When you and your logistics team sit down to discuss the exact specifics of shipping out your LTL freight, you will have two main options to choose from - consolidated shipping or a more traditional hub and spoke shipping solution. Of course, in order to make this decision, you will need to know a little more about each of them. So, let's take a closer look.
Consolidated Shipping for LTL Freight
If you opt for a consolidated shipping solution, all of your LTL freight that is headed to the same general geographic area will be combined at a strategically-placed consolidation warehouse. From there, the freight will remain on one truck until they arrive at their ultimate destination.
Companies tend to opt to consolidate their shipments if they have regular partial loads that need to be delivered, are shipping expensive but fragile freight, or have very precise delivery schedules that must be adhered to. If your shipping needs fall into one (or more) of these categories, consolidating your LTL freight will likely be your best option.
If you do choose consolidated shipping, you will enjoy the following benefits:
Lower handling times: Most consolidated freight will only need to be unloaded/loaded once or twice during shipping.
Fewer breakage claims: Since your freight won't need to be touched or moved around too much, it is less likely to be damaged in transit.
More cost efficient when shipping in larger quantities: Consolidating your freight into one single truck can save quite a bit of money.
Hub and Spoke Shipping for LTL Freight
With a traditional hub and spoke shipping solution, your LTL freight will be transported to a depot, where it will be combined with other freight and shipped off to another depot that is closer to its destination. This process continues until your freight has gotten to where it is supposed to go.
The hub and spoke shipping method generally makes the most sense if you have small but dense shipments, are not overly concerned about delivery schedules, or your freight does not require any special attention. If any of these criteria apply to your company's shipping needs, hub and spoke may be the way to go.
Should you end up deciding that hub and spoke is your preferred LTL freight shipping solution, you can expect to enjoy these handy benefits:
More regular deliveries: Hub and spoke systems result in multiple small deliveries rather than the one big one you would get with consolidated shipping.
Reduced storage needs: Because freight is always on the move in a hub and spoke system, you will not require as much storage space.
More cost efficient for small shipments: When a truck is 85 percent full and ready to travel to a hub, it is often possible to grab the remaining space in the trailer at a very affordable rate - massively reducing the costs of shipping small amounts of freight.
Reduced carbon footprint: Hub and spoke delivery systems result in less wasted truck miles, which is much better for the environment.
If you still aren't sure which LTL freight shipping option is right for you, the experts here at American Manufacturing Solutions would be happy to assist you with your choice. Our team is well-trained and highly-knowledgeable in all aspects of the logistics industry. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help your company find the answers to your shipping challenges.