Protect From Freeze: What LTL Shippers Should Know

Protect From Freeze: What LTL Shippers Should Know

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Harsh winter weather is just around the corner. To help you prepare your LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) shipments for winter shipping success, our Domestic team is here to help. Here is what you need to know about protect from freeze, including how much it typically costs and what proactive steps shippers can take to maximize their investment.

1. What Is Protect From Freeze? 

Protect From Freeze is an additional service that select LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) carriers provide during the winter months. Many carriers provide the service from November 1 through May 31; however,  this date range can fluctuate.

When applied to a shipment, cargo is kept at or above a certain temperature (usually 32 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout its journey. Beverages, produce, cosmetics, chemicals, paint, pharmaceuticals and batteries are some of the most common commodities shipped under Protect From Freeze service.

Some important information to factor into your decision-making:

  • Not all carriers offer the service. Pricing, availability and liability coverage (in the event of a claim) depend on the carrier.
  • Warming methods can vary based on the carrier or the terminal location.
  • Protect From Freeze can be suspended by the carrier if outside temperatures become extremely low.
  • Special parameters can apply based on the carrier:
    • Not applicable on shipments requiring an appointment, interlining, COD (Cash on Delivery), In Bond, Order Notify, redelivery, reconsignment, remote access or residential delivery, consignee drop, diversion, stop-offs, liftgates or excess liability.
    • Not offered on volume or trade show shipments.
    • Freight will typically not be accepted over the weekend or picked up the three days before a holiday.
    • Subject to availability of equipment and space in facilities.

2. How Much Does Protect From Freeze Cost?

When selecting Protect From Freeze service, shippers can expect to incur additional shipping costs. Typically, Protect From Freeze is charged per CWT (hundredweight, or 100 pounds), ranging from $1-4 per CWT, or as a flat fee per shipment, ranging from $15-60. Carriers can also apply a minimum charge, commonly in the range of $25-45 per shipment.

3. What Are Some Proactive Steps Shippers Can Take? 

There are certain steps shippers can take to help ensure their investment in Protect From Freeze service is maximized. Below are a few tips:

  • Advise that the cargo will require Protect From Freeze service at the time of quoting and booking. This will ensure that the shipping costs are accurately estimated and auditing of freight bills can be performed based on the quote.
  • Be sure “Protect From Freeze” is listed on the bill of lading (BOL).
  • Try to schedule the pickup early in the week (Monday or Tuesday) in an attempt to allow enough time for the freight to deliver during the week, avoiding a standstill over the weekend.
  • Consider alternative modes of transportation. If you have multiple pallets of freight, consider shipping via Truckload (TL) to decrease the transit time and possible weather-related damage due to increased LTL handling. Expediting shipments is another alternative to ensure the exposure to low temperatures is minimized.
  • Obtain cargo insurance on every shipment.
  • Partner with a logistics company that can help you negotiate rates with carriers and provide a vast network for carrier options. Technology, such as a Transportation Management System (TMS), can also save shippers considerable time when comparing costs and service.

Who says logistics has to be complicated? We certainly didn’t. Contact the Ascent team to learn more about our Domestic solutions.


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