Changes in Freight in 2011
As logistics services professionals, we noticed some trends in the world of freight in 2011. These trends will definitely be continuing into 2012 and most of them will probably continue to grow. The carriers have had a lot of control of the freight in 2011 due to an increase in freight volume and shortage of drivers. Also, everyone is looking to save money, which means stricter policies.
Class and Weight Inspections
Carriers are inspecting and reweighing almost every single piece of freight that they handle. They are scrutinizing the class on a very large percentage of shipments. And many carriers have even added personnel to only handle inspections and verifications of the class and weight of shipments. During this difficult economic time, it makes sense for the carriers to be taking these extra precautions in order to recoup revenue.
We have said it before, and we will continue to stress the importance of classifying your shipments correctly and specifying their correct weight. This is a great way to gain an accurate rate quote and ensure a smooth transit and efficient delivery. Mistakes do happen, but it is helpful to talk to a logistics services professional about any shipment that you are not 100% sure about.
Many carriers are also increasing their standards for packaging. We have seen many shipments that are required to now be crated even though they had not been in the past. Carriers are doing this as a way to reduce risk of damages and the hassle and expense of the resulting claims.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. It may slightly increase your cost up front (due to the additional packaging standards); however, your risk is also reduced. You are more likely to have your freight arrive safely, securely, and on time when these packaging standards are higher.
There have been price increases across the board in regards to freight in 2011. This is partially due to increased fuel prices and also due to the shortage of drivers and freight volume increases. Since there is more freight that needs moved than drivers who can move it, carriers have the luxury of being picky about the type of freight that they move. They are able to increase costs and add stipulations for difficult freight (such as oversized or unstackable freight).
The good news is that the economy in the realm of logistics services is improving. Hopefully, the number of drivers will catch up to the demand in the shipping industry. In the mean time, give us a call at (877) 764-9441 to discuss options for keeping your costs low.
Have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Weekend!
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