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!
Given this year’s unique circumstances, many of us are celebrating Mother’s Day at home or even away from the women — moms, grandmas, aunts, you name it — that we love most. For that reason, some Mother’s Day traditions like spa days and brunches won’t be possible. However, the tradition of buying flowers is still booming. Because of the ease of doorstep delivery and social distancing protocols in place, it’s no surprise that flowers are amongst the most popular mother’s day gift of 2020. The NRF reports that 64% of consumers are expecting to mail a bouquet this year. For flowers to arrive fresh to your receiver’s doorstep, there are a variety of factors that must take place to ensure optimal freshness, including the cold supply chain.
What is Cold Supply Chain?
The term cold chain refers to the transportation of temperature-sensitive products, such as flowers, along the supply chain using thermal and cooling packaging methods along with refrigerated trucks.
Most of the flowers purchased in the United States come from Europe, South America, and Africa, making the cold chain a massive player in flower delivery. The main entry points for planes transporting flowers are Miami International Airport and LAX. The stems are then kept in refrigerated rooms in the airport before making their way across the country in refrigerated planes or trucks. From regional airports, they move to refrigerated distribution centers and then on to florists. Keeping flowers at a precise temperature throughout this long journey can be a big challenge, and cold chain interruptions can cause flowers to lose as much as 40 percent of their vase life, even if they are returned to a cold environment after the interruption.
Dedicated supply chains will become more critical to control risks associated with availability, quality, and price. A single, strong facilitator is needed to make such a supply chain function smoothly.
Our current coronavirus-world has turned food and beverage supply chains on their heads, highlighting the importance of supply chain visibility and communication. The aisles and aisles of empty supermarket shelves give the appearance that the United States, improbably and alarmingly, is running out of food. However, some of the nation’s largest retailers, dairy farmers and meat producers say that isn’t so. The food supply chain, they say, remains intact and has been ramping up to meet the unprecedented stockpiling brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. To keep products fresh, on shelves, and at peak quality, there needs to be excellent communication among food and beverage supply chain partners.
These are just some obstacles you have to face when shipping food products. These challenges closely connect the food manufacturing industry with logistics and transportation partners.
Logistics & Transportation Partners
With freight transportation, communication begins right from the start. Not all freight travels the same, so setting expectations is the best way to get started. Additionally, having a partner who understands the challenges of shipping your products will prove to be beneficial. Due to this, many food and beverage companies choose to outsource their logistics with a third-party logistics company.
3PLs have experience quickly solving complex freight solutions every day. You can feel relief when working with a 3PL to arrange your freight transportation. 3PLs have a vetted carrier network with experience in transporting food products and many modes to offer you shipping solutions. You can gain the use of their cutting-edge technology to track your freight.
Communication, Communication, Communication!
If you are looking for an all-around solution to your problem of communication in your supply chain, a transportation management system (TMS) could be your answer. A TMS can help act as a communication hub for all partners in your supply chain. You can gain end-to-end visibility by working in one place, rather than across various sources.
All relationships need open communication to work well. That is no different for supply chain partners in food and beverage. Each partner in the supply chain should keep in contact as needed to provide full visibility and keep everyone in the loop. This can prevent damaged products, recalls, extra costs, and frustration.
Talk With Taylor
We are more than a logistics advisor; we are an extension of your team here to help you through every step of the supply chain. From SQF certified food grade warehousing to a full transportation team we have altered out business to offer all logistics needs. Learn more here.
Before working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, it’s essential to understand the functionality of that relationship. What responsibilities can a 3PL take off your plate, and what will still be in your wheelhouse?
Here’s a breakdown of how Taylor Logistics freight brokerage works, along with critical points surrounding our value-added services and essential points for how we can help you.
What is a freight brokerage?
Our brokerage helps customers with ready to haul freight find qualified carriers to haul the load. Typically freight brokers do not provide the truck or the shipping but provide the essential service that will help the shipper find the carrier. However, In addition to our brokerage out parent company Taylor Distributing in Cincinnati, OH has a full fleet of trucks ready to assist our customers with any intermodal/drayage needs.
Shipping Expertise – This is what our freight brokers do best, working with our brokers allows you access to their knowledge of best practices and latest technology.
Communication – We can track and log each step of the journey of your product. Our team is in constant contact with drivers, and we have access to GPS/EDI technologies to maintain the status of an order.
Flexibility and Scaleability – We provide our customers more, or less capacity based on their business from industry trends to seasonality. We are also connected to service providers nationwide, and we can quickly respond to flux, linking you to resources without any added risk.
Save time, Resources, and Money – Partnering with Taylor, is like having a dedicated shipping department without the expense of your own department. Using our freight brokerage allows you to focus on your core business.
It’s a Partnership – Taylor works for you, we put our customer’s interests first, because when you succeed, and your business grows, so does ours.
Technology – We have invested in the latest technologies to improve our customer relationships, efficiency, and processes. Our technologies include:
Many merchants don’t necessarily have a physical shop to store their products, requiring the use of a warehouse to store them. Normally, 3PL companies will be able to provide warehousing services that include either a shared or dedicated warehouse for storage, along with all of the required technology to handle and transport products throughout the warehouse. Because of the many companies that might use the same warehouse for storage, you can save money with a split overhead cost.
2. Order Fulfillment Businesses
need to be able to fulfill orders effectively, or they can’t survive. Unfortunately, many e-commerce companies often suffer from invalid order fulfillment, but a 3PL service provider can make sure that customers receive the right goods on time and in good condition with every order.
Another service that most 3PL companies offer is consolidation, wherein e-commerce suppliers send small goods to the same location, consolidating these goods into a single shipment to lower prices.
4. Supply Chain Management Services
To make each order a success, companies need to effectively maintain their supply chain. A 3PL company can help manage all or part of your supply chain, taking care of your inbound freight delivery specifications.