Ltl Freight Brokers

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Finding an LTL carrier to haul freight can be a time-consuming proposition. Unless the shipper has years of experience in contract negotiations, he may find that he does not have the expertise to determine whether he has gotten the best rates or the best schedules. Shippers may not even have a clear picture of whether the carrier has a solid record of on-time deliveries and sufficient insurance to cover any losses.

Getting Help with Freight Shipping

If the shipment has to travel a relatively long distance, LTL carriers may have to resort to interlining. This involves hauling the load to the edge of their service area and then turning it over to another carrier. The more times a load is interlined, the more opportunity there is for a late arrival or a problem during transfers. If a carrier quotes a time frame for the delivery that is unusually long, he not be the best choice because the shipment may be interlined too many times.

If this is a problem, LTL freight brokers may be the best way to go. They will generally have contracts with several thousand carriers and will know what areas they cover. Brokers, who connect carriers with shippers and thus help them to make money, may be able to negotiate a shorter route and a better deal. They will also have statistics about the carrier's history.

LTL Broker Advantages

Saving the shipper time and money while virtually guaranteeing a better deal is what brokers do. With fairly intimate knowledge of the LTL carriers with whom they do business, brokers will steer their customers to the top carriers. They often provide tracking access as well, generally online, and usually 24/7. Brokers are often adept at handling the logistics of moving freight and can be particularly helpful when freight must, for any reason, spend time in a third-party warehouse.

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