping container. With LTL shipping, space is significant because your cargo is being transported along with other freight. When you ship your freight via LTL, you share both the truck and the cost of shipping on that truck with other shippers – which is why LTL is one of the most economical shipping methods.
PTL stands for “partial truckload.” Even in this case, the name is pretty much-clarifying things that, in this kind of load, the load will be as less as half of the entire truck. A load of 8 or more pallets comes under this. Now, in this scenario, you need not book a full truck for this; otherwise, you will be paying full money for half the amount of delivery. In this scenario, you can share the truck with other customers that means you both will share the fare of the truck for your respective halves according to all the factors that affect the rates of freight, including weight and type of freight.
FTL or TL
FTL/ TL means “full truckload or truckload”. Full truckload shipping is the ideal method if you have a large shipment that will fill an entire trailer or at least exceed the volume LTL options. Typically full truckload shipping costs more than LTL shipping. However, the benefits of FTL might outweigh that cost. With FTL shipping, the truck goes directly from Point A to Point B without any stops, making transportation times shorter.
This refers to time-sensitive shipments in which freight has to be delivered within a particular time frame. Expedited freight is most often transported by truck or air. Trucks shipping expedited freight rarely stop along the way to deliver or pick up shipments, making the expedited shipment the priority. Expedited shipments are both large and small, from parcels to pallets to a full truckload of freight.
Companies that work with short lead times and require their packages to be transported as quickly as possible often choose air freight. Air freight is a relatively safe mode of transport, and it decreases supplier lead times while improving the overall level of service.
Rail transportation is an excellent solution for domestic or intercontinental transport, especially for bulky goods. It is a safe and reliable mode of transport that offers fast delivery at a cost-effective price point, and it is also more environmentally-friendly than air and road alternatives. Plus, rail freight doesn’t add to traffic and roadway congestion like other modes of transportation.
Talk With Taylor
If you are seeking logistics support, we’d love to hear from you. You can head over to services to learn more or check out the many industries we work with to ensure top of the line logistics solutions. Send us a note to connect about how we can help your company grow!
New-age technologies have widened the scope of transportation. Some features will allow you to access to driving and travel analytics. As a result, you will adjust your business according to the recent trends in the market. Today, we live in a world that is digitally connected. The trucking industry is also working hard to create that perfect network. Here are ways to ensure your fleet is connected.
Putting mobile technology into the hands of drivers can help managers collect real-time data around arrival/departure times, wait times, loading/unloading times, fuel stops, and more. These real-time metrics help managers work smarter, providing the critical insights they need to make informed decisions around pricing, generate increased revenues, and better manage the bottom line. Mobile also helps to enhance employee experiences by enabling people to take control of their schedules. Using employee self-service features, drivers should be able to tap their mobile device to request a vacation day, anywhere at any time, and they know with confidence that their request was received and processed by a manager.
Data, Data, Data!
Analyzing data while on the go enables managers to identify trends, drive better business outcomes, and eliminate possible waisted time. If a driver isn’t on the move, that truck isn’t earning revenue. So, look at drivers’ wait times – are they longer than expected? A manager may find that a particular yard wasn’t ready for a truck when it arrived, and this left the driver waiting longer than expected before unloading could begin.
There have been several advancements made throughout the trucking industry that have positively impacted the well-being and safety of truck drivers. It will be fascinating to see what new innovative technology emerges in the coming months to continue to shape the industry.
Freight brokers act as the medium between carriers and shippers. They have the experience, the network, and the resources to fulfill orders and get shipments to their desired destination. Expertise is the key to providing real value and genuinely making an impact in the supply chain.
It’s crucial to partner with a freight broker who is an expert in efficiency, transportation planning, and reducing your most significant logistics expense: getting your product into the customer’s hands. Our team is diving into the reasons freight brokers are an essential piece of your supply chain and the strategies that lower overall transportation costs.
Best in Class Technology
Whether you need less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload (TL), or expedited shipping, smart freight agents have the right technology in place to meet your needs. The best freight brokerage firms allow them to negotiate the best possible rates with the most reliable carriers and automate processes related to shipping and payment, ensuring you a speedy and safe delivery. Real-time dashboards give freight agents complete visibility into every aspect of the journey.
Brokers look at the size and features of a shipment and the urgency of which it needs to get to its destination. With many possible modes –LTL, TL, intermodal, expedited freight, and air shipments––brokers advise on the best method to get your shipment there for the lowest cost to meet your delivery timeframe.
Relieves the Headache of Back-Office Overhead
Leave the logistics of coordinating to a freight broker, you have enough on your plate! While one might think it will be more economical to work directly with carriers, that’s not the case. The time spent evaluating quotes, costs, and transit times, selecting a trustworthy carrier, arranging pickup, monitoring the products journey and delivery – not to mention troubleshooting any issues – isn’t worth the cost. A freight broker has the entire process down like a well-oiled machine and will be able to help you cut costs and expedite service.
Moving freight is a complex and complicated business. Don’t cut corners by searching for reliable carriers yourself and hoping the process will manage itself. Leave it to freight brokerage pros at Taylor Logistics. Team Taylor knows the freight business, and they’ll put your mind at ease while saving you money along the way. Contact Taylor today.
Shippers handle numerous transactions; the use of EDI integration within a TMS can save millions of dollars due to early payment discounts. Aside from the financial benefits, there is a multitude of advantages from implementing EDI. Exchanging documents electronically improves transaction speed and visibility while decreasing the amount of money you would spend on a manual process. Here are several examples of EDI transactions within a TMS.
What is EDI?
Before addressing EDI in transportation, it’s crucial to understand what exactly EDI alone is. Electronic Data Interchange or EDI is not only used within the logistics/ transportation industries. EDI is the computer to computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners. It was developed in the 1960s EDI was created to speed the process of shipping and transporting documents. EDI replaces postal mail, fax, and email. While email is also an electronic approach, the documents exchanged via email must still be handled by people rather than computers. Having people involved delays the processing of the documents and also has a higher risk of errors. Instead, EDI documents can pass straight through to the appropriate application on the receiver’s computer, and processing can begin instantly.
Examples of EDI Transaction in Transportation
Carrier Load Tender
Used by shippers or 3PLs to tender an offer for a shipment to a full truckload motor carrier
Freight Details and Invoice
Electronic invoice complete with shipment details
Bill of Lading
Electronic bill of lading which states shipment date, reference numbers, shipper, consignee, and shipment contents
Delivery Trailer Manifest
Allows carriers to provide consignees with the contents of the trailer
Shipment Status Message
Provides shipments statuses including shipper information, consignee information, current shipment location, dates, proof of delivery, and shipment description
Every week it seems as though there’s a new brewery popping up somewhere in town. However, many craft brewers do not have an adequate keg inventory to expand to multi-state distribution and to meet the new market demand. As a result, they may need to purchase more kegs, bottles, growlers, and cans in order to have sufficient on-hand inventory. Let us free up your time so you can focus on what’s essential, brewing fantastic beer.
Finding the right logistics partner requires careful research. Our team suggests that brewers evaluate potential 3PL’s by looking at a few key areas:
Food-Grade Facilities: Let’s start with the basics. You’ll want a provider with facilities that are food-grade SQF certified and have an A.I.B. “superior” sanitation rating.
One-Stop Shop: Chances are, you need more than warehousing for your beer. Fulfillment, transportation, packaging, etc. If your 3PL can deliver single-source solutions, they’ll help streamline your supply chain, control costs, and improve service to your customers.
Transportation Management: Can your 3PL provide real-time visibility and reporting? While giving you cost-effective options for delivering products when and where needed?
Getting your beer to the consumer.
Third party logistics companies, when you work with them for alcohol shipments, will need to be aware of different regulations. For instance, trucks transporting alcohol cannot veer off their course by more than seven miles from a federal highway during the shipment. If the driver does—say, by eating lunch on a break off the highway—the DOT may have the authority to impound that shipment. Alcohol is regulated by the individual states and not the federal government, so what would be considered following the law in Ohio doesn’t necessarily fly in Nebraska, Kentucky, Virginia, etc. That’s where it gets tricky. So it’s helpful to find a logistics company that knows the ins and outs of liquor shipping so that you can feel confident about their work.
Less-than-truckload shipments of alcohol are frequent, meaning if you have one pallet or 12, you can get your beer moving to its destination on a truck with other shipments. Taylor knows you just want people to enjoy your tasty beer, so we take care of the tricky parts for you. We have thousands of carriers in our network throughout the nation that meet the specific requirements set up by the states your beer needs to travel through for consistent alcohol shipments. Our team will set everything up, all you have to do is let us know about your shipment, and we’ll let you know when it arrives!
2020 marks the 170th year in business for Taylor, and for the past couple of decades, our focus has been all things food and beverage from warehousing to transportation our team knows a thing or two about food grade best practices.
Taylor’s fleet is supported by specialized carrier partners to provide nationwide freight transportation
Various foodstuffs are removed from item 73227 and reclassified. Item 72790 (Dips) is canceled with reference to new item 74700 (Sauces, Condiments, Dips or Spreads). New items are established as follows: 72030 (Baby Food), 72041 (Baking Powder), 72285 (Butters or Spreads, nut or seed, including Peanut Butter),74510 (Purees, fruit or vegetable, including applesauce) and 74737 (Shells, taco, or tortillas).
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The NMFC code 25400 is canceled with reference to new item 26720 with classes based on a density break at 8 pcf.
Traps, Bullets or Target
The NMFC code 17670 is canceled and reestablished as new item NMFC 187130.