Keeping a good relationship with your trucking logistics and shipping provider is key when you're shipping from the US to Canada and back. Establishing a process, both within your company and with your pallet shippers, can help build that relationship and keep chances for disaster down. There are four simple things you can do to both improve your relationship with your trucking logistics group and keep costs down.
Reporting accurate weights is one of the most critical ways to keep your LTL freight rates down. Carriers will re-weigh as much as 80 percent of their shipments, and inaccurate weights will increase expenses.
Bills of Lading must also be completely accurate-- though carriers currently don't audit every bill of lading they receive, the number of reviews is on the rise. Inaccurate bills of lading have become an issue for the carrier industry, and have become increasingly important in LTL shipping.
Understand Accessorial Charges
Accessorial charges include additional services such as residential service, lift gates or set appointments. Communicate with your consignee's and shippers to try reduce appointments (usually a carrier will request a 2-3 hour window which may be sufficient for your customer). You can also try to ship to dock level locations so that liftgate fees are minimized.
Use Proper Packaging
Improper packaging will incur costs for you as carriers may have to repackage your shipment so that it travels safely. Additionally, improperly packaged shipments increase the risk of damage to other freight during shipment. Shifting in transit and occasional bumps during delivery are common, so make sure your shipment is packaged correctly to prevent damages.
Whenever possible, combine items so they actually become one or two pallets rather than many separate pieces-- LTL transportation companies are best set up to handle one large pallet rather than 100 small components. Additionally, combining parts for shipping on one pallet drastically decreases the chance of individual damage.
Though these four tips may seem obvious, it's amazing how often errors occur. Establish a streamlined process taking each of these areas of interest into account and you and your shipping company will be able achieve a win-win partnership.