Warehousing LTL freight to optimize shipping and hauling operations

Published Nov 21, 2022, 12:16:43 PM UTC
by Phil Lumbroso
Filed under: · General  ·

The small trucking I worked for at the time, company was operating by running cross border shipments between Southern Quebec and Ontario, to most of New England, mainly New York and New Jersey. The majority of loads were full trucks, with multi drops along the route. 

In order to optimize the route, the trucks and trailers were loaded in order of deliveries. This meant that the pickups had to be scheduled and done in order as well, unless one of the locations was willing and able to unloaded and reload some pallets at their location, which was not always the case. Moreover, as many shipments are time sensitive, the carrier’s efficiency was further reduced.

After a good decade or so of rapid growth, the trucking company moved to a bigger location, which included a warehouse. The new warehouse was a game changer for the operation, highly increasing both their efficiency, as well as their LTL load capacity. They were now able to target the pickups using smaller straight body trucks for easier access in our traffic laden city, using truck drivers working on hourly wages. The freight was then unloaded at the warehouse, and reloaded onto trucks travelling to closer clusters of destinations. As well, freight that wasn’t as time sensitive, could be held to be shipped at a later date if need be.

The standard otr drivers were also spared from having to do local pickups before starting their runs, thereby optimizing their driving time by leaving in low traffic hours, to be able to make maximum use of their hours/miles capacity, and starting to unload at their destinations, bright and early.

In my years of dealing with this particular trucking company, I watched them grow from operating a dozen or so trucks, to over 50, just about quadrupling in size over a decade or so.