Tips for scheduling LTL pickups

Sometimes the difference between your shipment going well and being a complete frustration depends on the way you schedule the pickup. Scheduling pickups with LTL carriers is a routine task but there are a few tips we can offer that can help avoid frustrating issues.

Not all shipments are the same. Some need a little extra care. This often starts when scheduling the pickup. In this article we will cover some of these situations and give you some tips to make your shipment go well.

When to Manual Dispatch

Many shipments these days can be booked online or EDI’d to the carrier. This works if the shipment is pretty basic. If you have a shipment that has special requirements it is best to call it in. Also, if you are scheduling a same day pickup and it is after 2 pm, it is best to check with the carrier to see if they can get it. When you call you should make sure that the customer service rep checks with the dispatcher.

When to Electronic Dispatch and Follow Up

If it is early enough in the day, you can electronically dispatch the shipment and shouldn’t have an issue with the pickup. If there are special requirements you should follow up with the carrier to make sure those when through. Usually it takes about 30 minutes to show up in their system. Sometimes it will be faster but it depends on the systems. Since the carrier received the basics of the shipment electronically and all your doing is calling to check on the special requirements, this method is much faster then a manual dispatch call.

Get a Pickup Number

A pickup number is your confirmation that the shipment is in the carrier’s system. Almost all carriers give pickup confirmation numbers. This number is not the same as the pro or tracking number. If you electronically dispatched the shipment, make sure a pickup number is returned to you. If you don’t get a pickup number definitely call the carrier to confirm they received the pickup.

Scheduling Pickups via Email

Another way you can schedule pickups is to email the carrier a copy of the bill of lading. Some carriers will ask you to do this anyways. It depends on the terminal. The nice thing about emailing pickup requests is you get a response from the carrier. The drawback is that it often takes them a while to respond. It is best to only email dispatches in when you are scheduling the shipment early in the day or the day prior.

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Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens

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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