Every company aims for maximum profitability. The rapid introduction of technology has allowed companies across the supply chain to drill deeper into their business models and discover previously hidden opportunities to bring in more revenue. For less-than-truckload carriers, that has meant lowering linear-foot caps from 16 linear feet to 12 linear feet and turning away freight that exceeds those caps. When less-than-optimal freight is not outright denied, punitive pricing measures make moving it unaffordable. 

While turning away freight over six pallets helps LTL carriers maximize their profits, it has also led to sporadic transit times, missing shipments, volatile pricing and unpredictable service. Shippers that used to rely on a single LTL carrier to move their freight are now being forced to use two or three different carriers in order to meet customer demand without exceeding linear-foot caps. Each time a new player is introduced, the life cycle of a shipment becomes more compromised and less efficient.

“You could have one customer that gets pieces of a single order delivered by three different carriers. You can imagine the inefficiencies and the chaos that causes,” Flock Freight Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Todd LaFond said. “Depending on their requirements, some customers may not accept orders this way. If a customer requires an order to be delivered together, shippers have to consider options like shifting to volume LTL or partial truckload. These shifts can dramatically impact cost, service and transit time for the shipper and the consignee. It is a layered problem.”

If volume LTL or partial truckload do not meet a shipper’s needs, are priced too high or introduce too many inefficiencies, shippers pushed out of the traditional LTL space may turn to full truckload instead. 

When shippers move from LTL to truckload due to linear-foot caps, they tend to waste a lot of money shipping air. The shared truckload model provides an additional option for shippers that find themselves exceeding traditional LTL linear-foot caps but do not have enough freight to fill an entire truck. The shared truckload model utilizes full truckload service to deliver partial shipments for multiple companies in one truck. This approach allows shippers to experience all the benefits of truckload – relative predictability, heightened security and relaxed restrictions – while only paying for the space their freight takes up. 

“At its core, shared truckload opens up a financial arbitrage,” LaFond said. “It allows us to have multiple shippers with similar origins and destinations basically be able to ride together instead of each one being required to book a truck at the individual cost, which would typically be higher.”

Shippers gain more than just cost savings when embracing shared truckload. They can also make their supply chains more sustainable, a practice that is quickly becoming more important to governments, consumers and companies themselves. Shared truckload cuts down on harmful emissions by eliminating inefficiencies that plague LTL shipping, including multiple stops at energy-consuming terminals. Shipping goods via shared truckload also provides the same level of security as traditional truckload, cutting down the chances that goods are damaged or stolen in transit, which would require reshipment. 

In addition to the environmental benefits inherent to the shared truckload model, Flock Freight has taken the necessary steps to both become a B Corporation and make all their FlockDirect shipments carbon neutral. That means partnering with Flock Freight specifically will give shippers an even bigger boost in their sustainability efforts.