Shippers frequently use the benefits of freight consolidation when they find themselves in a logistics bind. Speed and accuracy are extremely important in the logistics industry. Yet, there are many challenges shippers face that prevent them from achieving this. Fortunately, consolidating your freight shipments will help you overcome these challenges and others like them.
According to the Wall Street Journal, shipping costs are likely to keep rising. However, the benefits of freight consolidation will help you save on shipping, as well as:
- Shortened Transit Times
- Improved Freight Safety
- Easier Tracking
- Keeping Customers Satisfied
- Offering Other Modes of Transport
Ship efficiently with these benefits.
There are many benefits of freight consolidation and we’ll discuss each one in detail so you know what to expect when using this important service.
What Is Freight Consolidation?
Before learning about the benefits of freight consolidation, it’s important to understand what this service is to begin with. Freight consolidation is when multiple small shipments are combined to create one large shipment.
Once smaller loads have been consolidated into a larger load, one of two things can occur:
- The consolidated load is shipped to the final destination
- The consolidated load is transported to a distribution center
If the load is transported to a distribution center, it will be broken back down into its smaller components. From there, each small shipment will be sent to its respective final destination within the region of the distribution center.
The smaller shipments that get consolidated are known as LTL (less than truckload) shipments. When multiple LTL shipments are consolidated into one trailer, they turn into an FTL or full truckload shipment.
What Are the Benefits of Freight Consolidation?
Whether a consolidated shipment is being sent to the final destination or to a warehouse to be broken back down, there are many benefits that freight consolidation services provide shippers. We’ve given details about some of the most popular benefits the shippers tend to enjoy in the following sections.
1. Saves On Costs
The first benefit of consolidating multiple shipments into an FTL is cost savings. Shippers can save money because their freight will be traveling within the confines of one trailer when being transported to a distribution center or final destination.
This prevents shippers from:
- Paying for multiple trucks to transport their freight
- Paying for the space that LTL shipments leave inside a trailer
- Paying the costs of loading and uploading multiple trailers
Lowered shipping costs allow shippers to enjoy more of the money they earned from a sale. Shippers that charge their customers for the cost of shipping will also benefit because their customers will be paying a cheaper rate.
2. Saves Time
Consolidated freight shipments travel to their destinations much faster than smaller shipments traveling within different trailers. Consolidating LTL loads into FTL loads saves time for the following reasons:
- Receivers will get their goods all at once rather than waiting for each shipment to come in
- Distribution centers receiving consolidated loads can break them down and send them to the respective receivers in the region at roughly the same time
The short transit time provided by freight consolidation work allows shippers to have a more efficient supply chain. Receivers of freight also have to wait for less amount of time for their goods to come in.
Freight consolidation is much better for the well-being of freight. That’s because loading and unloading are much more frequent when shipping multiple LTL freight shipments. The more freight has to be touched, the more likely an accident that damages it will occur. By consolidating numerous shipments into one, the amount of time freight has to be loaded drops immensely.
4. Tracking Is Easier
Tracking a shipment is important for both shippers and customers alike. The shipper wants to make sure goods arrive safely while customers often eagerly await their shipment. However, tracking multiple LTL shipments can be an unnecessary hassle for shippers and customers alike.
That’s because each shipment has a:
- Different tracking number
- Different estimated delivery time
Tracking multiple times and dates might not seem like much, but it can cause stress for busy shippers and customers. By consolidating a load, shippers and carriers will only need to track one shipment rather than two or more.
5. Keeps Customers Satisfied
Freight consolidation is a logistics service guaranteed to provide customer satisfaction as well. The reason being is that customers reap all of the same benefits that shippers enjoy.
When shippers use freight consolidation, their customers will receive:
- Undamaged goods
- Goods all at once
- Goods on time
These benefits satisfy the needs of customers and will keep them coming back to the shipper for more goods in the future.
6. Other Modes of Transport
Freight consolidation isn’t a service exclusive to truck shipments only. Other modes of transportation can accept consolidated shipments as well.
These other forms of transport include:
- Railcar shipping
- Barge shipping
Some forms of freight are better shipped for most of their journey using these methods of shipping The best part about rail and barge shipping is that they’re cheaper than truck shipping. This means that shippers will benefit from the cheapness of consolidating their freight and mode of transport.
To prove that rail and barge shipping are reliable forms of transportation, consider the following data.
Average Amount of Freight Transported by Rail and Barge
|Mode of Transport||Freight Moved In Tons|
Sources: Association of American Railroads (AAR) and Infrastructure Report Card
Check out our article on barge transload services to learn more about this useful shipping and transloading method.
When Should Freight Consolidation Be Used?
There are situations where freight consolidation is a good service for a shipper to take advantage of. However, there are other situations where freight consolidation won't be necessary. Knowing when to use this service and when not to is important for shippers to understand so that they’re not wasting their time.
Shipments To the Same Destination
A good indicator that a shipper should use freight consolidation is when they’re sending multiple shipments of freight to the same destination or region. It doesn’t make sense for a shipper to pay the costs of transporting multiple shipments to the same area paying the costs to transport one is more efficient.
Short Transit Times
Shippers that need to transport multiple shipments of freight to the same destination or region within a short time frame should also take advantage of freight consolidation. Sending goods all at once is much faster than sending consecutive shipments. With this benefit, shippers that use freight consolidation will be able to move their goods within the expected time frame.
Another service you might need when shipping goods are transloading and cross-docking. Read our article where we compare the two to determine if you need these services.
Transload Services USA Can Perform Freight Consolidation For You
Transload Services USA can perform freight consolidation if you rather ship one large shipment of freight rather than multiple small ones. However, that’s not the only service that we’re able to provide shippers.
We can also perform the following tasks:
Whatever your supply and distribution chain troubles might be, we can provide the logistical services to overcome them. You can get started by filling out your quote or by contacting our team at (866) 757-1109.