At first glance, LTL shipping methods can seem intimidating. After all, LTL is just one of the many services that fall under the 3PL umbrella. Over the years, LTL services have increased in popularity, and it’s extremely common for companies in the United States to utilize LTL methods. Luckily, we can help you untangle the mystery behind this freight shipping service. We’ve created a general list of items to keep in mind when considering LTL shipping.
LTL stands for “less than truckload,” meaning shipping providers travel long distances to transport a full truck of shipments from different companies. They combine partial loads to create a full load. Your freight travels and makes stops at terminals for other shipments, and it’s unloaded and reloaded into different trucks at every stop. However, there are less stops and weigh-ins than full truckloads (FTL).
To reduce damage, LTL shipments often come in wood crates or on wrapped pallets. Therefore, every order is contained into one unit (or pallet).
It’s easy to get LTL and FTL shipping confused, but this quick guide demonstrates the differences. One of the key differences is pricing; LTL rates are pre-established while FTL rates vary depending on the day.
Typically, a carrier’s LTL rates are based on classes, weight, size, delivery speed (or service type), and discount rates. Rates also vary if you receive accessorial charges (meaning the carrier performs more duties than originally stated in the bill of lading.
We strongly recommend reading through our requirements below for a smooth LTL experience.
LTL shipping offers a host of benefits. Generally, it works well for small, frequent shipments. Thus, we typically recommend that small businesses utilize this type of shipping service. Often, smaller businesses don’t need the space and want to save money as their company grows.
Here are just a few of the benefits of LTL shipping:
Some of the disadvantages of LTL shipping include:
Do you have a larger or heavier shipment? Consider partial (or full) truckloads.
We suggest using full truckloads when your freight is too large to share space with other parcels. When you utilize FTL services, you use entire trucks dedicated to your shipments. These trucks will travel point-to-point.
Partial truckloads are a marriage of LTL and FTL services. They offer numerous benefits, including fast transit times and limited freight handling.
Above all, the shipping method you choose ultimately depends on your shipment size, budget, and desired deliver times.
If you do decide to utilize LTL shipping services, make sure you choose the right provider for your needs. In many cases, you get what you pay for—and choosing the right LTL provider can be difficult, if not scary, as a result. Diversified Transportation Services offers nearly 30 years of industry experience, so we know how to make LTL simple, seamless, and as effective as possible. Plus, we offer our wealth of knowledge at a competitive price, making us the ideal choice for all 3PL services.
In addition to LTL shipping services, we offer FTL, volume and partial TL, and more. We’re a top-tier shipping and logistics company, and we’re a reputable destination that will get your shipments out on time. For questions regarding our services, contact us today.
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