A growing number of less-than-truckload carriers are using dimensioners, a type of scanning device, to more accurately determine shipment characteristics. YRC is acquiring 38 machines that measure freight-shipment dimensions to ensure the company is properly compensated for its services. There is no expedient way to catch mis-rated or mis-dimensioned freight.
Dimensional pricing includes the height, length and width of a package. Density-based pricing is gaining more attention in an LTL industry that for decades has relied on the National Motor Freight Classification pricing system. The NMFC system groups freight into “classes,” which are numerical groups based on similarity of multiple transportation characteristics in addition to density, such as stowability and handling. A shift to pricing based on density will allow carriers to adapt their rates more quickly than they would if they used the NMFC classification process. Density-based pricing also could help shippers who package their freight more efficiently. Dimensioners will allow carriers to more appropriately charge those customers whose freight occupies a lot of cube on their trailer. That is important because some common carrier trailers “cube out” before reaching the trailer’s weight limit. The growth of thee-commerce revolution and accompanying need for more last-mile delivery services may impel more LTL carriers to embrace density based pricing.