LTL 101: Commodities Restrictions
Did you know that certain types of commodities cannot be shipped via LTL carriers due to governmental regulations and that LTL carriers can refuse to accept certain items as a matter of company policy? In many cases, the root issue is liability — certain items are too valuable and/or high target items for theft to make them worth the risk to handle and transport.
Items of Extraordinary Value:
Carriers have different policies regarding these items and they may be willing to accept certain items if they have the appropriate insurance coverage and specialize in the transport of valuable merchandise.
Restricted or Prohibited Items:
Another group of items that LTL carriers may refuse to transport are those excluded by government regulations or due to being extremely hazardous in nature. In addition, carriers that lack the proper storage and stowage equipment to maintain the proper temperature will refuse certain items, such as refrigerated items. Finally, certain items (such as canoes) may be prohibited by certain carriers because of their size, shape, difficulty to stow and difficulty to handle.
Do your homework and research LTL Carriers Carefully!
Restricted Commodities are listed in the Rules Tariffs of each LTL Carrier. To give you an example of how complex some of these Restricted Commodities sections are, please visit FedEx’s “Prohibited and Restricted Articles” section of their rules tariff by clicking the link: http://www.fedex.com/us/freight/rulestariff/prohibited_articles.html
Make sure to address specific questions to the carrier you are considering. Within the world of LTL carriers there is a great deal of specialization. For instance, some carriers specialize in the transport of perishable items or hazardous materials. If you have items to transport that fall into both of these categories, you may be forced to hire two separate LTL carriers.
Whatever company you choose to move your hard-to-handle item(s), make sure to do your homework. Make sure you select a freight company with a solid track record, solid liability coverage, and solid maintenance and quality control processes to ensure top performance.
Check back every 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month for more inside information on LTL through our Multimodal Wednesday Series.