Density is the degree of compactness of a substance, it is why some things sink in water and why others float. In LTL freight shipping, it takes on a decisive role when calculating costs. Freight density matters in the shipping process, here is a closer look into how it affects your LTL shipping.
Freight density is the weight of a shipment in relation to the size of the shipment. It is determined by dividing the weight of the item in pounds by the volume in cubic feet. You find the total cubic feet by taking height x width x depth and dividing that number by 1,728 (the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot).
If you have a shipment that is low in density, it will have a higher classification. Denser shipments have lower classifications. The more fragile the higher the classification, the higher the price.
Once freight density is used to determine a class, it will be factored into the total cost of the shipment. In many cases, it is more important to know than the actual weight of the shipment.
Freight classes are designed to help form common standard freight pricing for shipments. They are based on weight, length and height, density, ease of handling, value, and liability from things like theft, damage, breakability, and spoilage. There are 18 freight classes ranging from 50 to 500. The general rule is the higher the freight class the more it will cost to ship.
Once you have calculated an accurate density and assigned a freight class, you will put that information on the bill of lading (BOL). With an accurate freight density calculation, you will avoid costly expenses that can occur from inaccuracies.
The end price is going to be based on whichever is greater, the dimensional weight or actual weight.
The higher the density the less space it takes on the truck and the lower your classification, which decreases your rate for every hundred pounds you ship. In addition to cost savings, the denser your package the lower risk of potential damage.
LTL carriers view freight density differently than a shipper does. LTL carriers are always looking to maximize cube utilization and need to have accurate densities to do so. Wasted space on a truck means leaving dollars on the table. This is why dimensional weight pricing takes into account the space occupied by the package, along with its weight, rather than weight alone. It takes the freight density into account, which is important to carriers.
PPLUS Global can help you define your freight class and give you the best advice on ways to reduce your LTL freight shipping costs. We offer a full range of LTL services. We can help maximize efficiency with customized integrated LTL services. PPLUS Global will do whatever it takes to provide “Best in Class” logistic solutions for you and your company.