During the immediate changes brought on by Covid19, many LTL carriers were forced to lay off and furlough employees. With companies temporarily closed or working with limited staff, this resulted in a significant drop in LTL freight volume.
As volume picks up and LTL carriers are taking action to hire back their workforce, there’s also new protocols and county or state guidelines to adhere to. This in turn has caused a delay in transit time with many LTL shipments.
There are several proactive ways to adjust and adapt to possible delays in transit, as well as prevent delay and other unforeseen issues. Take a look at the following six recommendations that will help you work through any current delays:
#1: Schedule pick-ups over the phone
If you normally schedule your pickup online, call the local terminal to make sure they have availability and capacity to pick up on the day and time you are requesting.
#2: Allow additional lead time
Avoid potential late deliveries by shipping freight as soon as it’s ready, as soon as possible. Consider tacking on a few extra shipping days in transit time than you normally would. Be aware of the shipments that require urgency.
#3: Don’t expect “guaranteed service” to apply at this time
Double check with the LTL carrier you're using. Although they may typically offer guaranteed service, there are some carriers that are putting this on hold as it is not a guarantee with current events taking place. Most will communicate this, but do not assume, and do ask!
#4: Consider a backup option
There are other options to consider, such as dedicated service. It’s less likely your freight will be delayed when there are no transfers taking place. You may also consider looking at other carriers that may have faster transit times and compare your best route to take.
#5: Monitor + Communicate
Monitor your shipment via online tracking, don’t wait for updates to come to you. As you see any red flags, you can immediately communicate delays to your customer out of courtesy, and offer support. For all you know, they could have high expectations for a certain date/time of arrival and furthermore, prevent other issues that could arise.
#6: Always double-check the delivery info + requirements in advance
Ensure that you know what the accurate delivery requirements are and confirm the correct delivery address and point of contact. Is a delivery appointment required? Is a lift gate needed for delivery? These are a few things that could cause even further delays if not communicated properly to the carrier.
Regardless of what’s currently taking place that may increase transit delay, there are still several action items to execute and prevent further delay. Always remember to go above and beyond by double checking, cross referencing, confirming and communicating wherever and whenever possible.
If you have a current shipment you’d like to schedule or have any questions about transit delays, please reach out to one of our logistics specialists for immediate support.
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