Supply chain resilience became a top priority for countries around the world. As consumer demand fluctuates, shippers and manufacturers need to be quick to adapt. This can ensure goods make their way to consumers while saving money, time and resources. Let’s take a look at Full truckloads:
A standard way to move Full Truckloads
A full truckload (FTL) is one of the most common ways of moving freight over-the-road (OTR). A full truckload is moved by one truck. It then that takes the load from shipper to consignee, and is loaded on a dry van, which is a standard 53 foot trailer. Full truckloads can range from a dry van trailer to a refrigerated trailer. This all depends on what is being moved and the carrier that is pulling it.
There are a few different ways that Full truckloads are loaded. A full truckload has 26 pallet spaces. but if the pallets are stackable shippers are able to load 52 pallets per truckload. With stackable pallets, shippers are even able to load a full truckload into a 28 foot straight rail container.
A parcel shipment is the load that consists of smaller boxes. Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments are smaller than a truckload. Yet, they are not small enough to be a parcel. These three forms of OTR movement are the most commonly used in transportation. But, FTL is known as the most efficient and cost effective mode of domestic transportation.
Benefits of shipping FTL
With quicker transit times, full truckloads provide less handling and better tracking. They can also limit costs and prevent damage.
These loads are easier to track because there is usually only one person to get in touch with for an update. This would be the driver that is pulling the load. Shippers can save on costs by shipping full truckloads for a few reasons. They would not have to pay accessorial charges, reweigh fees or for redelivery. In the case of using LTL carriers, these charges would be applied.
Damage prevention is one of the most important things to shippers as they are liable for any damages to merchandise upon arrival. Having only one driver pull the load means that less hands are touching the shipment. And the less hands that touch the freight, the less chance there is of damage occurring.
Typically, transportation managers receive large orders. To process these orders, it’s best to split into separate truckloads. But on the flip side of that, shipments could be combined. This can make a truckload save from paying the contractual cost of an LTL carrier.
For example, a transportation manager accepts several LTL shipments. They all lead to the same destination. A combination of these shipments would be ideal. This is due to the reduction of costs and time. However, it is imperative that you communicate with your warehouse or transportation team. That way, you can avoid a capacity charge from an LTL carrier.
Choosing the Less-Than ideal alternative
When shipping LTL, it can be difficult to track loads. Many LTL shippers will hand off the trailer two or three times depending on the length-of-haul. For example, a load going from Atlanta to LA will likely be dropped halfway in Dallas. From there, another driver will take it the rest of the trip.
There are also additional charges that applied. LTL carriers will be liable to schedule the delivery appointments. When your transportation department loses visibility, they can completely lose track. Examples of loss of visibility are lost scheduled deliveries and lack of communication.
Challenges of FTL
While there are many benefits to moving cargo via Full Truckload, there are a few challenges that come along with it as well. There is a need to better pack and stack merchandise for a more secure delivery. It is imperative to create firm shipping, delivery schedules, and relaying all details. This applies to both the shipper and carrier.
Next, the strenuous process of booking a truck within budget. When you use rate tools for better awareness will constitute a stronger position of negotiating.
Better packing and stacking
Ever played a game of Tetris? Well that is what it is like trying to stack a pallet full of packages. Where shrink-wrapping pallets come in handy to keep the contents from shifting around. Or worse, falling over if the driver has to make a wide turn — which is almost sure to happen. Comparatively, parcel shipments are usually stacked on an individual basis and not on a pallet. Because of this, they would need a very solid T-stack.
The shipper will be responsible for any damages to merchandise inside of the trailer. Due to damage upon arrival to the consumer. This makes it important to ensure that the freight is secured before the rubber starts to hit the road.
Schedule ahead of time
Scheduling can be a major hassle depending on hours of operation. Transit-times are a major factor to consider as well. For example, a load needs to travel from Columbus to Phoenix. It is important to cover and book the load with plenty of time for the driver to make the trip with that distance. A safe rule of thumb is to consider each transit-day as 500 miles. Details involving the pickup and delivery times is important to communicate as well.
Booking Full Truckloads
Carriers won’t do charity work, and brokers are doing everything that they can to pad their margins. This is what creates the polarizing environment of booking loads. One side of the equation is trying to push rates up, and the other is trying to push them down.
The war in Ukraine has placed pressure on diesel prices. The fuel surcharges that go into the rates paid to carriers are going up. However, the line haul price has been decreasing for close to a year now. There is an excess capacity of drivers but the decrease in demand has made it a shipper’s market. Shippers are the ones setting the price of truckload shipments and driving rates down in their favor.
Consumer demand has fallen in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an excess amount of trucking capacity, which are searching for loads. It’s easy to find a truck, yet, the negotiating process for rates has become a bit more dicey. Truckers are trying to maximize their revenue to cover costs.
While the rates for truckloads have decreased, it has made it one of the cheaper for shippers. The future of shipping looks to be volatile, but a few things are certain at the moment. Shipping FTL allows for better use of resources, reduced transit-times and cost savings.