LTL 101: Delivery Appointments versus Notify Before Delivery
Last post continued discussion on the importance of freight classifications when shipping LTL. This week we want to switch gears and discuss the difference between an appointment and a notify before delivery.
- 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.