Finding a reliable freight shipper that offers full truckload shipping can be difficult. With so many reports of misdelivered goods and delays in shipping, it can be hard to know which truckload carrier to trust. In addition to deliveries not being on time, the condition of the deliveries and how they packages are handled is also a top concern. It’s important to understand the advantages of full truckload shipping and working with reputable truckload carriers before making a choice and spending extra money for sub-par deliveries.
Since full truckload shipping is effective and efficient for both the freight hauler and the customer, many quality truckload carriers offer it as an option. However, some other carriers out there don’t ship as effectively and are more worried about making money on a customer. Those types of carriers may convince an uneducated customer that ineffective shipping is better for them. These kinds of freight shipping companies make it hard to know which hauler to use.
To better help customers understand how to ship most effectively, Larry Mullne, expert logistics consultant and owner of AA Logistics, has compiled the basic information a customer needs to know when they are trying to make decisions about working with a truckload carrier. With over 20 years in the field, Larry is passionate about helping freight shippers and their customers understand the most productive and cost effective way to ship their goods.
What is Full Truckload Shipping?
Full truckload, commonly referred to as FTL, is a type of freight shipping that is offered to move goods from part of the country to another. Full truckload means that the shipment is large enough to fill an entire truck or shipping container. These types of shipments usually require only one stop and one loading and unloading of the truck. There are many advantages to shipping with a full truckload carrier that are discussed later in this article.
Full truckload shipping usually requires that the shipment be big enough to fill over half of the trailer. Shipments that are not large enough to fill half of a trailer or a shipping container are usually transported using a different type of shipping. For those types of loads, less than truckloads (LTL) and partial truckloads (PTL) may be recommended. Some business owners choose to work with full truckload carriers to manage costs of their shipping, even when their trailers are consistently just slightly over half full.
Advantages of full truckloads
According to logistics expert, Larry Mullne, the advantages of full truckload shipping are for both the freight hauler and the customer. He believes that efficiency and customer service are typically more predictable when freight haulers choose to offer full truckload shipping. This alone is often enough to make full truckload shipping the best option for all involved parties but it’s still important to understand all of the advantages.
Full truck loads are less costly
Full truckloads are cost effective for both the shipper and their customer. Booking multiple shipments for smaller loads often comes at more than just the cost of multiple truckload carrier pickups and deliveries. Partial truckload shipments are on trucks with other types of goods from other companies and the time it takes to pick up a delivery at those companies can delay the delivery time and impact customer service. A negative experience with a delivery is often more costly to a company than extra shipping expenses.
Predictable delivery times
As mentioned, full truckloads only carry the goods from one destination to another. This means that the customer and the shipper are directly in control of the delivery and how long it will take to get there. This translates into full truckloads being more likely to be delivered on time and a more positive customer experience.
Less chance of damage
With full truckload shipping there is a significant decrease in chance of damage. With other types of shipping, movement and loading take place on the truck throughout the day. In some cases, the goods may be moved from one truck to another. All of those transfers increase the chance that unintended damage can occur. Full truckload shipping eliminates those fears and costs because there is no transfer, just one load and one unload.
Choosing a truckload carrier to partner with
Logistics consultants know that choosing a truckload carrier to partner with is a big choice for anyone shipping freight. According to Larry, from AA Logistics,the choice should be about more than just expertise. The reputation and the relationship that the truckload carriers have with their customers is of the utmost importance. Apart from that, he says there are a couple things to always look out for when choosing a truckload carrier to work with.
The first thing he says to look for is consistency. Reliable freight shippers will be routinely moving goods in the same direction at consistent times. This proves they have done their research and care about shipping in an efficient way. Secondly, he believes that it’s important to know what kind of materials truckload carriers specialize in shipping. His company, AA Logistics, specializes in shipping metals, alloys and stainless steel and they may not be the best to partner with if shipping refrigerated goods.
Shipping companies should be able to tell their customers where their freight is and deliver on time. Often just asking around among colleagues will give a business owner insight into what truckload carriers typically deliver on time. Vetting a shipping company and asking for testimonials before choosing to hire them for a full truckload haul can help a business owner feel more confident with how their goods are handled. This important step often makes the biggest difference when choosing a truckload carrier to work with.