Over ten million trucks, vessels, rail cars, and locomotives move products over the transportation network, the most valuable of these being machinery, motorized vehicles, and electronics. And in 2013, there were almost 15 billion tons of cargo transported via trucking. By 2040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number should be at almost 20 billion tons. E-commerce has helped drive transport and as companies compete to deliver goods to customers faster than ever before, the shipping industry will only continue to increase. Ideally, businesses should look into truckload carriers versus LTL shipping (less than truckload), which has cargo from a few different customers in each truckload, instead of one homogenized load. We'll discuss some of the benefits of using truckload carriers, how to manage truckload shipping rates, and what you should look for in your freight services.
Why Should I Use Truckload Carriers?
Full truckload carriers can guarantee a bit more safety when it comes to handling goods and their security. The freight is loaded into the truck at Point A and then delivered to Point B -- no one touches it in between. With a less than truckload shipment, it's likely that cargo is handled and moved about a few different times, which increases the chances that it might break or go missing. FTL is the only way to go if your shipment is high risk, delicate, or needs tighter security.
FTL also tends to be a faster method of shipping, since the truck isn't stopping at other destinations along the way and there's no need to load or unload cargo at those stops. If you know you're shipping large quantities or overweight freight, full truckload carriers are the way to go for your business.
What Should I Look For in Freight Services?
You want a freight service that's dependable, reputable, and has a good record of delivering cargo on time and in excellent condition. They should be adept at providing services for a range of businesses (different industries and sizes). You should also see if they offer expedited shipping, should you someday need those services. Check and see what kinds of things they ship -- whether it's bigger machinery or only freight that can be loaded on pallets.
You should be able to view your shipment as well with the company's high quality tracking systems and feel good about their customer service. Is the business attentive and responsive to questions or concerns? Are the account representatives on top of your needs? Check and see where they ship as well -- is it only in the United States or do they ship to Canada and Mexico as well?
And ideally, the business should have a variety of vehicles at their disposal to suit your needs. Whether it's a flatbed or refrigerated unit, they should have versatile shipping options.
Essentially, you want a shipping service that pays attention to detail, has deep resources, plenty of experience, and who can get your job done at the best price and offer the quickest timeline without sacrificing quality.
What Else Should I Keep in Mind?
Remember that the lowest price isn't always the best price. Sometimes you might pay a little more for better quality -- and that should be important to you. Although there should be a customer service team in place, it's often confusing to be in contact with a variety of team members. If you have a dedicated account representative who can handle everything from quoting you to managing the delivery and invoicing, it can often provide a more streamlined process.
You also want to go with a shipping service that is staying up to date on the latest trends and news in the shipping industry. They can help you stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of new technology, routes, and services.
Choosing the right shipping service for your business can be a total game-changer. Never worry about a delivery being late or damaged again with the help of expert truckload carriers!
Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.