Translogistics Blog

TLI University: Ground Expedite 101

July 3, 2018

Written By: Translogistics

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Welcome to TLI University!

With more than 20 years in the industry we thought it was time to pass along some of the knowledge that helped us get to where we are today. This is a weekly publication aimed to educate anyone who is curious about transportation and shipping.

This week covers Ground Expedite, defining what it is and what it requires.


What is Ground Expedite?

  • Ground Expedite is a service that is utilized when standard LTL or truckload service is not fast enough to meet the customer’s required delivery date or time
  • Ground Expedite is also an alternative when no other capacity can be found for truckload shipments that must ship on a specified date – this option should be used as a last resort due to its expense – Ground Expedite transportation is almost always more expensive than standard truckload service, sometimes considerably
  • This service is comprised of exclusive use vehicles of varying sizes that are dispatched to drive directly from the shipper’s dock to the consignee’s dock without making other stops or deliveries along the way – the vehicles can normally be scheduled to arrive at the shipper’s dock within hours after a phone call is placed
  • These vehicles are generally driven by a team of drivers so that delivery can be made as soon as possible after pick-up
  • Vehicles may be selected to fit the size of the shipment – there are generally 4 sizes of vehicles to choose from:
    • Cargo Van
    • Sprinter Van
    • Straight Truck ( dry and refrigerated )
    • Tractor – Trailer ( dry and refrigerated )
  • Some examples of Ground Expedite carriers that TLI uses are Panther II, FedEx Custom Critical, Express-1, and AIT

What information is needed when booking a Ground Expedite shipment?

  • Origin (Shipper) City, State and Zip Code
  • Destination (Consignee) City, State and Zip Code
  • Shipping Date and Time – When is the specific time or “window” that the shipment is to be picked up by the carrier?
    • Note – As is the nature of this service, lead time is not an issue for Ground Expedite carriers – they can be called for service and arrive at the shipper’s location within hours
    • Note – Appointments may or may not be required for Ground Expedite shipments – Customers can often be desperate at the point when a Ground Expedite carrier is needed, and may be willing to be flexible with their appointment times or extend their shipping hours to accommodate the carrier
  • Delivery Date and Time – When is the specific time or “window” that the shipment is to be delivered by the carrier?
    • Note – Specific appointment times may or may not be required with Ground Expedite shipments. As mentioned above, customers may be flexible when an expedited carrier is being used
  • Number and Types of Pieces Shipping – How many pallets, bundles, cartons or pieces are shipping? Even though the shipper is purchasing the entire use of the vehicle, the Ground Expedite companies will often ask these questions to determine which size vehicle is the best and most economical choice
  • Weight of the Shipment – How much does the total shipment weigh? As with the size of the shipment, the weight of the shipment is also of vital importance to determine the size of the vehicle that would be the best fit
  • Commodity of Shipment – What product(s) does the shipment consist of? The Ground Expedite carriers will only be concerned with the commodity – they are generally not concerned with the National Motor Freight Classification of the commodity
  • Purchase Order and / or Other Reference Number – what is the customer’s Purchase Order Number? What paperwork do they need it listed on? Is there any other reference number that the customer would like included on their paperwork?
  • Value of Shipment – Is the product high value? Is additional cargo insurance required? Additional cargo insurance can generally be purchased at a quoted rate by the carrier – Ground Expedite providers generally carry $100,000 or $250,000 of standard cargo insurance – Example: If a customer’s freight is worth $125,000 and the carrier only carries $100,000 of cargo insurance, an additional $25,000 of insurance may be quoted from the Ground Expedite provider and provided as an option to the customer – there are customers that have the product “self-insured”, which leaves the need for additional cargo liability insurance unnecessary


Stay tuned for more information on transportation modes! 


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