Truck Driving & Freight Shipping Blog

Transportation Tips | Consolidated Shipping vs. Designated Loads

Transportation Tips | Consolidated Shipping vs. Designated Loads

Companies and individuals shipping goods frequently face a logistical dilemma. Should you send all your freight in a single designated full container load, or ship it as a component of a larger shipping order which includes other, unrelated freight? Pros and cons accompany both decisions.

Designated Loads

Today Americans often encounter the expression “designated loads” when evaluating the weight-bearing capabilities of various materials. A steel bridge may support trucks weighing up to a specific, limited amount of tonnage, for instance. Within the logistics industry, a customer’s “designated load” may (or may not) constitute a “full container” (or “FCL”) shipment.

Shipping all your goods together as the only items within a single, secure standard-sized shipping container holds some advantages. You won’t need to worry about opening, unpacking, and re-packing the shipment as it travels to its destination. Shipping can occur expeditiously and directly. If you ship a partial designated load, you may discover yourself paying very hefty shipping rates indeed for the luxury of sending only your goods within a container which could hold more items.

Consolidated Shipping

A growing number of shippers had discovered the benefits of consolidated shipping. Including more than one shipment within a single container or truckload helps smaller shippers take full advantages of the economies of scale. This is the same technique employed by cheap long distance moving companies transporting numerous loads of household goods. They simply pick up loads from 3-4 customers along a single moving route, then drop the loads at the moving destinations along the way, making the most efficient use of gas and time. Today sophisticated computer programs assist specialized shipping consulting companies and freight brokers in isolating the best, fastest routes and the most cost-effective commercial carriers for sending consolidated shipments across the nation and throughout the world.

Consolidated shipping does hold some disadvantages, however. First, this service may not exist in certain remote locations. If you need to send an order of widgets to a rural or wilderness destination outside the flow of commercial traffic patterns, you’ll likely obtain much faster service by dispatching a partial load in a designated container rather than awaiting a consolidation opportunity. Second, to take advantage of the cost-saving benefits of consolidation, it helps to work closely with a full-time shipping consultant. These firms have invested in high tech scheduling and logistical tools, allowing them to discover attractive money-saving opportunities for their customers.

Two Useful Ways to Ship Merchandise

Which method shipping suits your needs the best, consolidated shipping or designated loads? The answer proves highly individualized. It frequently depends upon the nature of the shipment, the ultimate destination and the availability of commercial carriers, storage depots, and packing and repacking services. Even the recent consolidation of some large transportation fleets may play a role in individual customer decision making within this developing field.

Today a staggering array of automated processes help ensure the timely arrival of shipped items: from fully Internet-connected warehouses to advanced digital tracking systems, logistics companies have benefited from the advent of the IoT (the “Internet of Things”). This streamlined technology promises to assist customers in enjoying even faster delivery networks in the future!


Hazardous Freight and Safety Awareness Training Courses

Hazardous Freight and Safety Awareness Training Courses

In the U.S., highways are used for transporting hazardous materials on a regular basis. This necessitates that the truckers who move these materials have the proper training for the job. Government regulations require a hazmat endorsement along with your commercial driver license (CDL) to transport these materials, but the requirements for the endorsement vary byRead more about Hazardous Freight and Safety Awareness Training Courses[…]

5 FMCSA Rules Every Interstate Household Goods Mover Must Follow

5 FMCSA Rules Every Interstate Household Goods Mover Must Follow

As a consumer of the services provided by any interstate household goods mover, there are some prudent pieces of knowledge you should know. Peace of mind is the ultimate goal as you sift through the various carriers for moving your goods out of the local area. Please note that the rules are different for non-interstate moves. Here are some federal requirements designed to protect you as a consumer as you select your household goods mover.

1. Moving Companies Must Publish a Tariff

In the ordinary course of business, a motor carrier performing household goods moves would offer some or all of the following services:

  1. Binding and non-binding estimates.
  2. Inventory
  3. Protective packing services and unpacking of items at the shipper’s residences
  4. Loading and unloading at the sender’s origin and destination residences

By law, an interstate household goods carrier must publish a tariff that discusses the services the moving company provides. The Surface Transportation Board requires a tariff containing specific items such as an accurate description of services provided, service terms, and the specific applicable rates and the basis for calculating those rates. The tariff should be set up in such a way that rates and service terms can be determined for any given shipment. If an agent is used, there must be a written and filed an agreement in place between the agent and the interstate household goods carrier.

2. Movers Must Provide Reasonable Dispatch

There is a concept in the cross country shipping industry called ‘Reasonable Dispatch.’ This standard has to do with the movement of goods within the dates or period agreed upon and shown on the bill of lading or order for service between the shipper and carrier. There may be exceptions provided for under the carrier’s published tariff or factors such as Force Majeure as defined by the courts.

3. They Are Legally Liable

An interstate household goods mover is legally liable for losses incurred during the performance of those transportation duties delineated in the order of service or bill of lading for that specific move. Household goods that are lost, destroyed, damaged or not delivered to the intended final destination, as a rule, are covered by full value protection obligation. In general, this means the mover is liable for the replacement value of those household goods. The maximum amount being the declared value of the shipment which is subjected to rules established by both the applicable tariff and the Surface Transportation Board. It’s important for the interstate household goods mover to disclose the limits of their liability in a clear, concise, easily understood manner to each shipper.

4. Movers Must Have Honest Advertising

The for hire interstate household goods mover must be honest and straightforward in all advertisements. The company’s official operating business or trade name must be used as it appears on federal documentation that assigns the U.S. DOT Number. The format is U.S. DOT No. (assigned number). For example, if you look at the website for NYC moving company Imperial Movers, you’ll see its U.S. DOT number prominently displayed in the footer of the web page along with the NYC license information. These numbers mean this mover is licensed for local moves as well as long distance moves.

5. Each Mover Must Have a Claim Process

Each mover must have an established complaint and inquiry process with three basic components:

  1. A contact phone number
  2. A system for allowing individual shippers to directly contact and communicate with the mover’s primary place of business.
  3. A system for recording all inquiries and complaints.

Also, the mover must have a readily distributable written process for inquiries and complaints.

Once again, peace of mind is the desired result and, these are just the basics. These are your items with sentimental and otherwise important personal intrinsic value, so a good loss free experience is an imperative. All prudent shippers should keep these basics in mind.