Benefits of LTL Freight Shipping with uShip
uShip is an online shipping marketplace that connects shippers to carriers with empty trailer space. As a result, businesses receive the benefit of low-cost LTL shipping rates. Furthermore, uShip has strong relationships with some of the best less than truckload companies in the industry which results in extreme savings. Other benefits include:
- Compare Freight Quotes in One Place: uShip is your one-stop shop for obtaining LTL freight rates. uShip provides quotes from 30+ LTL carriers at once with just a few clicks. This means no more signing into each carrier’s website to compare quotes.
- Invoice Audits: Billing adjustments, sometimes called rebills, are charges that are applied to your invoice for additional services not included in your original quote. We proactively audit each and every invoice for accuracy. If we notice any discrepancies, we reach out to you with more information, including how to dispute the charges.
- Insurance Options: Less than truckload carriers are required to carry limited liability insurance. This type of insurance does not cover the entire value of your freight as it only pays up to a few dollars a pound. For example, if your freight is damaged beyond repair and weighs 50 pounds, you may only receive $100 for the damage. For this reason, uShip offers additional insurance for purchase on select shipments.
- Customer Support: Ease your mind knowing that you have an experienced freight team backing you at all times. We are easily reachable by phone or email to answer any questions or solve any complex problems. When it comes to world-class customer service, uShip delivers.
Why LTL Freight?
Shipping your freight though LTL offers many benefits that help your business succeed, such as:
- Reduced Cost: The biggest benefit of using LTL is the cost. Since you are sharing space with other businesses, you only pay for the portion of the trailer your freight occupies.
- Environmentally Friendly: The importance of becoming a green business is increasing. LTL freight helps you take a step in the right direction by reducing emissions.
- Minimizes Risks: Since packages are handled more frequently with increased stops, freight shippers are encouraged to load their cargo onto sturdy pallets and into durable crates. These protect the shipment from wear, other freight, and loss of individual packages.
- Easy Tracking: Many carriers will provide real-time tracking that include stop-offs, pick-ups, and delivery. If you are shipping with multiple carriers, uShip offers a free portal to track your shipments all in one place.
- Service Options: The vast majority of LTL carriers offer many services including notifications, inside pick-up and delivery, lift gate, special handling, and more.
When to Use Less Than Truckload
As a rule of thumb, if your freight is on a pallet or in a crate, you can ship it LTL. However, each carrier has its own restrictions on commodities. If you are unsure about your cargo, be sure to check the LTL freight carrier’s rules tariff
for more information. In order to determine if LTL freight shipping is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my freight within size limits?
- Am I, or an agent, available to load and unload the shipment?
- Can I consolidate and palletize or crate my shipment?
- Am I comfortable sharing trailer space with other freight shipments?
- Do I understand the timeline restrictions of LTL freight?
Should you have any questions about whether or not LTL shipping is right for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have many shipping options available.
LTL Freight Class Explained
Freight class is a standardized classification system for cargo. It is a measurement used by carriers to determine the base rate of a shipment. Designed by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), the freight system assigns ltl cargo a specific code called an NMFC number. This number is based on a number of factors such as stowability and liability.
The good news is that when you use uShip, you don’t have to worry about calculating complex NMFC codes as we price freight based on density.
How to Prepare LTL Shipments
Properly preparing LTL freight for transport helps reduce damage and loss. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to combine small freight into one shipment by placing it on a pallet or crate. Keep in mind that there are specific rules around packing a crate or pallet when shipping LTL. The goal is to keep your cargo protected from moving around during transport. Other helpful tips to consider when preparing your LTL cargo for transportation are:
- Stack goods with the heaviest items on the bottom and refrain from any overhang.
- Use straps and shrink wrap to ensure goods properly stay together.
- When packaging your LTL shipment, aligning goods on the pallet is best practice. Staggering is okay but is 33% weaker.
- Create and place a label on each pallet. Make sure the complete address information, postal codes of the shipper and consignee, and phone numbers are present and visible.
How to Ship Freight with uShip
When you are ready to ship your LTL freight, follow these simple steps:
1 | Fill Out Quote Form
Choose a pallet, crate, box, or other item describing your packaging. Then, enter the dimensions and weight. We recommend using a scale for accuracy and to avoid LTL invoice adjustments. Next, enter your preferred pickup date. We find it's best to book before 11:00 AM for same-day pick up. Enter your origin zip code and pick up location type. Then do the same for destination zip code and location type. Be sure to select the most specific location type possible. Finally, select the shipping services you'll need for both pickup and delivery. For example, do they have a dock, forklift or do they need a lift-gate service?
2 | Get Instant LTL Rates
uShip gives your rates from over 30 national and regional LTL shipping companies in a matter of seconds. Services include consolidated, standard, and guaranteed. Be sure to compare the quotes against your criteria for accuracy.
3 | Review Carriers and Book
Sort by price, transit time, or feedback rating from past uShip customers. When you click on a carrier, you're taken to their profile where you can see rules, tariffs, and feedback from other businesses who have used this freight shipping company. Check out their on-time rating and damage percentages as well. Select the rate and carrier you prefer.
4 | Insurance and Checkout
Here, you'll see a breakdown of shipping costs, as well as an option to purchase uShip Commercial Cargo Insurance for a small cost. Carrier liability insurance usually only covers cents on the pound, so it's smart to consider extra coverage. Once you've made your insurance selection and entered payment information, select "Complete Booking."
5 | Prepare the Bill of Lading
The Bill of Lading is one of the most important documents in the shipping process. Include the names, contact information, and email addresses for the people at both ends of the shipment. That way, you'll both receive the Bill of Lading via email at the time of booking.
Note that the origin and destination city can be changed, as long as the zip code is correct. If the zip code changes, this will potentially change the rate, and the shipment may need to be re-quoted. The Bill of Lading includes the pickup time and instructions. At least a 3 hour pickup time frame is required. Also, include things like bay number at the loading dock. The Bill of Lading also includes shipment contents. Be specific and include details where possible. Reference numbers help ensure easy pickup and delivery.
6 | Booking Confirmation Email
This includes booking confirmation and the pickup number from your carrier. If you need to reschedule, or check a driver's ETA, have this number handy when calling the carrier.
Keep in mind,
LTL Instant Rates may not be available, but don't worry, you can take your freight to our uShip Marketplace and have LTL carriers compete for your business.
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Commonly Asked LTL Shipping Questions
How does LTL shipping work?
LTL works by combining small freight shipments from many shippers to form a full truckload. As a result of collective buying power, prices are much lower.
How do you price LTL freight?
LTL freight is priced based on the density or freight class of a shipment.
How many pallets are considered LTL?
Typically, one to nine pallets are considered LTL freight.
How do I get cheap LTL quotes?
To get cheap LTL quotes you need to be accurate with measurements and use a company like uShip.
How many hours do you spend comparing carriers and rates?
Businesses will spend up to an hour comparing rates, however, it only takes about 10 minutes on the uShip marketplace.