8 Things to Know if You've Never Worked with a Freight Broker

Posted by PLS Logistics March 16, 2017 at 9:04 AM

A substantial amount of over-the-road freight transportation is handled by freight brokers.  A freight broker is a person or company that brings together a shipper (with freight to move) and a qualified carrier (who has capacity to move the freight).

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Trending Transportation Updates: February 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics February 28, 2017 at 9:29 AM

  1. “Trucking Futures Exchange” Could Launch This Summer: DAT Solutions and Transvix have teamed up to create a futures exchange that will allow trucking companies, 3PL’s, and shippers to better combat spot market rate uncertainty. The Exchange would use a similar process to the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures contracts will be bought and sold on commodities like fuel, oil, or grain. (Read more: The Interrelated Issues Facing the Trucking Industry)
  2. Diesel Inches Up 0.7 cents to $2.572 a Gallon: The stronger bite of OPEC production cuts lifted the price of crude to nearly $54 a barrel, analysts said. This is diesel’s second increase after four consecutive weeks of declines. Diesel now costs 58.9 cents more than it was a year ago, when the price was $1.983 a gallon, DOE said.
  3. UPS Moves Closer to Octocopter Drone Deliveries: On February 21, UPS launched an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck in Florida. The drone successfully dropped off a package at a home nearby, and then returned to the truck after it moved 2,000 feet from the launch location. UPS hopes the drone implementation will cut costs and ease delivery in complicated places, such as rural areas that have a large distance between stops. However, Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President of Global Engineering and Sustainability, assures customers that the drones will not replace the brown-clad service providers we know and love. (Read more: 5 Common Problems Vendors Have with Routing Guides)
    1. UPS Moves Closer to Octocopter Drone Deliveries: On February 21, UPS launched an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck in Florida. The drone successfully dropped off a package at a home nearby, and then returned to the truck after it moved 2,000 feet from the launch location. UPS hopes the drone implementation will cut costs and ease delivery in complicated places, such as rural areas that have a large distance between stops. However, Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President of Global Engineering and Sustainability, assures customers that the drones will not replace the brown-clad service providers we know and love.

Read Next: 6 Trending Transportation Updates: January 2017

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4 Recommendations to Save Money on LTL Shipments in 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics December 28, 2016 at 9:30 AM

LTL carriers saw all-time high revenues in 2014, then due to a decrease in fuel prices, revenue dropped in 2015. Balanced supply and demand kept LTL prices from dropping in 2016, and JOC.com reports that LTL carriers are looking forward to 2017 as freight volumes are predicted to be higher. Next year, the LTL sector could see a capacity crunch due to the ELD mandate, a slow economy and pricing models. LTL pricing is expected to increase in 2017 and fuel costs aren’t likely to see change. In order to cut LTL freight shipping costs, shippers need to be exact with freight’s weight and dimensions, package and pallet the freight properly, consider consolidation, and utilize transportation management systems.

Infographic: Breaking Down the Costs of LTL Shipping

  1. Weight and Dimensions
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Differences Between LTL Shipping and TL Shipping

Posted by PLS Logistics September 27, 2016 at 11:05 AM

Deciding the best mode to ship your freight can be complicated. To determine the primary way to move freight, shippers should identify the size of the shipment, the budget, the delivery schedule, and the freight’s fragility.

The 2016 logistics report exposed challenges in over-the-road (OTR) transportation; truckload carriers have extra capacity, most shippers have surplus inventory and consumer spending is low.

Low transportation rates and fuel surcharges are affecting truckload carriers more than LTL companies. As a solution, many truckload carriers are removing old trucks from their fleets to close the overcapacity gap until freight demand picks up. LTL carriers, however, are not experiencing overcapacity and have maintained, and even raised rates. In July 2016, both truckload and LTL carriers added jobs.

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Market Update: LTL Volume Down but Prices Stay Firm

Posted by PLS Logistics September 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The less-than-truckload (LTL) market is adjusting to a soft freight environment, triggering less volume, revenue and profits. As the U.S. freight economy weakened, LTL carriers saw a slip in revenue year-over-year. To date, the only large LTL carrier that hasn’t reported a decline in revenue is FedEx.

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Parcel Shippers, You’ll Pay More in 2016 if You Don’t Take these 3 Steps

Posted by PLS Logistics June 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Parcel freight shipping refers to small package shipments. Parcel shippers face hidden fees and complex processes, leaving them with limited visibility of overall freight spend.

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Announcing the Newest Surcharge for LTL Shipments

Posted by PLS Logistics May 26, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The US transportation system moves more than 54 million tons of goods worth nearly $48 billion each day. Freight tonnage is expected to increase by 45% by 2050. In the US, nearly 70% of all freight tonnage is moved by trucks.

To meet the strict requirements of consumers, many shippers find themselves sending smaller, more frequent freight shipments, using less-than-truckload shipping. LTL freight shipping has increased about 1% this year.

Best Practices of LTL Shipping

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3 Ways CPG Shippers Reduce LTL Shipping Costs

Posted by PLS Logistics March 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM

CPG shippers rely heavily on LTL transportation, which leads to several inefficiencies. CPG shippers rarely have the freight volume to utilize a full truckload, and often feel stuck using more expensive, slower LTL transportation. But, there are ways to make LTL shipping as efficient and cost-friendly as TL shipping.

LTL transportation is expensive and rates continue to climb. Other issues with LTL shipping include greater risk of damage, slower transit time, inconsistent pricing models and a bigger carbon footprint.

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5 Ways to Save on LTL Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics February 9, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation, inbound and outbound, can be a complex and expensive process for many companies. Moving LTL freight requires a different approach than moving truckload freight. Without the proper technology and manpower in place, it can be difficult to know where to start implementing cost saving strategies, and if those strategies are effective.

5 ways to save money on LTL transportation:

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LTL Shippers Pay More with Dim Weight Pricing

Posted by PLS Logistics October 29, 2015 at 2:00 PM

From a supply chain perspective, using oversized packaging is not beneficial. Many companies have utilized one-size-fits-all boxes for their LTL shipments without realizing how dimensional weight systems work and how the package affects shipping costs. Typical ecommerce packages consist of 40% air and filler, leaving LTL trailers extremely light.  But this ignorance costs shippers a lot of money: in January 2015, FedEx and UPS shifted to dimensional weight pricing for all packages.

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