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Posted:  05 Mar 2011 00:57  
I have a small trucking company that services Interiorscapers in the midwest out of FL.  I couldn't help but notice that no one in the field talks about the Transportation side of the business.  Is this because all is well and everyone is happy with their carrier.  Do you guys really understand what you are getting billed for?  Just curious on your thoughts. I am hoping for good feed back I can learn from. 

Eman
Posted:  05 Mar 2011 14:54  
We have used the same carrier, DTL, for many years and have been very happy with the relationship.  We occasionally use a couple of other carriers during busy times when space is tight, such as Easter and Mother's Day, but DTL is very reliable and cost-effective.

However, many smaller interiorscapers don't ship direct from Florida, but purchase locally from re-wholesalers in their area, so trucking is not a big concern for them.

We're always interested in learning how to be better consumers of the products and services we use, though, so why don't you give us a crash course in "Tropical Plant Trucking 101"?  We're all ears!

Clem
Posted:  07 Mar 2011 17:31  
I'd like to hear about other trucking options also.
Posted:  16 Mar 2011 20:14  
ok Crash Course.
First thing to know is how a customer is billed.  A customer is billed for the space used on a trailer. 
The number one thing I come across is that nobody knows exactly what they are paying for. For example most people are given a cube rate.  That cube rate only applies to boxes.  Loose plants are at the carrier's discretion. Loose plants are categorized by size an example would be a 10" plant that is either deckable or  non deckable.  A deckable plant is under 48" in height anything over that is non - deckable.  unfortunately there isn't a standard across the industry for loose plant pricing.  Some carriers (me)apply a cube value to a loose plant like X amount of 10" plants equal a linear foot on a trailer.  Others it seems just charge what they want to compensate for a lower cube rate.  The best way around this is to ask for a per piece cost.  Then you will know exactly what your plants cost you.  I am sure I have confused most who will read this.  I can get into math that actually helps explain further anyone interested just send me a message.  My next post will be about logistics and how plants come from FL to you.
Posted:  16 Mar 2011 20:27  
Also Clem.  You bring up an interesting point about people being smaller and going through wholesalers or plant brokers.  I guess my question is would people be interested in sourcing their own material.  Out of all the material that we seen grown in FL only the same old mass cane or ag's ship out.  Take out all the minimums and things like that.  Hypothetically would people be able to utilize their freedom to buy from who ever they want and get what ever they want when they want it?
Posted:  16 Mar 2011 20:51  
Eman:  My suspicion is that you would charge a fee per stop/grower.  That is what often makes the costs to do the "onesy-twosy" method cost prohibitive.  Am I correct in that assumption?

Julie
Posted:  17 Mar 2011 00:33  
Julie: I would avoid pickup charges by playing on volume.  Meaning weekly service would probably be the only option forcing everyone taking part to order on the same day.  Chances are I would be going to the same nursery or near a nursery being ordered from.
Posted:  17 Mar 2011 02:22  
We pay for loose plants based on how many feet of the trailer they occupy (sleeved and decked).  That would approximate the cube method for boxes and be a fair method of calculating shipping costs based on volume.

Clem
Posted:  22 Mar 2011 04:29  
Eman,
My guess is that most people who don't buy direct don't do it because they don't know where to start.
If they knew how easy it is, they would do it.
So the answer is give people the info they need and you'll see more business coming you way.

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