What is LTL – Less Than a Load – Logistics and Technology?
Small and intermediate companies face daily challenges to stay economically competitive with larger, more robust companies. Their bottom line is greatly affected by their ability to keep operating cost, including supply chain transactions, as low as possible. Quality support is just as important as discounted shipping rates. Advances have been made in logistics technology that enables a company to streamline their shipping processes without sacrificing quality and customer service standards.
One very beneficial factor for small businesses is the utilization of less-than-truckload shipping, otherwise simply referred to as L.T.L.. L.T.L. logistics is a specialized method praised for being tailored for a small business’ successful bottom line. Less than truckload shipping does not require that a small or intermediate company fill an entire semi-truck full of freight. This one fact can save a company a great amount of revenue because it is much cheaper to only pay for the amount of space one uses. Occasionally a small company only needs to ship a small amount of product. A greater cost savings for the small business will be rendered from using a less-than-truckload carrier to ship the cargo. That is because LTL does not charge for merchandise that is over the threshold weight like the United States Postal Service does. However, this is only one benefit from switching the LTL shipping rates.
LTL logistics comprises a method to match a client’s cargo with a trucking customer who is looking to haul cargo. Many less-than-truckload shipping companies have a website for a business to go on and list the merchandise that they wish to ship. At the same time, trucking specialists who would like to haul the freight can view and bid on current shipments. This is helpful because the competition seems to keep the cost for shipping down.
Another cost-saving aspect to less-than-truckload shipping is that trucking companies can carry several different loads at the same time. By doing this, it reduces the freight rate but also reduces the amount of time, personnel, and fuel consumption.
There are requirements for the merchandise to ensure that the products arrive in the best condition possible for the best available company. Some of these restrictions can affect the cost if they are not matched. For example, small quantities of merchandise could potentially just be loaded individually boxed; however, many L.T.L. companies require merchandise be shrink-wrapped and placed on a large pallet for easier loading and unloading. The more time a product has to be handled or processed; the higher the risk of damage to the product becomes.
Another benefit of using L.T.L. logistics technology is because the companies that host these software or website programs also provide access to a database system where the business owner can track and monitor their products while in transit. The ability to give the shipping customer information about their products can help identify trends, areas in which improvement is needed, and provide statistical information that is beneficial.