The way we shop as consumers has changed dramatically over the past ten years. As this continues to evolve, Residential Less Than Truckload (LTL) will continue to grow. If you’ve been afraid to take this leap, you should seriously reconsider to help keep your company competitive.
There are a number of things to educate yourself on when tendering these shipments:
- Fees: There are three common extra fees you will be assessed when you ship LTL to a residence: Liftgate, Residential, and Call for Delivery. The Liftgate fee means they will need to take a truck that has a liftgate that lowers onto the ground. This will allow the heavy shipment to be taken off the truck effciently where typically at a business there is a dock or forklift and this is not required. Call for delivery means exactly that. Since there is no guarantee someone is at their home during the day like a business, the destination terminal has to call to schedule an appointment to ensure the driver will be able to deliver. Finally, there is an overall “residential” fee that is added as well. You need to be cognizant of these extra charges so they don’t come as a surprise to you.
- Technology: If you’re using an ecommerce platform, you may run into some extra work because the process for getting a rate on LTL will vary greatly from small package. You’ll want to make it easy so that your consumer doesn’t abandon their cart. You’ll also need to consider a markup to cover any unforeseen costs that can occur on these special deliveries.
- Educating your consumer: It may be likely that the consumer receiving your product has no idea what LTL even is. It is important to let them know what to expect with this process because it will look and feel much different than a parcel delivery. They’ll need to know that they will be called for an appointment as well as check for damage before they sign for the shipment. This will help protect you should you need to file a damage claim.
Finally, there are a number of last mile options you’ll want to explore. Some carriers are more open to residential deliveries than others. A lot have invested heavily in smaller trucks to do just that, and you’ll want to make sure you choose the best fit for your business. White glove service is another choice to consider that provides inside delivery options as well as debris removal. You will also need to think about residential returns which will add another layer of complexity.
If you’d like to talk to experts that can answer questions about the charges, technology options for quick quoting that don’t require a call, or how to convey the message to your end user, we would be happy to help. You can count on our hundreds of years of combined experience to provide you with solutions that can help keep you on the front line and focused on your core business.