Less than truckload shipping (otherwise known as LTL shipping) is a popular method of shipping goods across the United States. Throughout COVID, it has also proven itself to be one of the most resilient methods. However, that doesn’t mean that LTL shipping is without its flaws. Read on to learn more about the challenges that LTL shippers are facing today!
1) Shortage Of LTL Workers
COVID factors impacted the employment of just about every corner of the logistics industry, LTL shipping included. Early retirements and high turnover rates, combined with increasing demand, have created the perfect storm. Additionally, not all carries offer LTL services, making it an already restricted field. Currently, many LTL carriers are attempting to boost their hiring numbers with higher wages.
2) Risk of Goods Getting Damaged
LTL carriers make multiple stops when completing deliveries, which naturally lends itself to a higher risk of damage. Additionally, due to the various stops, products may have to sit in the trailer longer, which can lead to problems for certain good types. As the LTL orders travel to their various destinations, they also must pass through multiple LTL terminals and face additional handling, which always increases risk of damage.
3) Varying Freight Rates
If you are in the logistics industry, you’ve probably seen headlines about this one. LTL shipping is already prone to varying rates, and the fallout from COVID has not helped the situation. Traditionally, a number of factors influence the price of an LTL shipment, including but not limited to the class weight, distance, and various charges set by the shippers themselves. It is important to pick the right carrier for you, at the best budget for your shipment.
4) Seasonal Crunch
Due to COVID, there has already been a spike in freight shipping. Combine this with the regular seasonal crunches, and you’ve got a tricky situation. Usually, these crunches occur during the spring and holidays, but due to backlog they are now predicted to run into the summer. These crunches can lead to delayed deliveries, organization struggles, and even cancelled orders.
5) Extreme Weather Problems
You cannot drive a truck in a tornado, and you probably shouldn’t want to. Extreme weather can be unpredictable, leading to delayed and damaged shipments. These can cause chain reactions for the carrier, which leads to more headaches. While we will never be able to control the weather, LTL shippers can do their best to remain informed about any potential extreme events on their path.
All in all, LTL shippers face a variety of challenges in their work. While progress is being made to circumvent these challenges through increased visibility and technological advances, there is still a long way to go. This is why it is important to make sure that you are choosing an established LTL shipment service provider for your business needs.
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