For years Parcel Magazine has served the needs of small-parcel shippers. In 2013 we are launching a new series entitled “LTL Insights”. This series will focus on increasing shippers’ understanding of LTL operations and pricing, as well as sharing ideas for increasing the effective, efficient use of LTL in your supply chain strategy.

LTL transportation is not a commodity. Like virtually all modes LTL has its own complexities:
• Networks, technology, service, and pricing vary wildly from carrier to carrier
• Carrier mix strategies are challenging to analyze and can mean the difference between a cost-effective, efficient system and a black hole of customer service, missed pickups, and uncontrolled cost
• Tariffs and rate bases are challenging to understand and compare
• Consolidation and mode optimization can be areas of opportunity or areas of risk
• Accessorials and surcharges can materially impact landed cost
• Fuel prices are a constant cost risk

National and Regional carriers design their service center networks with distinct operational methodologies and practices. Each network design has operational cost and service advantages and disadvantages. Some have a lower number of centers in a state with larger facilities and large service area footprint while other networks are the opposite. Pickup and delivery, dock and linehaul functions are all affected by the number of service centers, their size and location with respect to customers and other service centers. Pricing is also influenced or factored by the carrier network design during each operational phase (pickup, dock handling, linehaul, delivery) of a shipment’s movement from shipper to consignee. All aspects of a carrier’s operation will be reviewed and explained in depth to provide you with a better understanding of how your shipment moves through carrier’s network and why. 

LTL Insights will help you answer these questions above and more. The series will be authored by industry expert Joe Heilig. Joe has over 30 years of experience in the LTL space. He has worked on all three sides of the industry; carrier, shipper, and consultant. He has authored many articles for Parcel Magazine and other industry magazines and is a regular speaker at industry events.

Join us in exploring how optimizing your strategy around LTL shipping can help be a key to supply chain success.