During the second quarter, less-than-truckload volumes increased and capacity tightened as manufacturing growth spurred domestic industrial shipments, according to trade publication Journal of Commerce.
This has led to general rate increases on non-contract freight by LTL carriers while also yielding higher rates on carriers’ contract renewals, according to SJ Consulting Group.
For less-than-truckload business shippers, especially those without the volumes to command contract rates and deep discounts, the answer may be going carrier-direct in the open market.
The uShip LTL marketplace lets shippers of any size and shape compare rates and reviews – and then book instantly. No contract. No phone calls. No hassle.
Based on the Journal of Commerce Top 50 LTL Carriers list released earlier this month, LTL shippers can get access to direct rates from 21 of those 50 carriers, including 10 of the top 12. See a list of the Top 25 below.
In all, the Top 50 did $35.6 billion in revenue in 2016, a 0.4% drop from 2015, but so far this year, capacity has further tightened, even before truckload freight, which typically doesn’t happen.
As you go about your carrier selection process, here are Five Pro Tips for Booking Through uShip’s LTL Marketplace:
- Use Google Maps for Location Types. Avoid unnecessary charges by using Google Maps to confirm the accuracy of the location type you’re choosing. Get both street and aerial views of specific addresses, and determine if there’s a loading dock.
- Dimensions Matter, Use a Tape Measure. uShip rates freight strictly on density, meaning the dimensions and weight you quote are converted to pounds per cubic feet (PCF); the more accurate your dimensions and weight, the more accurate the shipment will be invoiced from your chosen carrier. We recommend using a tape measure and taking photos whenever possible in case the shipment is remeasured and/or rebilled.
- Weight Matters, Too. Remember, quotes are based on density, so weight is just as important as dimensions to ensure accurate rates. A commercial scale is ideal, but if that’s not available, a manufacturer’s spec sheet of your product can help determine weight. Don’t forget to include packaging in your weight estimate. Carriers have scales on their forklifts to quickly measure shipments, so having your backup information can be helpful if there’s a reweigh.
- Accessorials. No one likes surprises, especially when it involves freight. We recommend confirming services required to complete pickup and delivery. If you’re unsure about required liftgates, appointments on delivery and more, a simple email or phone call before quoting can save you time and money down the road.
- Read Reviews. Competitive price may be important, but trust and reliability are cornerstones of this business. On uShip, each LTL carrier is required to have a public profile. These include unbiased reviews from real customers, along with other background and experience details. Taking a few minutes to read through these can earn trust and peace of mind.
At uShip, we want nothing more than to help you ship successfully. We offer a host of articles in our uShip Help Center, a great page to bookmark for future reference.
Here’s the Top 25. For the full list, visit the Journal of Commerce.