What is less-than-truckload?
Less-than-truckload, or LTL freight shipping is a type of shipping mode used for the transportation of small freight, or when the load doesn’t require the use of an entire trailer. LTL allows for multiple shippers to transport their goods in consolidated trailers and over carrier hubs, which will essentially minimize cost.
When shipping less-than-truckload, the shipper pays for the portion of standard truck trailer that their freight takes up, while other shippers fill up the rest of the container and pay for their respective space. This is typically used when freight weighs between 150 and 15,000 pounds.
What are some benefits of shipping less-than-truckload?
- Shipping less-than-truckload is cost effective, as you only pay for the portion of the trailer that you used
- More security for your packed product, as they are loaded onto pallets
- You gain access to additional special services such as liftgates and inside pick-up and delivery
- Less-than-truckload carriers offer tracking capabilities through the Bill of Lading (BOL) numbers, PRO number, PO number, shipment reference or other details.
What determines LTL shipping rates?
There are four main factors to determine how much you have to pay for LTL shipping. They are as follows:
- Location: the further the distance between pickup and dropoff, the higher the price will be
- Dimensions: The size, dimensions, and weight of the shipment will play a big role in determining the class of freight, which will then affect the freight rates
- Mode: LTL loads can be expedited, which costs an extra fee
- Type: Shipments that require special handling or equipment will cost more