Less Than Truckload (LTL) Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the basic procedure for shipping freight?
- Carriers utilize a standard procedure that involves the truck driver backing up to a loading dock, the shipper (consignor) loading the cargo, the driver transporting the cargo to the receiver’s (consignee) loading dock to be unloaded by the consignee. Any services required outside of this standard procedure may require additional rates called accessorials (see Rates & Potential Fees).
- What types of freight items do you ship?
- We do not handle shipping of items such as Household Goods, Furniture, Personal Items, and Alcohol types of products.
- How do I know what freight class my item is and how does this affect my shipment?
- Class refers to the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) number that specifically identifies each type of product that can be shipped by a carrier. This NMFC number must be accurate when inputting a rate inquiry. This is imperative to be sure that you receive accurate pricing for what you are shipping. Should the carrier suspect that the weight or class of your cargo is incorrect; they will re-weigh and correctly re-class your load which will result in a reweigh and inspection fee. If you do not know what class your freight is, please contact customer service at 800.622.1226.
- What happens if I estimate the weight of my shipment?
- If your freight shipment is inaccurately weighed or classed and is re-weighed or re-classed by the carrier, these costs will be passed along to you. (See under Reweigh/Reclass).
- What are the freight rates & potential additional fees?
To make certain that you receive the shipping freight rate that was quoted you must provide the truck driver with a copy of TOP Worldwide BOL (Bill of Lading). We have contracts in place with national and regional carriers and to ensure that you receive the negotiated rates and discounts, the carrier must know to bill TOP Worldwide.
If the driver is required to go inside (beyond the front door or loading dock) to pick up or deliver a load, additional fees will be assessed. The same holds true for lift gate service. When the shipper or receiver does not have a loading dock, a motorized platform affixed to the back of some types of trucks will be required to load and off-load the cargo.
Any failed shipping delivery attempt will be assessed a fee by the carrier; this charge is usually minimal and based on the freight weight. If your shipment is not ready when the driver arrives, it will be set up for pick up the next business day. If TOP Worldwide is charged for the duplicated pick up, these costs will be passed along to you as well.
Additional shipping accessorials may include, but are not limited to: arrival notification, inside delivery, insurance, lift gate service, COD, hazardous materials, fuel surcharge.
- Do I have to call the carrier after tendering my freight shipment with TOP Worldwide?
- No, calling the shipping terminal or the freight carrier will duplicate the order. When you schedule with TOPworldwide.com, we contact the carrier and complete the transaction electronically.
- Am I able to schedule a shipment and have it picked up the same day?
- Typically freight carriers pick up in the afternoon and deliver in the morning. Due to the load capacity of our carrier’s, same day service cannot be guaranteed. A four hour window prior to your dock closure is necessary. If you have same day pick up requirements, please contact TOP Worldwide to discuss these arrangements.
- Are shipping transport times guaranteed?
- No they are not. Please be aware that freight transit times do not include the day of pick up. Transport times are dependable, however, not guaranteed.
- What is expected of me when the truck driver arrives to pick up my cargo?
- Be sure that your shipment is packaged so that the items are protected and secured. Boxed/crated and palletized shipments are optimal; secure the boxes/crates or items to the pallet with binding, strapping or shrink/stretch wrap. Labels must be placed on every piece or package and in the event that the pieces get separated it is best to include on the label the total pieces that comprise your shipment (ex: Box 1 of 3). It is imperative that a TOP Worldwide bill of lading be given to the driver. The driver will not load or unload your items on to the truck.
- What if I want to use my own Shipping BOL (Bill of Lading)?
- Opting to use your own Shipping BOL will result in your company being billed a higher rate for the shipment. You must use the TOP BOL to receive the quoted rates.
- How do I file a freight claim?
- Please download and fill out a claim form and fill out as completely as possible.
Mail the completed form along with supporting documents to:
3039 Airpark Drive North
Flint, MI 48507
Shipping Terminology (Glossary of Terms)
- Any service that is not considered ‘standard’ will incur additional fees. Accessorials may include, but are not limited to: arrival notification, inside delivery, insurance, lift gate service, COD, hazardous materials, fuel surcharge.
- Arrival Notification
- Freight Carriers notifies and schedules a delivery date and time with the receiver.
- Shipping Bill of Lading (BOL)
- Paperwork that provides the driver, carrier, shipper and receiver with complete details of the shipment and correct billing information.
- Another name for the truck/trucking company who transports cargo.
- Refers to the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) number that specifically identifies the approximate size, value and difficulty of transporting a particular type of product that can be shipped by a carrier. Please contact customer service at 866.366.1912 during business hours if you are unsure or are unable to determine your class.
- The person/company receiving the shipment.
- The person/company shipping the shipment.
- Inside Delivery
- When a driver is required to go beyond the front door or loading dock to pick up or deliver a load rather than remaining in his/her truck or on the loading dock.
- Liftgate Service
- A lift gate is a motorized platform affixed to the back of some trucks that raises and lowers cargo between the ground and the truck. When the shipping or receiving location does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading is necessary. Accessorial fees will apply for this service.
- Is an acronym for Less-Than-Load, meaning cargo that is not of the quantity to require an entire truckload (TL) by itself. Typically, an LTL shipment ranges from 100 lbs to 19,999 lbs. If you require a TL, please contact customer service at 866.366.1912 during business hours.
- NMFC Number
- See “class” above.
- PRO Number
- You will see a space for the truck driver to affix the ‘PRO sticker’ on your bill of lading. This is simply a tracking number assigned by the carrier to reference your shipment.
- Redelivery Fee
- A fee that will be assessed by the carrier after any failed delivery attempt. Typically this fee is minimal and based on weight.
- Reweigh/Reclass Fee
- If the carrier suspects that the weight or class of your shipment is inaccurate, a fee will be charged to re-weigh or correctly re-class your cargo.