Less-Than-Load Freight Shipping


Less-then-load (LTL) freight management involves the transportation of goods or products that do not require a full truckload. Because of the size of the shipments, they are typically transported in a truck along with other separate shipments. LTL shipments are usually transported in packing crates or on pallets and have a weight range of between 150 and 10,000 pounds. LTL carriers specialize in the efficient transportation of small loads. Shippers tend to use LTL because it allows them the flexibility and cost-effectiveness to transport small loads. LTL shipping also has other benefits.

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The Benefits of LTL Shipping Services


There are many advantages to LTL shipping, these include:

Cost-effective: An LTL truckload is comprised of multiple small shipments that together fill a truckload. You only have to pay for the space that your shipment is occupying. This means that the cost of your shipment is just a fraction of a full truckload.

Environmentally friendly: LTL shipping involves fewer trucks carrying full loads, rather than many trucks transporting at less than full capacity. This makes it is a more environmentally friendly solution due to lower emissions.  

Great for small businesses: Small to medium businesses benefit from LTL shipping because they generally have fewer goods or products to ship and a lower budget. LTL services provide the shipping services they need at a price they can afford. 

When to Consider an LTL Shipping Service

LTL shipping is the best option in the following cases:

When Time isn’t a High Priority
If you are considering LTL shipping, think about how quickly you want your shipment to arrive at its destination. Because you are sharing the truck with other shipments, the truck will have to make several stops before reaching your destination. Because of this, LTL tends to have a longer transit time than full truckload shipping.

When you Have a Small Shipment
LTL freight can be used for cargo that weighs between 150 pounds and 10,000 pounds. It is typically used for freight that is bigger than a package, but smaller than a truckload. For example, the ideal freight for LTL is one or more items that are too large to take to the post office but too small to require a while truck. You can also use LTL for goods or products that are on pallets or in crates.

When you want to Save Money
Making several small shipments rather than a single large one can save you money on freight costs. Typically LTL freight rates are based on the following factors:

  • Weight: The heavier the weight of your LTL shipment, the lower the rate per hundred pounds.
  • Freight class: There are 18 freight classes, each is numbered from 50 to 500. The higher your shipment’s density is, the lower its classification is. Lower density classifications have lower shipping rates per pound.
  • Distance: Typically, the cost is higher the further your shipment must travel.
  • Base rates: Each LTL carrier has its own base rate which is quoted per 100CWT.

Less-than-load Shipping Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the differences between LTL and truckload shipping?

One of the main differences between LTL and full truckload freight shipping is the transit time. FTL shipments are quicker because they travel directly from A to B, whereas LTL shipments make many stops en route. This is why LTL tends to be less expensive. 

What are accessorial fees?

Accessorial fees are additional charges you will incur in certain shipping situations. For example, if you need a truck with a lift gate, if you are shipping oversized items, or if you require frequent stop-offs.

How should I prepare my package for shipment?

You can prepare your shipment for your LTL carrier in the following ways:

  • If you can, use pallets
  • You can also use shipping crates
  • The shipment should be wrapped in bubble wrap

Also, remember to add an easy-to-see packing label. It should include the tracking number, carrier code, and destination. 

Can I estimate the weight of my shipment?

You should not try to guess the weight of your shipment. You must provide the exact weight for your shipment in order to get an accurate quote. If you provide an inaccurate weight and it is booked in, the carrier will make an adjustment for the extra weight. 

How do I determine the right weight classification?

As you prepare your shipment, you will decide on the right freight classification. This will give you the correct shipping rate. The weight classification is not only based on the weight of your shipment, but also the density, side, value, ease of handling, and liability. Typically, a lower classification rate means a lower shipping fee. If provide an incorrect weight classification you will be charged an additional rate for the corrected shipping amount and for the time and effort for making the adjustment.

 ShipCarte Shipping Solutions

We hope that you now have a better understanding of LTL shipping and how you can benefit from it. Here at ShipCarte, we are dedicated to helping each of our clients to develop their business. We do so by providing you with a cutting-edge shipping platform as well and shipping tips and ideas. 

When you take advantage of ShipCarte, you will soon discover how user-friendly our platform is. Wherever in the world, you want to have your goods or products shipped, ShipCarte makes transportation a breeze. Our company has more than 20 years’ experience in the shipping industry. We take care of your shipping down to the last detail so that you don’t have to. Our courier services include the following features:

  • Instant multiple quotes
  • Multiple carrier services
  • Generate and print carrier compliant shipping labels
  • Schedule pick up online
  • Track and trace your products

Contact us today to find out more or to sign up for a demo. We also have a free downloadable eBook, which gives you more useful information about our shipping solutions.

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