Most LTL carriers in the market today offer Residential pickups for an additional charge. As part of this service they will come to your house or other residential location and pickup items that are packaged like a freight shipment. They will use a smaller truck and a lift gate to accommodate small spaces and the lack of a loading dock. They will do a good job but are very clear about their limitations. In this article we will cover those and give you some tips of working with them.
Know what to expect
As consumers we base our customer service expectations on what we experience in our daily lives. In many cases these experiences are at retail stores or restaurants that are designed to cater to the needs of individual buyers. Many retail businesses thrive on their excellent customer service. When you are shipping your personal items via commercial carriers it is important to understand the service level is different.
LTL carriers primarily to do business with other businesses that have loading docks. They are not professional moving companies even though they will pickup up items from your home that you are moving as part of a relocation. They will not come to your house and do a pre-move survey or do any packing, heavy lifting or enter your dwelling. To them you are a freight shipper and have the same responsibilities of other freight shippers. Hopefully this article will give you some tips to make residential LTL shipping easy.
Tip 1: Schedule your pickup in advance.
The reason you want to do this is because the carrier needs some advance notice to plan your pickup. They often need special timing. Also, you will need time to clear your schedule. We recommend doing it for the day of pickup and the day after (just in case there is an issue).
Tip 2: Make sure the cargo is accessible for the driver.
The driver will be showing up in a big truck. It could be as large as a full size 18 wheel semi truck and trailer or the size of a large U-Haul truck. This means it needs some room to turn around. There can be any obstructions or obstacles in the way. Survey your area and make sure that the area leading up to your staging area is free and clear.
Tip 3: Stage your shipment properly.
When staging your shipment you want to make sure it is on a pallet. Also that it is backed properly in moving boxes. Also, it will need to be in a place the driver can get to real easy with a pallet jack. If it is outside, check the weather for rain and put a tarp or pallet cover over it. Sometimes the driver will pickup if it is in your garage but check with the carrier or broker you are working with first.
Tip 4: Clarify the service level.
When using LTL freight shipping to move sometime from a residence or business without a loading dock, you have two options. You can have them come pickup the goods at your place or you can take it to their terminal. If you need someone to get the items from inside your place, you will need to add a professional moving company into the mix. Make sure to clarify which you are purchasing up from with your carrier or broker.
Tip 5: Have your documentation printed.
Just like you need a ticket to get on a plane or a bus, your shipment needs a ticket to get on the LTL freight truck. This ticket is called a bill of lading. It will be provided to you by the carrier or broker you are working with. Sometimes they give you a online tool to create it yourself. You must print two copies and hand it to the driver with your shipment. Both you and the driver will sign both copies. You keep one and they keep one. The driver will assign a tracking number as well.
We hope you found this article helpful. We specialize in residential LTL pickups and have great rates and carriers all over.
Transportation Executive with experience in developing processes and controls for early stage start up companies. Specialties include: Sales, Marketing, Transportation, Trucking, Brokerage, Project Transport and Rail Operations.,Organizational Design, Process Development, Accounts Receivable Management, Leadership, and Business Start-ups.
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