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Shippers face an onslaught of information in the digital age and often, due to this information overload, shippers find navigating the complex world of shipping challenging. In the modern era, it can be difficult for shippers to identify the best way to achieve cost savings, reduce risk and ensure optimal use of time in the procurement of transportation. Much attention is devoted to the less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping mode when it comes to rooting out inefficiencies and costs as well as best practice education. However, there is an opportunity for shippers, with guidance and more knowledge, to unlock savings and efficiency through use of full truckload shipping. At Cerasis, as specialist in over-the-road transportation management, we urge our shipper customers to know all they can about all modes of shipping so that thru knowledge, shippers are able to gain control and think strategically,  yielding optimal outcomes.

The Freight & Transportation Management Trends to Know in 2018

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Defining Full Truckload Shipping

First, as we head into a series on full truckload shipping, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Full truckload shipping refers to the use of an entire truck for a given shipment. Different definitions may exist, depending on the carrier used and type of the shipment, including the following:

  • Dry Van
  • Backhauls
  • Partial Truckload
  • Flatbed
  • Refrigerated
  • Intermodal

Full truckload shipping rates also vary between these types of full truckload, but full truckload, in general, is subject to three common maximum limit roles, including shipping 44,000 pounds of product, accommodating 48 standard pallets, or shipping 2500 ft.³ of product, explains CSA Transportation. Additionally, full truckload shipments are often viewed as the best option when freight weighs more than 15,000 pounds or requires more space than 10 pallets.

Key Differences Between Full Truckload and Other Over-The-Road (OTR) Modes

There are many different types, or modes, of transportation for shipping freight. These include LTL, rail, air, and more. When these modes take place on the ground, they are known as “over-the-road” (OTR) modes, and the dominant forms of OTR transportation are full truckload, parcel, a.k.a small package, and LTL. Full truckload uses strict routes, shipping products from point A to point B and using the full space and weight capacity of a given truck.

The key differences between full truckload and other OTR modes drives the single shipment nature of full truckload. Although this provides several benefits, it also comes with challenges.

Benefits of Full Truckload Shipping

Full truckload shipments are often subject to faster transit times, fewer risks, and better shipping rates.

Listen to “Why Shippers & 3PLs who Focus on Customer Service Reduce Freight Costs” on Spreaker.

Challenges of Full Truckload Shipping

Full truckload comes with a few challenges, including the need to better pack merchandise, accept rigid delivery and shipping schedules, problems procuring full truckload availability and higher-than-other-mode rates. However, shippers can overcome these challenges with a few best practices, as explained by Zip Xpress Inc, which include the following:

  • When you have enough items to fill an entire truck.
  • When you prefer a whole truck dedicated to your goods.
  • When the freight is time sensitive.
  • When the weight makes it more cost effective than less than truckload.

Where Is Full Truckload Headed?

The future of full truckload shipping is relatively uncertain, but if you’ve been reading anything in the transportation and freight industry, all signs are pointing to a pinch in available capacity as the major talking point in full truckload shipping. Truck capacity and rising rates of LTL and other modes of transportation are changing expectations for the future of full truckload freight, explains the Journal of Commerce. The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, mother nature’s wrath during hurricane season, and overall increased consumer demand are pushing more shippers to use as many modes as possible to ensure the timely and cost-effective delivery of freight. As a result, demand for full truckload is expected to climb, and innovative alternate modes, like rail, are starting to take on characteristics of full truckloads, like the futuristic cold rail technology. Moreover, more shippers will seek to use freight consolidation to tap into the resources of full truckload freight.

What to Expect from the Remainder of This Full Truckload Shipping Series

Full truckload represents an opportunity and vulnerability in the US transportation network, but shippers who take the time to understand the facts and predictions surrounding full truckload can position their enterprises to overcome issues within the capacity crunch, rising rates, or anything else that may occur in the industry. Therefore Cerasis has chosen to devote this intense series of posts to full truckload and its implications for shippers seeking to operate within tight profit margins.

The remainder of this series with explore the aforementioned points and other key areas of interest affecting full truckload shipping and how to get the most bang for your buck.

  • How to determine if full truckload shipping is right for your business.
  • How to procure a full truckload.
  • Navigate the complex challenges of full truckload shipping.
  • The cost savings of full truckload.
  • Decide when it’s time to start using full truckload.
  • Mitigate risk of full truckload shipping.
  • Understand the different technologies involved in full truckload shipping.
  • Budget for success in using full truckload modes.
  • Manage full truckload TCO.
  • Why a TMS is essential to leveraging full truckload.
  • Freight consolidation best practices.
  • How the capacity crunch with affect full truckload.
  • How to manage all OTR transportation modes effectively.
  • Balance full truckload and less-than-truckload shipping.
  • New legislation possibilities and its effect on full truckload.
  • The untold future of full truckload shipping and the use of autonomous trucking.
  • Intermodal shipping and its impact and influence on full truckload shipping.

We hope you join us on this comprehensive series and learn best practices to improve your own full truckload shipping practices so that your company is able to reduce the time, money, and resources needed to effectively manage all transportation modes, including full truckload.