LTL Carriers run on very tight schedules and on small margins so the window for your pickup is small. If anything goes wrong your driver isn’t going to wait around very long for your to figure it out. You need to be one step ahead of the driver.
Here are a few things to think about that will help you avoid looking like the other guy.
Call in or schedule your pickups early. If you get the chance speak directly to the dispatcher to ask if your pickup is scheduled that day.
Always ask for a pickup or confirmation # to make sure the person you spoke to put your pickup in that day. Ask for an ETA, which you can use to refer to if they run behind the estimated timeframe.
Stay open and build in a little extra time (15-30 minutes) and let them know that. This creates a soft closing time that will allow some flexibility on both sides for the unknown. A carriers route is constantly changing (traffic, delays, pickups), they have to constantly adjust. Make sure you keep that in mind.
Make sure Loading is not an issue and order any special equipment needed ahead, like a liftgate if you do not have a loading dock or hydraulic lift.
Be accurate with your pallet count and dimensions. Carriers have to make decisions on the fly all day based on how much room they have left in trailers and what they are picking up. Don’t be the other guy, with the wrong number of skids or forgot to tell the Carrier that your freight is over dimensional. Provide all necessary information. Does your dock require a release #? Does the driver have to back in a certain door? Is the pickup location hidden or obvious? Did you provide a phone # to call for the driver as back, if he has any questions?
Is your Shipment palletized or crated? Carriers will not accept any freight that is not on a pallet or crated. It protects the freight and allows the Carrier to move the goods around. It is in your best interest to package the shipment properly!
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