Freight dimensioning machines are drastically changing the way LTL shipping rates are calculated in today’s market. Best of all, dimensioning cargo weight and measuring specifications is presenting opportunities for major cost savings. While dimensioning machines aren’t exactly new technology, they’ve become significantly more prevalent in recent years with ground carrier trucking.

How Does Dimensioning Work?

Dimensioning machines measure a product’s height/length/width specifications, along with calculating the weight, and then accordingly calculates freight rates based on how much room the cargo is taking up on the vehicle.  Not only does this help accurately predict the rate, but it comes in handy when loading trucks with varying sizes and shapes of pieces of cargo.

Dimensioning has been used in all modes of transport for some time, but is becoming significantly more prevalent with ground carriers lately because it has enabled them to offer lower prices to shippers for FTL and LTL shipments.  For example, World Trade Distribution, Inc. uses the Cargo Spectre system, which is very easy to use and integrates with most warehouse software packages.  In addition to accurately gauging the weight of a parcel, it dimensions items within half an inch of accuracy providing us maximum use of the total truck space, leading to savings for our customers.

Some dimensioning machines can average thousands of dollars to purchase, but freighters of all sizes have reported an incredibly strong return on investment (ROI) that can be seen in as little as 30-60 days. Subsequently, many freighters are investing in multiple dimensioning machines per facility, to keep up with the pace thanks to the higher order frequency from shippers enjoying the lower freight costs now available to them.

Are Carriers Giving Away Space?

Even in present day America, some freight carriers still rely on the cumbersome World War II era formula set by the National Motor Freight Classification System (NMFC). The formula is based on the following four factors when assembling cargo:

  • Density
  • Stowability
  • Handling
  • Liability

Carriers have easily lost billions of dollars when required to use this outdated formula. While these four factors may be important considerations when preparing a freight quote for a shipper (i.e. shipping crates of precious metals is going to carry more liability than food and beverage cargo, but the latter could have a higher density opposed to actual weight) the NMFC guidelines don’t account for the wasted free space that can wind up on a truck once it has been loaded. Depending on the cargo being shipped, LTL loads using the outdated system are sometimes forced to be packed in a more inefficient manner, in turn leaving valuable empty space.

In comparison, with dimensioning machines the data provided is clear and based on each unique cargo load. The measuring process is completely automated so there’s no confusion for the carrier or shipper as to price-setting, and no possibility of mismeasurment by the loader. The occurrence of losing money on the shipment is virtually eliminated.

Contact World Trade Distribution, Inc. for a custom quote on all of your shipping needs.  With over 30 years of experience, we have the knowledge to accommodate even the most cumbersome cargo.  Give us a call today at (713) 672-7295.

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