Freight Density Is King in the LTL Kingdom


It’s everything.

Gone are the days of “cover the floor and shut the door.”  The carriers have been upping their game since 2008 by hanging their “fricking lasers” from the rafters of their barns.  No longer does an LTL pricing analyst look over a bid request and utter the words “meh…I see a lot of class 50 on here…that’s probably like 45 PCF freight.  It’s probably square too.”


Everything is data driven now (how it should be).  This drives transparency in the market.  The only ones upset are the shippers who were getting a sweet deal by minimally describing their freight and slapping the ol’ class fitty on der.

Nowadays – nothing is going to make a pricing manager more skittish than a data file showing up with all one rated class and no den

sity info.  Luckily enough – if they have the commodity identified, they can run averages based on various other handled accounts shipping similar freight — but yeesh, that just doesn’t cut it anymore.  Precise shipment data = confident, competitive pricing proposals.

It all comes down to line haul of course.  Density = cube = real estate in a pup.  When the known average costs are $1.70-1.90 per mile depending on which lane you’re talking – the longer that average haul the more density plays into how the freight will cost out.  The difference in 10 pounds per cubic foot and 6 is colossal (yes…per Math it’s 40% less) however that difference in density on an account will required drastic adjustments to the pricing structure to account for the extra space being used.

I don’t know about you — but cannon ball manufacturers should have LTL sales reps taking them out for Jimmy John’s every day of the week.

SO.  Let’s all make the industry a little more efficient and provide good data so that we can get good pricing that’s actually going to be in effect for a year.

Wouldn’t that be nice?


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— QF


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