5 Ways to Reduce Problematic LTL Exceptions & Variances

Dealing with LTL exceptions and variances is a big headache when moving LTL freight through common carriers.  Whether its additional lift gate fees, residential fees, reweighs, re classes, and/or exceeding the carrier rules tariff, there are numerous ways for the common carriers to add additional charges.

Eliminating exceptions and variances completely is not realistic since many freight brokers rely on the customer to provide accurate shipment information for their LTL freight. Dramatically reducing them is not out of the question.

Here are 5 ways freight brokers can reduce problematic exceptions and variances on their LTL freight.

1.)  Setup Freight Criteria on a Carrier Tariff:  Define on the carrier tariff what type of freight can go on this particular carrier.   For example, if a specific carrier doesn’t move any LTL freight over 10,000 lbs, 600 cubic ft., and/or no more than 5 pallets then make sure their pricing will never show up on the rate results for the customer and/or dispatcher.  Adding this criteria to the carrier tariff will prevent any future exceptions and variances based on the carrier rules tariff they provided.

2.)  Setup Carrier Specific Pricing Restrictions:  Not all carrier rules tariffs can be setup as freight criteria on a carrier tariff unfortunately.  To communicate these rules they need to be displayed to the customer or dispatcher before booking with a specific carrier.  For example, if a specific carrier requires all goods must be properly crated and/or palletized for truck transportation (no loose boxes / furniture) or total truck space may not exceed 13 linear ft., this can be displayed for this carrier during the carrier selection process.

3.) Identify Customers & Vendors with a High Percentage of Exceptions & Variances:  Identifying the customers who consistently provide the wrong shipment information, freight brokers can find out customers need more training when supplying shipment information to their dispatchers.  By identifying which carriers constantly submit weight and inspection certificates, freight brokers can know which carriers to avoid if possible.

4.) Require Commodity Dimensions:  For customers who not understand the freight class system such as international shippers, requiring the commodity dimensions and weight can provide an estimated freight class when booking a shipment.  The estimated freight class based on commodity dimensions and weight is only an estimate, so auditing these shipments before dispatching is always recommended unless the shipment is being moved under a density based tariff.

5.) Work with Customers to Setup Their Product Catalog:  Initially setting up a customer’s product catalog before they ship can save a lot of headaches when it comes to LTL exceptions and variances.  An operations team can review the products they will be shipping and make sure the correct freight class, NMFC, and dimensions are correct before they book their first order.

If you would like more information on how our Freight Broker Software can help reduce your LTL exceptions and variances, please email me at [email protected] or call 877-261-4004 x130.


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