Dimensioning machines that accurately calculate the weight, height, and breadth of freight cargo are revolutionizing the shipping industry.

The increasing prevalence of dimensioning machines has caused a dramatic shift in how shipping rates are calculated, which will only continue as more carriers adopt the technology each year. It’s important to understand how Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight shipping rates have been generally calculated. Surprisingly, the formula most shipping companies use to determine shipping charges is based on the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) system, an antiquated system that was developed in the 1930s and is based not on the dimensions of the goods to be shipped but rather on the following four factors:

  • Density
  • Stowability
  • Handling
  • Liability

While these criteria do offer a decent assessment, the fact is that under these NMFC guidelines, a freight shipping company can wind up giving away a lot of free room on a truck. LTL loads of many items cannot be packed in a space efficient manner; however, historically, costs are not raised to account for this misuse of shipping space. The NMFC system adds to a shipping company’s costs and these costs are, in many cases, passed on to shippers in the form of higher overall shipping rates.

What Does Dimensionalizing Offer?

Dimensioning machines have been around for several years, but are only now starting to gain traction with more ground carriers. These machines measure a product’s dimensions and calculate shipping costs based solely on how much room the products in question take up in the truck, ship, or plane. Because this work is fully automated, there can be no misunderstandings regarding how much a shipper will need to pay. The clear data provided by dimensioning machines negates the possibility of arbitrary fees added to a shipper’s bill.

Is This Good or Bad for Shippers?

Dimensioning machine manufacturers have noted that LTL freight shipping companies that invest in dimensioning machines can see a return on investment in as few as thirty days. It should be noted that dimensionalization is a win-win situation for all parties, including shippers. Dimensionalization could—in a number of cases—actually lower shipping costs for transporting certain items. While in other cases, the cost of shipping irregular or odd shaped items may rise due to the extra space required. Shipping companies that save money by saving space are then free to offer lower prices to regular shippers.

A shipper can offset the higher cost of shipping certain goods by packing items more efficiently. Packing efficiency is definitely something a shipper will want to delve into, as learning how to pack items tightly and efficiently can save a shipper hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

The popularity of dimensioning machines and software will continue to rise. Many new shipping companies are buying and using them, as are established shipping agencies. Shippers can make the most of this new trend by learning to pack items efficiently as well as by getting in touch with an established, reputable freight shipping company in Arkansas that can offer LTL freight shipping rates that are predictable and consistent.

If you are shipper wanting to know more about how dimensionalizers will impact LTL freight shipping, contact RCX Solutions at 866-336-9697 and we can help you sort through all the costs and logistics.

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