LTL 101:Volume Rates

Last Blog highlighted some Pick-Up and Delivery Tips. This week discusses the difference between Volume and Standard LTL moves.

LTL carriers will impose limits within their tariffs (that vary with every carrier) to limit moving shipments that are too large for their network. Some carriers structure their operations to carry volume LTL shipments while others do not. Volume quotes, also known as Spot quotes, should be obtained based on the below in order for you to get the most economical rate.

Single shipments with standard size pallets (48x40x48) that are stackable:

  • 1 – 8 pallets: pursue a standard LTL quotes (unless the weight exceeds 8,000 lbs., then pursue a volume LTL quote)
  • 9 – 10 pallets: pursue a volume LTL quote or a partial Truckload (TL) quote
  • 11+ pallets: pursue a volume LTL, partial TL, or even a TL quote

LTL carriers will rate any single shipment up to 19,999 lbs. as LTL but it will be costly:

  • 8,000 – 10,000 lbs. shipments could be considered as partial TL’s and quoted accordingly
  • Excess of 10,000 lbs. shipments should always be quoted with volume LTL, partial TL, and TL to obtain the most economical rate

Odd size or non-stackable pallets:

  • 1 – 4 pallets: pursue a standard LTL quote (unless the weight exceeds 8,000 lbs., then pursue a volume LTL quote)
  • 5 – 10 pallets:  pursue a volume LTL or a partial TL quote
  • 11+ pallets: always pursue volume LTL, partial TL, and TL quotes to obtain the most economical rate

Training Tuesday:Countering Objections

If it weren’t for objections, everyone would be in sales. While none of us like objections, we must accept them as part of the business and learn 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. If a prospect raises the ever-popular “the price is too high” objection, counter it by saying “Our prices accurately reflect the value of our services. And good value is important to you, isn’t it?”

Occasionally you’ll run into a prospect in the traffic or purchasing department who is sure they’ve seen everything there is to see. Generally, all this person really wants is attention, and to show you how much they know about your industry. Recognize their expertise and give them all the attention they crave. This is always a better way to handle a tough customer than putting them down.

When possible, let prospects answer their own objections. Sometimes you can stop an objection in its tracks by asking, “Could you tell me why you feel that way?” If the prospect can’t answer, then you and the prospect know the objection has little or no validity. If your prospect does not answer with a more specific objection, you have a chance to eliminate it and move one step closer to the close.

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

Give the prospect the opportunity to confirm your understanding of the objection, and hopefully they’ll give additional details.

Then, clarify the objection…

Remember this is a conversation between two people, not a contest.

After you’ve restated and clarified the objection, answer it. Answer the objection head on, honestly, simply, succinctly. A direct approach to handling objections guarantees greater sales results.

Buying decisions are risky for your prospects, and objections are the only way they have to help make sure that risk will pay off for them. If you can eliminate their objections, you’ll help provide the reassurance they need to say yes.


Training Tuesday:Increasing Sales Achievements

High achievers embrace new experiences more eagerly than average achievers, they leave their comfort zones more willingly, and as a result, become more familiar with the process of growing than others do. They also view the anxiety or pain involved in new challenges as a small price to pay compared to the new levels of success they enjoy in return. High achiever thinking can be learned; however, the process takes time, patience, skillful mentoring, and persistence. Below are some of our suggestions for becoming a “high achiever” in sales.

1.Find role models or mentors to help you grow. There are many more people in high places willing to give advice than there are people actively seeking advice from them. You can find a role model n those you already know or use it as an opportunity to expand your network.

2.Don’t “should” yourself. To practice a new way of thinking, begin by practicing a new way of talking to yourself that puts your thoughts in a psychologically helpful perspective. Don’t personalize or internalize a negative situation by saying that you “should” be doing better, focus instead on what you “could” be doing.

3.Increase your mental “navigation” skills. Begin imagining new possibilities, new ways of acting, new ways of overcoming obstacles or roadblocks. It is important to use imagination constructively so it will enhance your ability to deal with situations.

4.Test the reality of your thinking. Work to put things in perspective and keep unrealistic or overprotective thoughts from getting in the way of your success.

5.Face difficulties and enjoy growth. Accept the fact that in order to grow, we must face difficult experiences. High achievers accept the challenges of growing as necessary and they learn to seek out experiences that enhance their growth.


Implement some of these techniques, and you will find yourself growing and achieving more towards your sales goals.


LTL 101:Pick-Ups and Deliveries

Last week covered limited access charges and how they can affect your price. This week highlights some Pick-Up and Delivery Tips.


  • Any pick-up (P/U) entered after 2:30 PM local time should be called into the carrier to insure availability, otherwise the request will roll over to the next day
  • Lift Gate P/Us must be called into the carriers because Lift Gates are not readily available at every terminal
  • All Container Freight Stations and Airline P/Us require Delivery Order and Entry paperwork (3416 document), these need to be sent 24 hours in advance because drivers will need these documents in hand prior to P/U
  • P/Us are not Guaranteed
  • All carriers require a 2 hour window for P/Us
  • P/Us are done in the afternoon because drivers have to deliver freight before they can start pickups
    • If your shipper needs an AM P/U it is best practice to call the carrier to set something up which will most likely incur additional charges
  • The shipper must have our system generated BOL to provide to the driver at the time of P/U or our rates will not apply
    • This is not something the carrier will have via our P/U requests in BTMS
  • If a LTL driver needs to reference a P/U number, it is best practice to put that number on the first line of the shipper name. Please see the example below:

ABC Distribution Co > Ref # 123456

4567 Main Street

Anywhere, NY 10014



  • Transit times and delivery dates are estimations and can be delayed for many reasons
    • Add an additional day if a shipment is interlined
    • Add 2-3 days if a shipment is traveling by rail
  • Stress to your customers, if the shipment must be delivered by a certain date and time, spend the extra money and have a the shipment guaranteed
    • If “Guaranteed” is not on the BOL at time of P/U no adjustments can be made to the invoice
  • Volume Shipments cannot be Expedited or Guaranteed
  •  Re-delivery Rates are based on weight and can get very pricey


It is imperative to make sure the consignee is ready to accept the freight so that additional charges are not incurred


Training Tuesday:Service Calls, part 2

Last week, we addressed eight ways to say thanks and offer service to customers. This week we’re covering more ways to say thanks as well as some tips to increase your sales, gain market share, and ensure your customers get exactly what they deserve – the best service.

1.Surprise a customer with a small gift that relates to a known hobby or special interest of theirs. For example: golf balls, a souvenir from their home state, logo-ed gear of their favorite sports team.

2.Invite your customer to accompany you to seminars, speeches, and other business functions.

3.Return all phone calls immediately.

4.Establish a follow-up schedule. Remember that last month’s “no” may be this month’s “yes.” Try to touch base with prospects regularly, but avoid being intrusive.

5.Vary your modes of contact. Phone calls, emails, packages – all will have a greater impact if they are followed with another form of contact. Show customers that you are persistent in your desire to help them.

6.Collect leads on follow-up calls to established customers. Contact repeat customers frequently to let them know they aren’t taken for granted. If you provide good service to these customers, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for the names of business acquaintances and others in their own company who might benefit from the services you offer.

7.Make buying fun. You don’t have to sacrifice professionalism to make buying an energizing, enjoyable experience that will keep your customers coming back.

8.Make sure internal employees are well-trained in good customer service techniques. Anyone who will have contact with customers should be trained in customer service and should be as excited as you are to provide outstanding service to your customers.

9.Never sell your customer a method of moving their freight that you don’t believe they really need. Know your prospect, know their needs, and sell to those needs.

10.Most importantly, do what you promised, do it when you promised, and do it more often than your competition.

Start today – make service an integral part of your sales strategy!


Intermodal 101:Freight Options

So, what makes good products to ship via intermodal?  The simple answer is that almost anything that can be shipped, can be shipped via intermodal.  Please note we said almost anything.

If you have heavy product, such as beverages, canned goods, paper products or lumber, you can ship those in intermodal service.  But if you are moving these types of goods that usually hit their maximum weight before they use all the cube in a 53’ box, you may want to consider moving them in smaller boxes.  A 40’ box moving from Chicago to Los Angeles, will save you several hundreds of dollars versus shipping in a 53’ container.  The 40’ box supply is predominantly controlled by steamship lines.  They want to get their boxes back to port locations so they can send them back out into international traffic.  They offer reduced rates in lanes that support their goal.

If your product is light, such as potato chips, pillows or footballs, you can still ship via intermodal in the 53’ container or trailer. These products should be packaged in such a way as to avoid shifting. When they move, they still get to take advantage of the economies offered by shipping intermodal, yet they are utilizing equipment that is equivalent to OTR units.

As you can see, almost anything can be shipped via intermodal. What may be more telling is what can’t or shouldn’t be shipped via intermodal. In our next installment, we will discuss products that aren’t particularly well suited for intermodal transportation.


Training Tuesday:Service Calls

To some sales agents, service is what they do when they don’t feel like selling. Service can be a way to putt off more important activities. Don’t use service calls as a way to pad your call report. Making service calls to your customers is very important, but remember that a service call should have definable objectives.

One problem that many have with service calls is that there’s very little short-term reward for it. There’s a much greater immediate reward for, and attention paid to selling than to servicing.

We define service as anything that builds trust or confidence that in our company and the services we provide to the customer. We’ve put together a list of services that are specific and measurable that you can use to make service a more specific part of our sales planning.

1.Write thank you notes as part of your service system. Carry the cards in your car and fill them out at the end of the call.

2.Conduct a training session for the client and their staff. Something in the sales training or customer service field is usually appreciated and it shows an interest in the customer’s success that goes beyond just the business you want from them today.

3.Schedule a visit of upper management to the client. This is symbolic but also allows your upper management team to gather information and stay connected.

4.Conduct office tours on a regular basis. Allow clients to come to the office to get a grasp of the depth of professionalism and dedication that goes into meeting their needs.

5.Throw a client appreciation party.

6.Bring coffee and donuts to their office. Get stickers that have your company logo and your contact information and put them on the box so you have many opportunities for name recognition.

7.Help clients with long term planning and strategizing efforts.

8.Send a thank you card or small gift to clients after they utilize your service for the first time. It shows you appreciate your customer and that you stay on top of the things happening at your company.