3 Strategies for Optimizing LTL Rates and Carrier Selections

Coordinating large freight orders is no simple task—for supply chain managers or internal finance, sales, and legal teams. But even small shipments can present challenges and prove extremely complex—requiring nimble management and cost-effective decision-making.

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is vital when shippers need to move small batches of freight. But without a process for selecting the right shippers, identifying the lowest LTL rates, and filing the appropriate freight class, shippers can find themselves missing out on important cost savings.

Thoughtful carrier decisions are crucial for optimal decisions at every shipment size—from large cargo ships to LTL shipping. These can have significant benefits down the road and help shippers avoid high fines. Discover how to optimize LTL rate shopping and see how technology can support companies through every new shipment and phase in the order lifecycle.

Three ways to minimize LTL rates

  1. Select carriers at the shipment level

No matter the size, every shipment should come with the same methodical carrier selection process—even if it doesn’t fill up an entire truck. Shippers must probe into their process to examine how their organization assigns LTL carriers today.

If it is a variable and subjective process, they will want to institute standardized, thorough analysis to ensure they’re making calculated selections for each LTL shipment.

  1. Match carrier capabilities to shipment requirements

Every shipment is different—and so are carriers. Knowing a shipment’s exact weight, commodity, and other details prevent costly fines, and it can help cater each carrier selection to the LTL shipment. 

Shippers should turn to measurable shipment variables and carrier capabilities when carriers overlap in geographies.. For every LTL shipment, shippers must precisely record the commodity, weight, destination state, destination city, and destination zip code to rule out which carriers won’t be able to accommodate the transportation needs. Logistics technology can help shippers expedite this comparison through automation and advanced data analysis, intelligently selecting the right carrier for each shipment.

  1. Consider transit days—as well as low costs

Identifying the most competitive LTL rates means analyzing comparative carrier rates—as well as the number of transit days needed for the shipment. 

Shippers must determine if their carrier base uses one base rate or if they each have their own. The most cost-effective LTL carrier will be the one that can deliver the lowest rate—combined with the most efficient transportation timing.

A transportation tool that grows with you

LTL shipping calls for smart carrier decisions and advanced logistics tech to avoid high fines and access the lowest carrier rates. As shippers look for additional ways to improve their process, they may want to consider one final question: “Does my current operation use a transportation management system, or TMS, to select carriers?”

A TMS helps shippers pick the lowest-cost provider for each shipment—no matter the size or delivery date. CTSI-Global’s proprietary HoneyBee TMS™ adds strategy to your carrier selection process, bringing in an extensive network of curated carriers and advanced analytics for automated, optimized carrier comparisons.

Contact CTSI-Global for a quote to make our powerful TMS technology a part of your organization.