Know the Difference Between LTL Shipping and Truckload Shipping

Know the Difference Between LTL Shipping and Truckload Shipping

E-commerce has led to an increase shipping all across the globe. Every day, the transportation system in the U.S. ships an average of 54 million tons of freight worth almost $48 billion, or about 63 tons of goods per person per year, and these numbers are expected to grow.

And there are multiple ways to get items to their destination. Depending on the distance required, the best shipping method may be by land or by air travel. For land travel, there are two major types of shipping transportation. These are LTL and TL shipping methods. What’s the difference?

LTL (Less-than-truckload)
This form of shipping accepts multiple shipments from many customers. The freight in a less-than-truckload shipping system shares freight space with freights from other companies. The freight will stop at multiple terminals from the beginning of the shipment process to the final destination.

The Size of the Shipment: This type of shipment can typically hold between one and six pallets, with a weight from 200 to 5,000 pounds.

The Price of the Journey: Pricing for LTL is regulated by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. This group classifies freight prices based on commodity, density, and ease of transport. Standard LTL rates are determined by the shipment's starting point and final destination, the freight’s NMFC class and size, and any accessorials required.

How This Method Is Used: LTL is usually applicable for packages that weigh between 150 and 10,000 pounds. Also, if a shipper is sending pallets to more than one location, LTL may be the best option. LTL is also ideal for the short haul of high-volume shipments that do not meet the criteria for a full truckload.

TL (Truckload)
Shipping a full truckload means your freight is the only shipment on the truck. The carrier will take it straight from the origin to the destination. No other shipments will be on this freight because your shipment is big enough to take up the whole truck.

The Size of the Shipment: Full truckload shipments can range from 24 to 30 pallets, or even more.

The Price of the Journey: TL pricing is entirely dependent upon the market. There are no pre-established rates, nor is it regulated, so TL freight negotiations may be necessary.

How Is This Method Used: Truckload shipments are commonly used for shipments over 10,000 pounds that are only going to one destination.

For LTL versus TL shipping, no one method is better than the other. The method that you choose for your shipments will depend on the size as well as the destination.

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