Cracking the Code: LTL Chapter 1

Habits and systems, when built and implemented in the right way, are powerful tools for productivity.  Ultimately, it’s a way to automate a human process which will conserve your cognitive load and reserve that mind juice for more important, high value decisions.

This model can and should be applied to shipping LTL.  Seemingly simple, but with many factors at play due to freight classification, packaging options, carrier selection, and more — effective navigation of this trucking mode is vital to saving costs and ensuring your company get’s its products where they need to go.


An effective way to do this is to step out of the weeds and develop a systemic approach to solving problems and finding answers.  Not every situation is automated and repeatable — especially in LTL.  This is why humans are still required and robots or computers are not yet manning outbound warehouses.  There is not a standard sequence or algorithm to program into a machine.  Lot’s of gray area.

By building your process a few floors up from the micro level view — this will make it easier to automate scenarios that you haven’t done before and need to solve on the fly.

For example:  rather than memorize and habitually input the same NMFC classification code, automate a system where you can effectively research and navigate this complicated information and find the correct result.  There has never before been a search function tool that so badly needs Google’s help (online users you know what I’m talking about).


QF has long thought that there needs to be an app or program built that uses reverse engineering and a process of elimination to decipher the correct NMFC code.  It could be similar to the Akinator entertainment app () – but rather than guessing characters it would ask questions that can either identify or eliminate the correct group, article and classification for what you are shipping.

If this already exists or someone decides to take a stab at it — let QF know and we’ll help share the word!

Yes…shipping LTL is complex and many people do not pull it off in the most cost effective way.  Some of that wasted time and money can be prevented by putting in place the right systems, habits, and process to mentally automate and streamline the operation.  Identifying and reducing waste and redundancies can also bring to light company byproducts or what we like to call them…additional revenue possibilities (ARP’s).



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