Businesses that are involved in the manufacturing of products rely on truckers to haul their raw materials, components, and finished products. They also ship through the rails. The large restaurant chains also use trucks to move their perishable items throughout the country. There are limitations to the weight and dimensions of packages that are shipped through the postal service. The parcel acceptable to USPS can be a maximum of 70lbs in weight and it needs to be less than 108 inches in length and girth combined. As an alternative, the truckers are used by individuals and many small businesses.
With a trucking company, you do not have to follow many rules. They can take your packages of any size and weight for delivery to the destination of your choice. If you want to ship only one parcel or a few these can be booked as less than a truckload (LTL) shipment. A full truckload shipment has homogenous cargo from only one shipper. The LTL, on the other hand, has all size packages from various shippers. The LTL driver makes more than one stop while the FTL driver only makes one signal stop. Due to this reason, the shipping time for LTL is higher than FTL.
USPS is also more expensive than LTL which makes LTL a preferable way of sending packaged goods for smart shippers. The cost per mile for LTL needs to be considered when you select the trucking company. It has to deliver your goods in perfect shape and within an acceptable time frame. If you are a small business that often sends packages to various destinations in the country, the trucking company will sign a contract that will allow you other benefits. They can take some burden off the company by helping with scheduled pickups and will load the truck for you. If you have an onsite warehouse, the warehouse manager will be the contact person who will ensure all goods are loaded and shipped in time for on-time delivery. This can save you precious time that you will otherwise spend on taking the package to the post office.
The rates that you are offered depend on few aspects. All local deliveries are much cheaper than long-distance deliveries as less fuel is consumed for making these deliveries. The weight of the package is another factor that determines the rate. The heavier the package the more it will cost. With contracts, you can get discounted rates for heavy and bulky shipments. Some trucking companies have the rate brackets that you may want to check out before hiring their services. In Michigan, there is no standardized rating system, so the trucking companies are free to charge the rates that leave them with some profits. Let’s take for example a new company that has just bought new trucks. This company’s rates will be higher than those of a company that is well established and has been trucking goods for its clients for at least a few decades.
The type of goods you ship also dictates the rate. The cost of shipping is higher for freight that is risky to haul. Goods that are palletized and shrink-wrapped are less likely to get damaged and hence, the cost of shipping these pallets will be lower. If the product you are shipping has odd dimensions or shapes, then expect to pay more for it.
Most trucking companies have a way of managing their shipping system. They may also be using a management company to do the task for them. If you hire a transportation company, you can save yourself from a lot of headaches. First of all, you will not need to invest in a truck or a fleet of trucks. You will also not need to hire drivers. The best thing about hiring a trucking company is that you will not be liable to pay for the losses. The licensed and insured company that you hire to haul your goods will pay you for any damage caused to your shipment during the transportation process. This is the main benefit of outsourcing the work to third parties. These days, companies that find good transportation and warehousing partners can grow faster as they have less operational hassles. They continue to concentrate on sales and on expanding their market footprint. From a business point of view trucking companies play a significant role in any supply chain.
The condition of the roads is a lot better these days and it enhances the transportation service. Trucks move goods faster and all deliveries are made on time. With the new regulations, the trucks can be tracked and traced en-route. You can see where the shipment is going, and this gives you peace of mind. If you are moving from Michigan to another city, use the LTL service for much less. The company will come and pick up your belonging, load the truck and then deliver it to the new address.
Before you hire a trucking company, take some time to evaluate it. Make sure they have the type of trucks you need and can handle your request. Businesses prefer a large fleet so they can scale without any re-considerations. Talking with the managers is always fruitful and helps you come to an informed decision.