High Value Loads (HVL): Choosing the Right 3PL for Retail Deliveries

High value load (HVL) shippers usually include manufacturers of electronics, healthcare products, high end apparel, or other luxury goods. As a rule of thumb, a truckload valued at $100,000 or higher is usually considered HVL. 

Increased Theft on High Value Shipments

Are you moving high value (HVL) shipments and experiencing increased theft?  

You’re not alone. Cargo theft is at an all-time high, with stolen goods totaling an estimated $130 Million in 2023, which is up 57% from the year prior and totals to over 220 reports of cargo theft per month.

The good news is that Zipline Logistics offers a unique and proven process backed by innovative technology to ensure your HVL freight is never at risk, including:

  • An in-depth Carrier Qualification Process 
  • 24/7 real time cargo tracking & monitoring and response operations for law enforcement engagement 
  • Carrier security compliance reporting for continuous improvement and data focused management 
  • Time & temperature-sensitive shipment management 

The Cost of Poor Logistics Performance 

High value products obviously cost top dollar to buy, but they can also be expensive to sell if shippers don’t understand the importance of mastering logistics and meeting retail compliance.  

Note: Calculations in this blog are based off assumed values and margins. 

Heavy Retail Compliance Fees  

Retailers recognize the competition for their shelf space and continue to up their expectations in return. Walmart, for example, requires suppliers to meet a 98% on-time in-full (OTIF) rate to stay in compliance. It’s strict but still gives a 2% grace window. Every unit falling outside the retailer’s good graces will cost the supplier 3% of the cost of goods sold (COGS).  

These fees are even more costly to HVL shippers than the average CPG brand, since the COGS is usually much higher. 

How On-Time Delivery Impacts Gross Profit  

As if the fines aren’t costly enough, consider the direct hit an HVL shipper’s gross profit takes for not meeting OTIF. Where the average consumer-packaged goods companies usually operate between a 25% and 45% gross margin, many HVL shippers operate closer to 60%.  


Annual Revenue On-Time Delivery Performance Gross Profit
$10 Million 77% $4,620,000
$10 Million 95% $5,700,000

This example assumes a 60% gross profit margin.   


The difference between sourcing an average broker to handle your freight (77%) and hitting the performance retail buyers expect (95% or better) is $1,080,000 in gross profit opportunity.  

What would you do with one million extra dollars? 

Here’s one idea. Most CPG companies allocate 7-9% of their gross profit to transportation spend. For a $10 Million company, the amount of money mastering on-time delivery saves covers that expense ($700,000-$900,000) completely. This point of view shows us logistics isn’t a cost center, but rather a profit driver when you trust the right partners. 

Not meeting OTIF or getting your product on the shelf is even more costly when shipping products with such high value. With the unpredictable nature of the freight market, HVL shippers destined for retail locations must really step their game up.  

HVL Shippers Thrive with Zipline Logistics 

The best way to do that? Partnering with a 3PL that specializes in high-visibility retail deliveries and handling high-value products. At Zipline, we have very specific processes and protections to ensure our HVL customers are on-shelf at top locations on-time and in-full. 

Our industry-leading HVL process includes critical qualification, routing, and dispatch practices: from validating the lowest risk routing and driver mitigation best practices to visibility requirements and connectivity to law-enforcement. These updated technology integrations take an already world-class solution to the next level of anti-theft security.

Global Security Operations Center

✓ Around-the-clock expert monitoring

✓ Multi-region security operations centers

✓ Pre-empt issues & mitigate potential risk factors

✓ Secured state-of-the-art advanced intelligence center

✓ Prevent theft and improve recovery rates

SaaS Solution Platform

Designed for high-value/high-risk and time/temperature-sensitive products, this technology proactively alerts on non-conformances and our team takes action to prevent a risk from becoming a loss.

Manage From a Single Unified View Become Situationally Aware Refine New Parameters Around Your Shipments Remove Data Silos
Actionable insights for all shipments Manage risk by exception Create strict boundaries Access aggregated data
Visibility: air, ocean, road, and rail Efficiently identify nonconformances Customize operating parameters Eliminate tracking redundancies
Connect ERP, TMS, and IoT/GPS tracking & monitoring devices Proactively plan for effective risk mitigation Workflows to manage your risks in real-time Achieve no single point of failure
Real-time corrective actions

Overhaul LE Connect

When required, we make direct contact with our network of law enforcement and security partners through Overhaul LE Connect technology. We provide an instantly shareable link with the all the information needed to recover a confirmed stolen shipment, including:

✓ Route and location

✓ Deviation occurrence

✓ Truck and trailer data

✓ Photos of truck, trailer, BOL, etc.

✓ Manifest details

✓ Driver information

✓ Historic shipment data

Zipline Carrier Qualification Process 

Before onboarding, Zipline Logistics conducts an in-depth background check to ensure all carriers we work with meet the below criteria. 

DOT and FMCSA Requirements: 

  • Minimum auto liability of $1,000,000 
  • Minimum cargo liability of $100,000 
  • Equipment that is no more than 10 years old 

Zipline Logistics Carrier Expectations: 

  • No history of fraud 
  • Experience shipping into retail 
  • GPS tracking capabilities 
  • Consistent check-ins 
  • On-time performance 

Zipline HVL Process: From Pickup to Delivery

Our carriers are advised and held accountable to the best practices below when handling HVLs.

Before accepting an HVL assignment, drivers must: 

  1. Ensure they have sufficient hours and fuel available to drive at least 150 miles without stopping, where applicable. 
  2. Complete a thorough inspection of the truck and trailer or container to reduce the risk of breaking down in transit. 
  3. Use the most direct and safe route to their destination. 

While a high value load is in transit: 

  1. Team drivers should be used whenever possible to avoid frequent stops. 
  2. The truck and trailer must always remain hooked until the load is delivered. 
  3. The driver should contact 911 and follow company protocol if they notice anything unusual or suspicious. 

When stopping, drivers should: 

  1. Park in a well lit area (against a building or pole) to prevent the rear doors from being opened. 
  2. Lock all doors and remove ignition keys when exiting the vehicle. 
  3. The driver should communicate with dispatch and inspect the seal at each stop, checking the seal number against BOL paperwork. 
  4. Avoid stopping in high-risk locations. 

When delivering a high value load: 

  1. Shipments are never to be taken to the driver’s home (or the homes of relatives or friends). 
  2. It must be taken to a secured drop yard. 

Zipline HVL Insurance Coverages

Zipline Logistics maintains generous umbrella liability insurance. For more information, contact Zipline using the button below.

Trust Zipline With Your HVL Shipments

Specialized in high-visibility retail deliveries and handling high-value products, we are so much more than a rate and a truck. At Zipline, we leverage our retailer logistics expertise, best-in-class processes, and uniquely qualified carrier network to ensure our high value customers are on-shelf at top locations on-time and in-full.


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