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Routing Guides and Automation: Taming the Complexity of LTL Shipping

Efficiency and accuracy are essential for businesses navigating the complexities of Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping. Traditionally, routing guides have been the go-to tool for many shippers. Routing guides can be a great solution, but there are other options out there as well. In this blog post, we'll delve into the choices shippers have today when it comes to supply chain planning. 

What is a Routing Guide?

A good way to think of a routing guide is as a set of pricing rules for your shipping needs. These guides are often in the form of a map on the wall or a document. They provide a structure that outlines:

  • The carriers in your network
  • Which lanes are awarded to which carriers
  • The rates those lanes are awarded to
  • The time frame in which the rates and awards are effective

Routing guides define ownership of freight throughout your network on a lane-by-lane basis. They can be useful for shippers who do their research and update their routing guides frequently (at least once every few months). Regular updates are required due to changing circumstances (carrier specs have changed, new warehouses are built, lanes are updated, etc.) An important thing to keep in mind is that relying on a routing guide from a few years ago may not be optimal today. Unless you have an agile routing guide that’s regularly updated, it’s typically only correct about 70% of the time.

Static Data vs. Real-time Data

Application Programming Interface (API) quoting empowers shippers to access their pre-negotiated rates instantly - all in one place. Where routing guides operate on static data, real-time quoting via an API ensures that shippers receive up-to-the-minute information. Having access to pre-negotiated real-time rates across all your carriers means you can easily compare quotes based on your shipment details and delivery area. This digital connection also provides instant dispatching (with auto-generated BOLs labels, and PRO numbers) and live tracking. Plus, you and your carriers are better able to collaborate through the sharing of real-time shipment information. 

Enhanced Visibility and Transparency in One Transportation Management System

With automation and visibility in a powerful shipping platform, businesses can gain insights into the entire shipping ecosystem, including carrier performance metrics, service levels, and historical trends. Shippers can also rely on this data to make accurate freight cost predictions, budget effectively, and avoid financial surprises. This visibility allows shippers to make data-driven decisions, fostering better relationships with carriers and optimizing their supply chain strategies. 

How Automated Shipping Optimizes Your Order-to-Shipment Process

MyCarrier gives shippers a tendering option that goes beyond real-time rating and provides a completely automated experience. With MyCarrier’s integrations, businesses can connect MyCarrier TMS with their order management system. This connection allows LTL shippers to set up rules based on pre-established rates with their carriers. When a customer places an order, the system automatically assigns the shipment to a carrier based on predefined criteria such as cost and transit times. This means that shippers always get the best option for their needs, without having to lift a finger.


MyCarrier helps shippers navigate the complexities of LTL with unparalleled efficiency and confidence by providing ease, real-time precision, and increased visibility.

Though MyCarrier TMS is known for real-time rates, the platform also provides one-click dispatch, live tracking, easy order management, fast freight audit, and comprehensive reporting. These capabilities improve carrier relationships, optimize the entire order-to-invoice process, and create a healthier bottom line.