Disadvantages to a Preferred Routing Guide

Every company is looking to keep their freight costs low and have their shipments arrive without damage and on time. These 3 goals are crucial to keeping any business running smoothly; however, these are the 3 areas that suffer when a company chooses to go with preferred routing guides.

Some businesses with come up with their own routing guides or outsource this function to a 3PL. Many logistics companies charge a consulting fee to construct preferred routing guides for your company under the guise of saving you time and hassle. A routing guide typically sets certain carriers for certain regions. For example, if you are shipping from Pennsylvania, you use carrier X; if you are shipping from Utah, you use carrier Y. This may seem like a good simplification but in reality, you are giving up customizability that could keep your costs low and your transit times efficient.


The bottom line is that customized routing saves money. Time and again, we have brought customers freight savings by creating unique routes. Certain carriers are able to provide better rates for certain classes of product, or for certain weights. Sometimes there are seasonal factors or capacity issues. We have seen customers who previously followed a preferred routing guide and paid twice as much as they needed to. Blindly sticking to one carrier without exploring cost saving options is always a mistake.


Usually when you go with a preferred routing guide, the vendor will fill out the paperwork by hand, which has more potential for mistakes. A mistake on the Bill of Lading (BOL) could result in misrouted freight, or your customer being wrongly billed for a drop shipment. 


Some carriers are more specialized in certain types of freight than others. If you are not considering the type of commodity being shipped when choosing a carrier, you are opening yourself up to a higher risk of damages. We have worked with customers in a variety of industries and know which carriers offer the best service for your particular product. This knowledge is instrumental in avoiding the cost and inconvenience of damaged freight.