Tips to Save During the 2018 LTL Rush


While shoppers can expect to save this time of year, the opposite is true for those purchasing LTL services. As sales volumes increase so does the demand for LTL shipping, which leads to capacity crunches, and ultimately, higher-than-normal freight rates. This year, those pricing surges are expected to be even worse with fewer drivers on the road and retail sales projected to exceed years past – and that’s just the beginning – other factors will contribute to higher LTL prices this year, including:

Bad weather
We’ve already seen major hurricanes and fires devastate large parts of the country, and unfortunately, forecasters are expecting more problematic weather conditions for certain parts of the country as we progress further into winter. Wind, snow, ice, and low temperatures are never great for the transport game, and with all of them on the horizon, rates are sure to reflect the increased peril of transporting goods.

Standard Rate Increases
Freight rates have inflated during the past year thanks to a steady growth in consumer spending coupled with a modest revival in domestic manufacturing, deteriorating infrastructure, and of course, the driver shortage. The trend is expected to continue during the holidays, and into the next year.

Increased Returns Traffic
The ecommerce sector continues to boom, and as a result, so do returns. With at least 30 percent of online sales ultimately making a return journey, there will be a lot of extra parcel and LTL traffic on the roads. That extra demand for transport services, will mean a little something extra added to your rates.

So How Can Shippers Save on LTL Services During the Holidays?

While you can’t avoid rate hikes completely, there are a few things you can do to lower your LTL spend, including:

Offering longer delivery windows
Try shipping during lower-volume days, like Saturdays and Sundays, when carriers are trying to fill out their containers by offering lower, more enticing rates.

Spreading shipments out
This point is an extension of the last. Instead of sending out large full-truckload orders all the time, try spacing your shipments out into smaller loads to take advantage of lower, more flexible LTL rates.

Planning ahead
Schedule pickups as far in advance as possible. This can help you obtain better rates while also providing your operation with more built-in lead time to get orders filled and shipped.

Improve Shipment Density
Density is playing a larger role in pricing than it ever has before. As a result, you should be doing everything you can to improve the density of your shipments. Ship your freight in appropriately sized boxes or crates, and on appropriately sized pallets. Eliminate dead space and excess packaging materials where you can, and if you don’t want anything stacked on top of your shipment, use a “do not stack” sticker in place of a cone. Your goal is to shrink the footprint of your freight as much as possible while still maintaining the safety and security of the shipment.

Shop Around
Don’t go with the first quote if you can help it. We suggest obtaining quotes from at least a few carriers and comparing rates. Capacities can vary greatly between carriers at any given time, which means rates will, too.

Good Luck this Holiday Season

Rates are expected to raise through 2018 and into 2019, but armed with these tips, you’ll be prepared to roll with the punches and look forward to savings that you may have otherwise missed.


For more articles like this, subscribe to our newsletter!

Was this article helpful?

Michael Eichenberg is the co-founder and CEO of FreightSnap, allowing the supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, distribution and transportation industries to measure, weigh, photograph and ID pallets and parcels in just seconds. Learn more and share your ideas on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Stay up to date with our latest news, receive exclusive deals, and more.

If you’re here, you’ve likely received an accessorial fee, also known as an accessorial charge, that resulted in a higher than anticipated bill from your carrier – and it probably wasn’t “received” too well. After all, nobody likes to spend more for a service than they were quoted. That said,...

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping and parcel hundredweight services both have their advantages. This article looks at the differences between these two services to help you decide which method to choose and when. But First, What are Parcel Hundredweight® and Multiweight® Programs? Parcel Hundredweight® is a service offered by the United Parcel...

Challenges in Modern Shipping Shippers today are faced with all sorts of logistics challenges. Lost shipments, damaged freight, reweigh charges and size reclassifications to name a few. “Most of our Shipper customers have experienced all sorts of issues, which is why we decided to craft a great documentation solution to...

By now, we’ve all heard about the shift to density based pricing in the LTL industry. With major carriers like FedEx Ground, UPS, Old Dominion Freight Lines, Estes Express Lines, SAIA and others making the shift, it’s only a matter of time before DIM pricing becomes the norm. And although...

Subscribe to our Blog

Stay up to date with our latest news, receive exclusive deals, and more.

Shipping internationally can be a headache even for experienced shippers, which is why freight forwarders have become such an important part of the modern supply chain. From storing customers’ freight and verifying shipment details to ensuring that the appropriate customs, insurance and shipping documentation has been provided, a lot of...

We all know the satisfaction of finding a good deal online. The rush at seeing our minutes, hours, or even days of searching pay off in a discounted rate on the item we desire. And like-wise, we all know the disappointment, the sinking feeling at check-out, when we realize that...

Automated cubing and dimensioning equipment is emerging as a necessary capital investment for companies across the supply chain, and as such, professionals from various backgrounds – operations, IT, management and accounting – are beginning their first rounds of research into the available products, and the companies that produce them. However,...

In the fast-paced, fiercely competitive logistics industry, the demand for warehouse automation is more pronounced than ever....

Product Sheet - FS Parcel Dimensioner

2023 DimReimag LP - FSParcel PS Dwnld

Product Sheet - FS 5000 Dimensioner

2023 DimReimag LP - FS500 PS Dwnld

Request a Quote!

2023 DimReimag LP Pricing Request Form