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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Did you know that certain types of commodities
cannot be shipped via LTL carriers due to governmental regulations and that LTL
carriers can refuse to accept certain items as a matter of company policy? In
many cases, the root issue is liability — certain items are too valuable and/or
high target items for theft to make them worth the risk to handle and
Items of Extraordinary Value:
Carriers have different policies regarding these items and they may be willing
to accept certain items if they have the appropriate insurance coverage and
specialize in the transport of valuable merchandise.
Restricted or Prohibited Items:
Another group of items that LTL carriers may refuse to transport are those
excluded by government regulations or due to being extremely hazardous in
nature. In addition, carriers that lack the proper storage and stowage
equipment to maintain the proper temperature will refuse certain items, such as
refrigerated items. Finally, certain items (such as canoes) may be prohibited
by certain carriers because of their size, shape, difficulty to stow and
difficulty to handle.
Do your homework and research LTL Carriers Carefully!
Restricted Commodities are listed in the Rules
Tariffs of each LTL Carrier. To give you an example of how complex some of
these Restricted Commodities sections are, please visit FedEx’s “Prohibited and
Restricted Articles” section of their rules tariff by clicking the link: http://www.fedex.com/us/freight/rulestariff/prohibited_articles.html
Make sure to address specific questions to the
carrier you are considering. Within the world of LTL carriers there is a
great deal of specialization. For instance, some carriers specialize in the
transport of perishable items or hazardous materials. If you have items to
transport that fall into both of these categories, you may be forced to hire
two separate LTL carriers.
Whatever company you choose to move your hard-to-handle item(s), make sure to
do your homework. Make sure you select a freight company with a solid track
record, solid liability coverage, and solid maintenance and quality control
processes to ensure top performance.
In addition to being careful of unexpected charges to watch out for when shipping an LTL load, it is important to keep your BOLs clean and precise so that you are not confusing carriers or being charged incorrectly.
When shipping LTL freight, 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
Headings: “BOL SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:” “PICKUP DIRECTIONS” “PICKUP NOTES” “PICKUP INSTRUCTIONS” “DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS” should be consolidated or removed all together
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 8am 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
Now that 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!”
It is important to educate
shippers and consignees so they know what to expect at the time of pick-up and
delivery, but it is equally as important to remind them of potential unexpected
charges and things to watch out for when shipping an LTL load.
you know that many customers get invoiced at a much higher rate due to their
shipments being “hit” with Cubic Capacity, Exceeds Linear Feet, or Oversize
Dims? All three of these things are different and very expensive so pay close
attention to what your customer is shipping.
This is when a shipment is greater than 750 cubic feet and an average density
of 6 or less (some carriers are 4 or less).
Example of a Cubic Capacity load:
6 Pallets at 2600 lbs., each pallet is
48x48x55, cubic feet is 768, and the density is only 5.91
This shipment would get “hit” with cubic
capacity without a quote.
Linear Foot Rule
Each carrier has their own version of the linear foot rule. If your shipment
equals more than the LTL linear foot rule for that carrier then it will get
“hit” with the “exceeds linear feet” fee.
Example of Linear Foot load:
5 pallets at 5000 lbs., each pallet is
49x49x50, and because the pallets cannot be placed side by side this
shipment takes up a little more than 20’ of space
Each carrier has an over dimension rule; most LTL carriers are 12′. The
oversize accessorial should be applied to any shipment 12’ or more. You can
find the “Linear Foot Rule” for most carriers by looking at their carrier
tariff on their websites.
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 an 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
is imperative to make sure the consignee is ready to accept the freight so
that additional charges are not incurred
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