LTL 101:Weight, Size, and Freight Classification

LTL 101: Weight, Size, and Freight Classification

The last installment discussed the importance of keeping BOLs clean and precise so that there are no issues with shipments while in transit or with billing. This week will discuss educating shippers in order to ensure the BOL is set up correctly and to avoid a possible dispute with the carrier regarding our invoice.

Did you know LTL carriers employ “weight & inspection coordinators” whose sole responsibility is to catch the “bad guys” who list an inaccurate weight or class on their BOL?

  • They keep an eye out for any shipments whose description on the BOL doesn’t seem to match up with its appearance.
  • They will physically examine the freight, and if they deem it necessary to inspect the contents or check the weight, they’ll issue an inspection certificate.
  • You will foot the bill for the additional inspection.

It is for this reason it is important to make sure shippers understand the following:

  • It is imperative to make sure the weight and class on the BOL are accurate.
  • Don’t just guess, and don’t try to be sneaky, either! Furniture can’t be classified as lumber, even though it was once lumber… (Yes, believe it or not, people actually try this!)
  • Include the weight of the pallets in the total weight calculation of the shipment.
  • If multiple pallets are forgotten, they could add up to an additional 500 pounds or more; that’s not just a few pounds off.
  • Most LTL carriers have scales installed right on their forklifts that double-check the weight listed on the BOL automatically.
  • Make sure to measure the freight with extreme accuracy (to the nearest inch)
  • Some LTL carriers make it mandatory for drivers to carry a tape measure and measure the freight at the time of pick up.
  • A couple of inches can add up to hundreds of dollars when classifying freight.
  • Shippers who misrepresent freight need to understand carriers are not taking any more chances and the time to do the right thing is now!


Check back every 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month for more inside information on LTL through our Multimodal Wednesday Series.


Training Tuesday:How to Take Control of the Sale

Training Tuesday: How to Take Control

Take control of the sales call, especially on the subject of price. If you can change the customers pre-conceived notions in the first five or ten minutes, then you’ve won the biggest sales battle of all.  I quickly and firmly set up an alternative framework for making a deal.  If price isn’t going to be the issue, then what is?  You must sell value-added.

Never concede that SunteckTTS’s service is just like our competitors.  Once you do, you give away your competitive edge and ability to differentiate your service, and therefore, to receive a higher price. The job of all SunteckTTS sales agents is to know how and why our service is different, why that difference is important to the customer, and how to effectively communicate the importance of those differences.

When the customer tells you that they can get the exact same service by using a competitor, the first thought you should have is: Can they really get the same service?  Your customer is receiving services that are similar but not identical.  Sometimes these slight differences in service levels won’t matter, but often they will.  It’s your job to point out why the slight differences matter. A customer can’t argue with success.   

Be sure to emphasize how SunteckTTS’s service will help them, their company, and their customers.  Be as persistent as your customer.

What if the prospect looks you straight in the eye and firmly says, “I don’t have time to listen to your whole sales pitch.  I know all about SunteckTTS.  Just give me my discount.”  Some traffic managers use this tactic to unnerve you into giving them a big discount at the onset.  The main purpose is to take control of the sales call away from you.  Turn around and use the same technique. Take control and do your job.  Don’t let the prospect plow you over.

Treat your customers fairly and expect them to treat you the same way.


Check back next Tuesday for more tips on Selling SunteckTTS. The full playlist of videos can be found on our YouTube channel.


Intermodal 101:Load Securement

Intermodal 101: The Importance of Load Securement

We have discussed several main reasons for shipping via intermodal previously, but there are also a few areas of concern that you should be aware of before shipping with intermodal.

As you know, intermodal involves loading a trailer or container at a shipping point, and unloading that trailer or container at the consignee.  Obviously though, intermodal has some level of rail service between these events.  That challenges your shipment will face must be accounted for prior to tending a shipment for intermodal service.

First, there must be greater load securement when shipping via intermodal.  Though the actual transit on the rail is typically much smoother than transit over the road, the trailer or container must be loaded onto the flatcar to get it moving.  This typically involves a crane, which picks the unit off the chassis and places it on the flatcar, later it is removed from the flat car in the same fashion and loaded back on a chassis for delivery.  These movements place increased demand on the securement of the lading in your shipment that are not necessarily evident in over the road service.  Crane service is the direction everything is heading right now, though there are still some older methods of loading flatcars that place even greater stress on securement devices than the crane service does.

To mitigate this, each rail has guides on their website on how to properly secure your shipment.  They will also be happy to speak with you on the phone, via email, or even come for a visit to make sure your shipment will travel as securely as possible.  You must take the time to get load securement done correctly to be able to enjoy the many benefits that intermodal shipping provides.

In our next installment, we will discuss transit times and how you might be able to find a couple of extra days within the transit of a shipment to make the extended time more palatable.


Check in on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month for more information on intermodal and how it can benefit you!


Training Tuesday:Overcoming Objections

Training Tuesday: How to Overcome Objections

If it weren’t for objections everybody would be in sales. So, while none of us likes objections, we must accept them as part of the business and make sure we know how to overcome them.

Your main goal when faced with an objection is to turn the objection around into a reason to purchase our service.

People love to buy but hate to be sold. Objections are inevitable. Not only should you expect objections, I think you should welcome them.  An objection is a positive part of the sales process. Their objection gives you an opportunity to answer the objection and add one more good reason why they should buy from you now.

Expect objections, but never create them. Prepare a list of the top ten objections your customers and prospects have had with all their motor carriers in the past and then prepare two or three appropriate responses to answer each one.

When faced with an objection, first restate the question or statement. Clarify the objection.

Give the prospect an opportunity to confirm your understanding of his objection, and hopefully your prospective client will give additional reasons for his or her objection.

After you’ve re-stated the question, and clarified the objection, and you’re sure you understand the objection fully, then answer it.  Don’t just handle your customer’s objections, instead answer them. Answer the objection head on, honestly, simply, and succinctly.  Handle objections early and often. A direct approach to handling objection guarantees greater sales results.

Remember this is not a contest. Nobody should win or lose. This should be a conversation where two people are answering questions and gathering information.


Check back next Tuesday for more tips on Selling SunteckTTS. The full playlist of videos can be found on our YouTube channel.




Multimodal Wednesday:LTL BOLs Part 2

LTL 101: BOLs Part 2


This week is about keeping your Bill-of-Lading (BOLs) clean and precise to avoid confusing carriers or being charged incorrectly.

When shipping LTL freight please make sure your BOLs are clean and precise prior to sending them to your shippers. Extra language in the special instructions section of BOLs only causes billing issues.

Take a look at the below examples where the BOLs are very busy and not easily readable:

  • Let’s stop putting so much traffic in the special instructions!
  • PU# is fine, but not 3 times
  • PU instructions FCFS is not needed and does not protect you or the customer from charges
    • If the carrier is delayed due to the shipper you will be charged regardless
    • If they can’t get in timely or for another reason they will skip the pick-up
  • “No APT needed for LTL shipments” –  This is unnecessary information because if the consignee states appointment is needed it will be assessed
    • The carrier already assumes appointment is not needed.
    • This includes daily routines between consignee and carrier
      • If a consignee isn’t always open during regular business hours, some LTL carriers will have that particular address flagged for appointments no matter what we have on the BOL


  • Again, “FCFS DELIVERY” is not needed and does not protect you or the customer from charges
  • “1000-1600” – By putting hours on the BOL, some carriers may flag the shipment for an appointment because standard LTL operating hours will always be assumed
    • If the carrier’s cut time from the terminal is 8 a.m. and this consignee is close to the terminal then this should be flagged because they would have to wait 2 hours prior to attempting delivery
  • “MUST CALL” – This verbiage may be mistaken for notify or an appointment because some LTL billing clerks may not catch the remaining portion due to the busyness of the BOL

  • “No additional accessorial will be approved without prior authorization” – This wording is irrelevant because the carrier will always charge based on their rules tariff and/or contract with the paying party

After you have cleaned up your BOL, you can’t stress enough to your customer: “Make sure this BOL is handed to the carrier so that no additional charges occur!”


Check back every 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month for more inside information on LTL through our Multimodal Wednesday Series.


Training Tuesday:The Sales Presentation

Training Tuesday: Making the Sales Presentation

Give your customer a dynamic sales presentation.

Tailor your presentation to suit each individual company and focus your presentation on the benefits—not features, that SunteckTTS has to offer.  Before making the presentation ask yourself: what kind of presentation will convince the prospect to buy (analytical?  logical?  emotional?), then model your presentation to match them.

Know your audience.  Make sure that all the important decision-makers are in attendance.  Be sure you know their level of expertise about the transportation industry, SunteckTTS, and their company’s shipping needs.

Prepare a presentation folder for everyone who will be in attendance.  Since we’re selling an intangible service; this presentation folder will have to suffice for your product demonstration.

Even in your sales presentation you must remember to be a good listener.  Being a good listener generates confidence, and demonstrates sincerity in your desire to understand the prospect’s needs. Listening can’t be emphasized enough.

Psychologically, the most memorable parts of sales presentations are the beginning and the end, so they deserve special attention.  Collect the ideas you’d like to suggest or selling points you want to make; then organize them according to your purpose and the needs of your prospect.

Practice, practice, practice.  Increase your odds of closing more sales by practicing your presentations.

Lastly, get to know everything you can about the transportation business – SunteckTTS – as well as the competition.  Make sure the prospect realizes that you’re an expert.  When you demonstrate how much you know about your industry, you’ll gain the respect of your customers and prospects.

To make the best presentation possible, you must have conviction in the services you’re there to sell.

Check back next Tuesday for more tips on Selling SunteckTTS. The full playlist of videos can be found on our YouTube channel.