From the desk of Steve Pandolfo: Double-stacking, LTL, and you


Attention LTL shippers:

We wanted to make you aware of important industry-wide changes (led by FedEx earlier this year) for your LTL shipments.  In the past, most carriers (not all) had a surcharge associated with the maximum number of linear feet you can take up in a trailer on a single freight bill. 

What’s changed? 

Before this recent change, eight (8) pallets* designated on an original BOL that could be “double stacked” would not be subject to this charge.  This is because eight (8) pallets would only assume four (4) skid spots on the trailer are therefore only take up eight (8) linear feet.  This is no longer the case!

In today’s environment, partly because the difficultly finding labor to work at freight terminals, carriers are now assuming all pallets as “floor-loaded” regardless of whether they are stacked at the time of loading.  This means that the pallet count and “spot” count would be identical.  This ALSO means that “double stacking” is essentially irrelevant in today’s LTL tariff environment.  This is because of the time/labor it takes to pull two pallets off of a trailer versus one pallet of multiple purchase orders wrapped together.  More national carriers have since adopted this definition and as of last week smaller carriers like Averitt Express, Dayton Freight, and Southeastern Freight have followed suit.

Moving forward, that the number of handling units is essentially the number of units that would need to be moved by a dockworker.  Stacking and combination wrapping do not matter. Capacity charges may apply when any shipment – regardless of the number of handling units – exceeds 12 linear feet. This can include multiple pallets stacked in one floor spot. You should consider all the stacked pallets as riding on the floor of the trailer.

In other words, eight (8) pallets double-stacked onto four spots will still be considered eight (8) pallet spots. If you have a shipment greater than six (6) handling units or 12 linear feet the best solution is to request a volume quote.  When requesting a volume quote, information like stacking and cubic feet still matter. 

FedEx has created and shared a very useful document that explains these changes.

Remember Sunset’s Freight•LOGIK portal has always allowed for pallet dimensions and calculates linear feet for you.  We can’t stress enough the value of this information to ensure that your quote amount and invoice amount do not vary.  Thank you for your business, and as always, we are available for questions and consultation. 

*This assumes all pallets are 48” x 40” x 48”