LTL 101:Delivery Appointments vs Notifications

This blog we will discuss the difference between an appointment and a notify before delivery.

Delivery Appointments:

  • Appointments cannot be set until the freight arrives at the destination terminal.
  • Contact must be made with the consignee to deliver.
    • LTL Carriers will always make appointments, we cannot make the appointments for them. However, if they cannot get a hold of the consignee we may assist them.
    • We can’t stress enough how important it is to contact the consignee even if they are not your customer in order to understand their appointment process.
    • It is best practice to then get with the carrier to insure they are not having trouble setting up an appointment and causing further delays.
      • It is not the carrier’s responsibility to understand every consignee’s appointment process.

A great example of the above is Grocery Warehouses: If the carrier needs to book an appointment online or reference PO#s in order to get the freight delivered then we need to put this info as clear and concise as possible on the BOL. This info must be entered on the “special instructions” section under the carrier tab in BTMS.

  • Appointments can sometimes delay transit by 1-2 days with the freight sitting on the dock.
    • Don’t forget that LTL drivers depart from their terminals early in the morning and if an appointment cannot be set prior to their trailers being loaded, your freight will be left behind.
    • Regardless if “THE FREIGHT MUST DELIVER TODAY” the drivers will not go back to the terminal once they have dispatched for the day.
  • A few things to keep in mind with appointments:
    • Specific delivery windows can cause a driver to take an inefficient route which has a domino effect on all shipments for that day.
    • Some consignees may have Drop Trailer schedules set up with certain carriers.
    • Some consignees may have standing appointments set up with certain carriers.

 

Notify Before Delivery:

  • Your shipment does not have to deliver at a specified time and may arrive any time between the standard LTL hours of 8am and 5pm local time.
  • This is typically used when shipping to residences, storage facilities, or even businesses with limited dock space.
  • Drivers do not call ahead to the shipping location. This is done by a dispatcher or clerk at the destination terminal and sometimes even at the corporate offices of the LTL carrier.
  • This can cause a delay in transit while the freight sits on the dock until the consignee can be notified.
    • Due to the high amount of volume in LTL and depending on the size of the terminal, there could be multiple, even hundreds of shipments that need to be notified for the day.
    • If the consignee cannot be reached on the due date of delivery after multiple attempts, it is highly possible that the freight will be held at the terminal until contact can be made.

 

Remember: If you’re looking to set up a Delivery Appointment you’ll need to select that particular service. But if you’re just looking for a “head’s up,” then Notify Consignee is the accessorial you’re looking for.

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Training Tuesday:First Impressions

There are too many freight sales reps in the U.S. today to even come up with an accurate number. It is important for your prospect to know about your qualifications. Tell the prospect about yourself. No grandstanding or patting yourself on the back, just an informative look at your career and the customers you’ve helped. It lets the prospect know that they’re dealing with a professional.

If I know beforehand that the prospect knows little about my company, and nothing about me, I sometimes send over a short bio-sketch and a few magazine or newspaper articles that discuss the company or were written by me. I provide something tangible to the prospect that adds a new dimension to the relationship. Rather than simply sending them a brochure, I personalize it, and at the same time the articles express something about me and my philosophy on transportation.

In the transportation business there are two kinds of sales people: those who add value to the client’s traffic department, and those who seem to mishandle every shipment or transaction their company is involved in. Let the customer know early on that you fall into the first category.

Of course, when the moment of truth arrives, you’ll have to find the best way to make a good first impression. Take into consideration the particular dynamics of your prospect’s age, position, and gender in comparison with your own. Accommodate and welcome the differences.

Every prospect will react differently to what you have to say. Some prospects will give you all the time in the world, while others believe making time for a meeting threatens a crisis. Some are skeptical, while others are freethinkers who pride themselves on being open to new ideas. The point is you can’t win everyone over with a single script designed to handle the first few minutes.

Making a first impression requires a bit of work, but it is an essential part of the sales process and worth the effort.

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SUNTECKTTS ACQUIRESHA LOGISTICS

October 9, 2018 – Jacksonville, Fla. – SunteckTTS, a leading provider of agent‐based, technology-driven transportation logistics services, today announced that it has acquired HA Logistics, a California-based freight brokerage and logistics company with full-service sales and support operations in San Ramon, CA, Ontario, CA, Columbus, OH, Dallas, TX, Rohnert Park, CA and Seattle, WA.

Established in 1984, HA Logistics has built an extensive offering of transportation services and solutions for its customers throughout North America. Alan Huttmann will continue as President of HA Logistics.

“We are pleased to be the latest addition to the SunteckTTS organization,” said Huttmann. “This move represents a great opportunity to expand our client service offering and remove obstacles to efficiency by utilizing SunteckTTS’ technology and transportation solutions. Joining SunteckTTS further enables our team to provide customized solutions to our customers.”

“HA Logistics has shown remarkable growth and is an excellent fit to help accelerate our company’s expansion,” said Ken Forster, Chief Executive Officer of SunteckTTS. “Further, this acquisition will drive growth and profitability by combining our technology-enabled transportation solutions with HA Logistics’ experienced sales and operations team members. ”

Ranked the 9th largest freight brokerage in the U.S. by Transport Topics, SunteckTTS continues its growth through technology expansion and strategic M&A.

About SunteckTTS

SunteckTTS delivers technology-driven transportation logistics services and solutions to shippers through a network of sales, operations, and capacity agents utilizing a dynamic, proprietary, cloud-based technology platform that enables customized shipper and capacity coordination in an accelerated environment. Through our network of over 200 freight agents, SunteckTTS is an industry leader with a base of over 10,000 customers and 32,000 partner carriers. In 2017, Transport Topics ranked SunteckTTS as the 9th largest freight brokerage firm in the U.S.

About HA Logistics

Privately held with the corporate office in San Ramon, California and key locations across the U.S., the company provides a one-stop source for all supply chain needs. Known for its commitment to customer service, HA Logistics delivers transportations solutions including truckload, LTL, intermodal/rail, refrigerated services and more.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kristen Williams at (904) 570-3473 or email at Kristen.Williams@suntecktts.com

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LTL 101:NMFC Transportability Characteristics

Remember the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®) is a standard that provides a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce. Commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes—from a low of class 50 to a high of class 500—based on an evaluation of four transportation characteristics: density, stow-ability, handling, and liability. Together, these characteristics establish a commodity’s “transportability.”

These characteristics can be defined as follows:

  1. Density (Weight, Length, & Height): Density is the space the item occupies in relation to its weight. The density is calculated by dividing the weight of the item in pounds by its volume in cubic feet. Your item’s volume in cubic feet is Length x Width x Height/1,728, where all dimensions are measured in inches. The density of your item = Weight/Volume, where Weight is measured in pounds and Volume is measured in cubic feet.
  2. Stow-ability: Most freight stows well in trucks, trains and boats, but some articles are regulated by the government or carrier policies. Some items cannot be loaded together. Hazardous materials are transported in specific manners. Excessive weight, length or protrusions can make freight impossible to load with other freight. The absence of load-bearing surfaces makes freight impossible to stack. A quantifiable stow-ability classification represents the difficulty in loading and carrying these items.
  3. Handling: Most freight is loaded with mechanical equipment and poses no handling difficulties, but some freight, due to weight, shape, fragility or hazardous properties, requires special attention. A classification that represents ease or difficulty of loading and carrying the freight is assigned to the items.
  4. Liability: Liability is probability of freight theft or damage, or damage to adjacent freight. Perishable cargo or cargo prone to spontaneous combustion or explosion is classified based on liability and assigned a value per pound, which is a fraction of the carrier’s liability. When classification is based on liability, density must also be considered.

Sub-NMFC Codes

Yes, there is more! There are also Sub-NMFC codes which are noted with a dash after the code (i.e. 41024-04). Make sure to confirm that the Sub-NMFC code matches the correct freight class. Carriers sometimes overlook this, but it’s also not uncommon for them to charge you at the higher class; whether it be the class that was listed, or the class corresponding to the Sub-NMFC codes on the BOL. These can often be disputed, but usually require a manufacturer’s specification sheet and a packing list proving the correct class. That’s more work for all parties and can be avoided by simply double-checking to make sure your class and NMFC code match.

Don’t forget we are participants of the National Motor Freight Traffic Association which means we have access to multiple ways of obtaining the correct NMFC number/code for your shipments. If you have any questions or doubts regarding your product’s freight class, please reach out to the LTL Team.

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Training Tuesday:Making Appointments

There are several things a salesperson should do before making an actual face-to-face presentation. Obviously, an appointment must be made with the prospect. Also, the salesperson must be qualified to make the sales call, meaning that they must have acquired the necessary product knowledge, are properly prepared to answer all industry-related questions, and possess a basic understanding of the customer’s needs. Effective time management is essential to achieve the maximum number of sales presentations each day.

Poor appointment setting habits can ruin a productive sales week. Appointment scheduling and general office work should not be performed during prime selling time. Broken appointments, however, create an opportunity to set appointments for the following week.

When setting appointments, always consider the characteristics of your territory to ensure you are able to make the most sales presentations possible in a day. Too much windshield time kills your earning potential. Remember, your goal should always be more sales presentations and less wasted time and energy.

Before you pick up the telephone, you should have in your possession the following information: the decision maker’s name, title (purchasing manager, traffic manager, material control manager, warehouse supervisor, etc), address, phone number, and information on how you obtained the lead. A qualified prospect is anybody who ships or receives freight or makes those decisions for other locations. If you received this lead from a referral, be sure to have your source’s name ready to cite to the prospect.

Never call a prospect without knowing his or her name in advance. You can call a day or two in advance to ask the main receptionist the name of the purchasing VP or whomever you’d like to connect with, and then call back later to the specific individual. You can also search the internet for the needed information.

Your only objective for a cold call is to schedule an appointment. Never attempt to sell at this stage, instead aim to set up a time for the prospect to hear your presentation.  Sound important and confident, but not pushy. Be persistent, but polite, and always be well-prepared with answers to the most common questions about why they should meet with you.

Much of this part of the process is about how you see and carry yourself. The decisions your prospects make on who they will trust to ship the products they manufacture is one of the most important decisions they make. Be persistent. Make sure they get the opportunity to enjoy the benefits that only you can sell them.

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