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Things You Need To Consider When Choosing LTL Shipping Services

When your company's logistics management plan leads to the need for a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping provider, it's important that you know what you're looking for. LTL shipping providers vary widely in the services they offer as well as their approach to load management. Here are a few things that you should think about as you are selecting your LTL shipping provider for your business.

Current Channel And Geography Coverage

One of the most important factors in choosing your LTL shipping provider is the current channels they offer and areas that they cover. Remember that not every LTL shipping provider is going to have coverage across the entire country.

Take time to assess where your shipments currently go as well as the areas that you're hoping to expand into. Opting for an LTL shipping provider that already has coverage in all of these areas, including those you're hoping to break into, can ensure a smooth transition and complete coverage.

Make sure that they have shipping channel options in each of these areas so that if one shipping channel isn't available, you're not left with angry customers, late deliveries, or possibly spoiled shipments.

Response Times

Ask every LTL carrier to provide statistics related to their response times. Look for a carrier that's going to be able to meet your pickup and delivery deadlines consistently. Remember that your LTL shipping company is an integral part of your company's logistical operations and must be able to operate as smoothly as your production does. 

If you have frequent last-minute shipments, for example, you need an LTL shipping company that can easily respond in a timely manner when those last-minute shipments come up. Any other scheduling nuances that affect your business should also be addressed as you evaluate your options.

Safety Focus

When you rely on another carrier to transport your shipments, you should be sure that the provider prioritizes a focus on fleet safety. Ask about preventative maintenance, inspections, and other safety requirements.

This is an important consideration because shipping companies that stress the importance of preventative maintenance and equipment safety inspections will typically experience fewer breakdowns. Since breakdowns mid-shipment can slow your delivery times, this is an important thing to mitigate. 

Don't find yourself overwhelmed with your LTL shipping carrier options. Narrow down your evaluation based on these key factors first to make it easier to make your selection. With these elements as priority considerations, you're sure to find a carrier that will meet your needs and keep your customers happy.

Reach out to a company that provides LTL services to learn more.