Defining Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)

If you are new to the trucking industry, you are probably seeing all kinds of strange terms that do not make a ton of sense just yet, like the “less-than-truckload” (LTL) freight class. What does LTL actually mean? And what are the benefits of shipping freight using an LTL carrier? This post will answer those questions and more as we learn how this freight classification of LTL shipping works.

The Benefits of LTL

Don’t miss your delivery time just because you don’t have enough to fill an entire truck. Not all truck loads are from distribution centers. Some are smaller loads that still need to get sent out through a shipping service in a timely manner. Less-Than-Truckload, or LTL, loads are a type of commercial trucking that involves shipping smaller loads that do not require the full trailer space. This method can result in slightly longer transit times due to multiple stops but is much faster than waiting for a full load worth sending. What if the load is not from a big supply chain shipper but just a small business like an e-commerce company looking for a workable shipping method? How do you get your product moved efficiently? Maybe you just have a few pallets you need to get to their final destination. LTL services can be a great option for that. While it may seem like this option would have higher pricing and additional fees initially, there are several cost-effective benefits to Less-Than-Truckload shipping. First of all, LTL freight shipment service providers typically have a lower cost per pound than full truckload freight. This is because LTL carriers can combine multiple small LTL shipments into one larger load, which reduces their overall shipping costs. For these reasons, Less-Than-Truckload shipping is often the best option for businesses that need to ship smaller loads quickly and affordably. For owner-operators, this can give you a chance to keep making money in between full truck loads by booking multiple smaller loads with a separate bill of lading for each in one trip or even just one small load that needs special handling on a dead hall return trip so that you are not running completely in the red going home.

What Determines LTL Shipping Rates?

Typically, three factors determine LTL shipping rates: weight, density, and value. The weight of the shipment is the most important factor, as it determines how much fuel will be required to transport the load. The density of the shipment is also important, as it determines how much space the shipment will take up in the truck. The value of the shipment is important because it affects the insurance costs associated with the shipment. By taking these factors into account, businesses can ensure that they are getting the best possible rate for their Less-Than-Truckload shipments.

Difference Between LTL and Full Truckload (FTL)

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipments are typically small shipments that weigh less than 10,000 lbs. LTL shipments offer cost savings compared to full truckload (FTL) shipments because the shipper is only paying for the amount of space their shipment occupies on the truck. LTL shipments typically take longer to ship than FTL shipments because there was consolidation with other LTL loads going to the same destination.

Full Truckload shipping (FTL) is when a shipper pays to have an entire truck dedicated to their shipment. The shipments of FTL freight carriers typically weigh more than 10,000 lbs and can be shipped faster than LTL shipments because they do not need to be consolidated with other shipments. FTL shipping is more expensive Than LTL shipping because the shipper is paying for an entire truck, even if their shipment does not fill the entire truck.

There is more to learn about LTL freight shipping. Talk to our team of experts today. 913-393-6119