5 Most Common Challenges of Traditional Freight Shipping Service Providers
November 1, 2022

Movement is a vital part of our society. One word associated with movement with an industry of its own is shipping meaning transporting goods from one place to another.

In the 2021 data and forecast released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the freight shipping industry in the US alone has a total of 15.1 billion freight tonnage. The rapid integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) within this industry greatly affected the business dynamics between digital and traditional freight forwarders.

As we all know, the process still includes placing goods in shipping boxes or containers shipped through different shipping modes with various shipping rates. However, digital freight shippers bank on the advantages of monitoring their shipments through a reliable tracking system and various services (e.g., drop shipping, e-commerce, etc.) that most traditional business owners don’t provide. As a result, traditional freight shipping modes are prone to encountering challenges.

The common denominator of these challenges in shipping and freight is inefficiency. In this article, we will give you five of the most common challenges traditional freight shipping service providers face.

Traditional Freight Shipping Methods

A traditional freight shipping company usually provides three (3) commonly used domestic or ground-based shipping services. These are full truckload, less than truckload and partial truckload. Modern or digital shipping companies expand their offers not just with ground-based shipping methods but with international shipping like ocean and air freight services.

To give an overview of what traditional freight shippers offer, here’s a short definition of their service offerings:

• Full Truckload (FTL)

A type of shipping mode that dedicates a truck trailer for one (1) shipment. One of its advantages is providing shippers with bulk freights and a cost-effective option as it is suitable for freights with enough size to fill the whole shipping container.

Aside from this, FTL requires less handling that helps ensure the condition of the shipment by avoiding a high chance of loss or damage to the freight. FTL is a good choice for express shipping since it does not have other stops, drop-offs and even transfers. In a nutshell, the shipment will go straight to the shipping address indicated on the shipping label.

• Less than Truckload (LTL)

LTL dedicates an entire truck trailer for more than one (1) shipment. Shippers who avail of this service are not only unbound to fill the whole trailer space but are also able to save more than moving freight via FTL. However, this shipping mode does not guarantee that shipments will arrive as quickly as FTL due to other stops and drop-off points for other shipments scheduled to be delivered.

• Partial Truckload (PTL)

The mode called Partial Truckload or PTL falls between FTL and LTL. It is also utilized by shippers with large shipments but not large enough to fill the entire truckload trailer. PTL has no freight classification and shipments are less handled.

Challenges of Traditional Freight Shipping

Traditional freight shipping providers have been facing challenges that became more apparent and difficult since the pandemic and fuel spikes. These are some of the most common challenges that traditional freight shipping service providers encounter:

• Shipping Cost

Traditional freight shipping companies struggle in providing competitive rates for quality freight shipping services. On top of expensive quotes, shippers need to reconsider overwhelming shipping costs that resulted from factors such as fuel surcharges, insurance coverage, toll fees, and accessorial charges.

• Shipment Delay

Delay in freight movement happens to many shipping companies but this becomes a massive issue when shippers fail to effectively communicate this projected delay to their customers. Let’s take the slow transportation of goods due to the heightened restrictions from the pandemic as an example.

Traditional shippers may anticipate shipping delays but may experience difficulty in readily informing their customers. These situations usually lead to deviation from the initial estimated delivery time and overall customer dissatisfaction.

• Labor Shortage

Another challenge faced by traditional freight shipping providers is labor shortage–specifically where to look for carriers to handle urgent loads and how to connect with them immediately. As many freights are needed to be shipped, more truck drivers are needed. There are instances that due to increasing demand, not enough dedicated truck drivers are able to cover all of the loads which need to be brought regularly and on-time.

• Shipment Tracking

The integration of a swift and real-time tracking system poses a big challenge to companies that still lean towards traditional shipping practices. Giving your customers the ability to know the whereabouts of their shipments anytime, anywhere can help them achieve the assurance they need about their freight. Thus, a reliable shipping tracking system can be considered an important factor in boosting the company’s reputation with its customers.

• Digitization

What can be considered the most important factor to raise is the digitization of system and service offerings. The online presence of a modern freight forwarding company contributes to the customer satisfaction rate of the business. Integrating an online system for customer service, online quotation, and, as mentioned above, tracking shipments leads to the efficiency of the services offered by a company.

As the shipping industry rapidly evolves, it is timely for you to know how else your business can profit from technological advancements and modern systems that make inefficiencies bygone practices. Regardless of your shipping needs, PrimeTime Global Logistics will handle the safe movement of your freight and send frequent updates to keep you in the loop of your shipment’s whereabouts. Get started for free today!