As a shipper, it's important to realize that even a small change in packaging can significantly increase costs. With more products being classified by density, and LTL carriers adding more dimensionalizers into their system, it can be challenging to get all the details accurate.
Here are some things you should be aware of:
More products are being classified by density:
- 12 of 16 changes were made in the September 2017 docket by Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB) involving items classified by density.
- You will find close to the same with prior dockets.
LTL carriers are adding more dimensionalizers:
- A Dimensionalizer is a piece of equipment that sits on the LTL carriers’ docks. The forklift operator puts the skid on the base and the dimensionalizer will instantly give the forklift operator the dimensions, weight, and density of the skid to determine if the proper class was used.
- Carriers have shared that the ROI on this equipment is anywhere from 1-3 months due to many corrections that increase the shippers’ cost on that shipment.
- It’s important to note that the carrier isn’t wrong to do this because they are correcting the bill to what it should have been originally.
- With that kind of ROI, many more carriers are purchasing dimensionalizers and the carriers that have them are purchasing more.
It's important that shippers realize a small change in their packaging can significantly increase costs. See some examples below:
A shipment of plastic articles at 512 lbs.
Should be: 48” x 48” x 48” which makes the class 100 (8lbs. per cubic foot)
Reality: 48” x 48” x 48.5” due to the flap on the top box sticking up, makes the class 125 (7.92lbs. per cubic foot)
This is an increase in cost of 23.8%
A shipment of rubber articles at 1,500 lbs.
Should be: 48” x 60” x 60” which makes the class 70 (15lbs. per cubic foot)
Reality: 48.5” x 60” x 60” due to a box on the bottom of the skid having a slight overhang, makes the class 85 (14.85lbs. per cubic foot)
This is an increase in cost of 16.5%
Be sure to train your shippers on the importance of this attention to detail. Of course, TLI would be happy to provide this training for your shippers along with other cost savings initiatives!
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