The Real Cost of Freight Appointments

VP of Pricing Services
Todd Polen

Back in the “old days,” drivers would deliver your freight in the mornings and make pickups in the afternoon. But, as time went on, the pickup and delivery (P&D) process evolved. Scheduling a freight appointment is no longer just a phone call where carriers let customers know they will be by that day. Instead, they are typically a clerically intensive process for LTL carriers like Old Dominion Freight Line.

When making a scheduled delivery time at larger retail shippers, appointment clerks will log onto a specialized portal with a username and password so they can provide the consignee with all the purchase order (PO) numbers on the trailer, the driver’s name, and the trailer number.

Once this is complete, clerks wait for the consignee to give the “ok” for the appointment time for either live unload or drop delivery. OD takes the extra step by digitally capturing shippers’ delivery documentation. This helps ensure we have done everything possible to meet your appointment time and date, especially if there is an On-Time-In-Full (OTIF) or Must-Arrive-By-Date (MABD) shipment involved.

The documentation extra step is a critical part in protecting shippers' profits. OD wants to be able to help its customers fight potential chargebacks or damages to their vendor scorecard from consignees. As an extra step, OD always prints shipper documents; including multiple copies of the bill of lading, delivery receipt, and unloading manifest which depends on the consignee requirements.

We have found that some consignees may also ask for a packing slip. If the shipper does not provide one, OD reaches out to the shipper for the slip to make the delivery. In our experience, this is an important step that is often overlooked; if the shipment’s paperwork is not in short order, the freight delivery could be delayed and handled multiple times by the carrier. Most consignees will not accept a shipment without the correct paperwork.

Freight appointments can also cause P&D routes to be less efficient. Drivers end up running additional miles so that route will coincide with time-specific deliveries. Sometimes, depending on the day of the week, carriers may need to add an additional route in order to assist with our customer’s pick-up appointments.

But, all of this is normal in today’s world. P&D appointments are becoming more and more important for LTL carriers to be able to meet. OD has invested the time, resources, and technology to ensure that the shipper’s needs are met. We will always do whatever we need to do in order to help you keep your shipping promises

If you have questions about your appointments, reach out to your local Solutions Specialist or call our Customer Service team at (800) 235-5569. Our team is ready to help you with all your shipping needs.

Need More Information?

Contact us by email or simply call 1-800-235-5569 to be connected to an Old Dominion customer service representative.