Major parcel carriers are sounding the warning bell on possible significant service disruptions this holiday season, which could dramatically decrease capacity as soon as November 8. This also comes on the heels of announcements of free holiday shipping from Target, Walmart and Amazon to boost sales. With annual ecommerce sales expected to peak during Q418 under already constrained less-than-truckload conditions, losing another 7-10% of total LTL capacity will impact everyone.

What does this mean for you?

You already may be experiencing freight rejections. Many 3PLs are actively directing customers to alternate carriers to keep freight moving. This is tightening capacity across the entire domestic LTL network, an effect felt by all shippers, not just parcel carrier users. As available capacity lessens during the Q4 peak season, rates will rise. Shippers should expect to pay more this season, which means consumers will too.

What can you do about it?

  • Strengthen your bench – many shippers prefer specific LTL carriers, whether for price, service or speed. Despite having a favorite, savvy shippers often establish relationships and rates with multiple LTL carriers to ensure they always have options for moving their goods.
  • Plan ahead – the LTL shipment you’re used to tendering same-day might not move as planned. Give LTL providers as much notice as possible so they can maximize trailer space and routes to move your shipment on time.
  • Know your ‘stuff’ – providing inaccurate information to carriers regarding shipment dimensions, weight or class that impacts their asset utilization is a quick way to get kicked to the curb. It’s also a way to get your shipments left on the dock while working out the details. When competing for capacity, the easiest shippers often get the space.
  • Ask for help – using multiple LTL carriers under different rates without a transportation management system is tricky and time-consuming. Look to leverage a system or 3PL for easy quoting and dispatch that doesn’t break the bank.

How can FreightRover help?

FreightRover’s SmartLTL offers multiple quick fixes for shippers responding to the looming LTL capacity dilemma:

  • Capacity options – The system provides shippers immediate access to multiple carriers specializing in all US regions.
  • Rates – Shippers can leverage their existing carrier rates or use pre-established carrier rates without individual contract negotiations needed.
  • Speed – SmartLTL offers quick quote-to-tender capabilities in under 60 seconds. Shippers receive immediate quotes from multiple carriers and can sort by rate or speed of delivery.
  • Efficiency – Easy data saves accelerate shipment builds. Create the information once, save it, and use the easy search and click option for creating future shipments.
  • In-system shipment tracking – Shippers receive a tracking link at shipment dispatch to monitor their shipment or can leverage the customer service team for shipment information.
  • One-click invoice approval – SmartLTL publishes invoice amounts online for easy review without the unnecessary paperwork.
  • Streamlined payments – FreightRover acts as a third party to issue carrier payments, so shippers move to one payee. This eliminates the need for long carrier onboardings and managing multiple carrier pay terms.

Perhaps most important, regarding the impending capacity question, FreightRover can get shippers operating in the platform within 24 hours. Launch includes three easy steps: 1) agreement signatures, 2) quick system tutorial, and then 3) shipment builds begin.

The system doesn’t require subscription fees or licenses, so shippers only pay a low fee per shipment for SmartLTL access. They can use the system permanently or until LTL capacity returns to normal.

It’s always good to have a Plan B when it comes to shipping. Block some time to think about your alternative strategy as the capacity crunch lingers. SmartLTL is here to help. It makes a great Plan B, but after trying it, we think you’ll consider it your new Plan A.

This is a guest post written by project44.

As rates increase due to capacity issues, delivery windows continue growing tighter, and e-commerce shakes up shipping more and more, the need for efficiency has never been greater. Luckily, these issues are happening at a time when industry technology is undergoing a massive upgrade cycle that spells greater efficiency, better business insights, and financial gains. The key is digitization and automation, and leveraging FreightRover and project44’s partnership can help you achieve it for your LTL shipments.

Collaboration Brings the Best Results

The rate at which industry technology is upgrading has created somewhat of a learning curve. While shippers and carriers adjust to the new ways of doing things, niche technologies are being created to meet the expanding needs of the industry. That said, fragmentation across the industry creates challenges in entry time, delivery windows, and costs. The best solutions happen when technology companies partner together and leverage each other’s shared expertise.

project44 and FreightRover are a prime example of this collaboration, and how it leads to a better overall customer experience. project44’s LTL visibility solutions are integrated directly to FreightRover’s automated LTL load management solutions, resulting in smooth, automated processes working off of high-quality data. project44’s intelligent visibility data combined with FreightRover’s automated LTL management keeps users in the know at all times.

Automation and Visibility

Stale and inaccurate data is the bane of supply chain efficiency. While the industry has relied on legacy data feeds like EDI, FTP, spreadsheets, and manual processes, the data they provide is too unreliable for automation and visibility. These processes are costly, time-consuming, and result in poor customer service for the end consumer.

FreightRover’s automation capabilities make LTL load management simple and efficient by instantly connecting users to the largest domestic LTL carriers. Thanks to project44’s integrations, customers get live updates regarding shipment status, tracking, and delivery confirmation, and FreightRover automates the process end-to-end. With access to better rates and instant rate quotes, easy automated dispatch, real-time shipment visibility and automated invoicing, the dynamic partnership between project44 and FreightRover turns hours of LTL processing into 3 simple steps and provides an unparalleled level of visibility. The result is a digitized, automated, and essentially hands-off experience for shippers.

To learn more about the partnership and start saving on your LTL shipments, visit: https://integrations.freightrover.com/p-44/