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10 Keys to Saving on LTL Shipping Costs

Jan 26, 2018

Less-Than-Truckload freight shipping is a great choice for shipments greater than 150 lbs. and smaller than an entire truckload. We discussed LTL and the factors used to determine rates previously. If you missed it, go here to read it. Understanding how LTL carriers determine their price will help you avoid spending too much on shipping. Here are ten keys to help you save on your LTL shipping cost.

LTL savings-mini forklift moving stacks of coins.jpg1. Size: LTL carriers apply discounts based on weight.  Shipments exceeding 6,000 pounds or six pallets are not part of the standard discount program and can qualify for additional savings not outlined in your pricing agreement.

2. Distance: Time equals money.  The longer a carrier moves your shipment, the more it will cost.  Carriers only service specific parts of the country.  Using a carrier whose footprint matches your shipment’s needs will decrease your cost.

3. Freight Classification: Carriers use Freight Class to determine charges for different commodities.  There are many factors used to identify the correct freight class for your shipment. Selecting the correct freight class is imperative to avoiding additional costs and fees.  

4. Minimums: The absolute minimum charge (AMC) is the minimum amount, regardless of discount, that a carrier charges to handle a shipment.  These minimums may be negotiated and applied in various ways, such as minimums for intrastate, interstate, or international lanes.

5. General Rate Increase: Carriers typically modify their base rates on an annual basis to incentivize lanes where they need additional volume.  Conversely, carriers will increase rates in lanes where they have a better balance between trucks and freight.  Taking advantage of lanes where carriers need freight is an easy way to save additional cost.

6. Bill of lading: A bill of lading that is incomplete or inaccurate may cause you to incur unexpected fees due to incorrect, vague, or missing information.

7. Accessorial Charges:  For shipments requiring special handling, such as appointment times, lift gates, residential delivery, and more, the carrier adds additional charges.  Like the rest of your pricing program, these fees are negotiable.

8. Packaging:  If your shipment isn’t packaged and palletized correctly, you could incur additional fees as well as damage. Here are a few things that may help when packaging your freight:

  • Shrink wrap the shipment along with the pallet to prevent freight from sliding.
  • The denser your shipment is, the better.
  • Ask the carrier to utilize decking equipment.
  • Package pallets to the exact dimensions required. 

9. Consolidation: If you have numerous LTL shipments traveling to the same destination over a period of days or weeks, consolidating those shipments into one shipment may help reduce cost as well as your carbon footprint. 

10. Simplify Your Shipping by Using a 3PL: If you’re a small or mid-sized business without a logistics manager or staff, you may benefit from a partnership with a Third-Party Logistics company. 3PL’s provide assistance and expertise on rates, invoicing, carrier selection, and more. As an added benefit, you could save time and money on your freight shipments! 

Consider these 10 ways to save on your LTL shipments. They’ll not only help you save time and money, they’ll also save you unneeded headache. 

American Group is a 3PL with decades of experience navigating LTL freight shipping. Contact us for assistance with your next shipment by phone at 866-553-6608 or by email at We’re here to make Shipping.Simplified®.


Photo credit: Copyright: pookpiik / 123RF Stock Photo