Patriot Freight Group

What You Need to Know About Less Than Truckload Shipping

If you’re an online merchant, you probably already know that shipping is the biggest obstacle to expanding your business.

Thankfully less than truckload shipping is an affordable, time-saving, and high-performance shipping option. It can help you ship larger volumes at once and get products to customers faster

In this article, we’ll explain how LTL shipping works. Here’s everything you need to know. 

What Is Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping?

Less than truckload freight shipping (LTL) is a method of moving freight that carries weight. The term “less than” refers to the fact that it’s less than the capacity of a typical tractor-trailer or another large vehicle. LTL shipments are often used by businesses that need to move heavy equipment, machinery, and other products over long distances.

To qualify as an LTL shipment, the shipment must weigh no more than 55,000 pounds (25 metric tonnes), but may not be any lighter than 50 pounds either.

History of Less Than Truckload Shipping 

The history of less than truckload shipping is a long and winding one. It has its roots in the early days of the United States. Farmers would pool their resources to get their goods to market.

It’s believed that the first Less Than Truckload shipments were made with horse-drawn wagons. They picked up goods from individual farms and delivered them to larger markets. They even made trips into the unknown to new towns during the great expansion westward in the mid 19th Century.

This allowed them to transport large quantities of goods over long distances whilst spreading the costs with other traders using the service. 

LTL Shipping Is Often Used to Transport Larger Shipments 

LTL shipping is often used to transport larger shipments that carry weight. You may have heard of services like FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service. These companies are known for their large trucks and drivers who can deliver packages quickly across a wide area.

They also offer door-to-door service, which means your package will be delivered directly to your home or business address. No need to go out and pick up your package.

The difference between parcel shipping and LTL shipping services is that parcel carriers use smaller vehicles than LTL shipping carriers do. This means they usually only deliver small parcels (like boxes) while less than truckload movers typically move larger items like furniture or appliances.

How Cost Effective Is LTL Shipping?

LTL shipping is a much more cost-effective way of shipping than trucking, air freight, and sea freight. Compared to trucking, LTL shipping is generally the most economical option.

LTL delivery costs are lower. This is because fewer trucks travel to your destination, and the items shipped are typically less expensive. Because of its efficiency in space utilization, LTL shipment also costs less than sea freight. 

Remember if you have hazardous materials on board your shipping, there are likely to be additional costs and considerations.

Is LTL Shipping Supported by Local, Regional, National or International Carriers?

Several carriers support LTL shipping. These include local, regional, national and international carriers. Local carriers may be the best option for you if the distance between your pickup and delivery points is short. On the other hand, regional or national carriers might better suit your needs if you’re looking to ship something further than a few hours away.

Global shipping is also an option if you want to send items overseas. Your carrier will have different options depending on where your shipment goes. But there are many resources available online that can help determine which ones would be best suited to meet your needs and budget requirements.

How Does LTL Shipping Impact Delivery Time?

If you’re shipping a shipment less than truckload, or LTL, then the delivery time of your load will depend on the distance being shipped. Shorter distances are typically quicker to deliver.

This is because they can be shipped by truck rather than rail or water. The larger carriers also have faster rates of transit due to their fleet size.

The length of your shipment also affects how long it takes for an LTL carrier to deliver your goods. If you use a smaller carrier for longer shipments, it may take longer for that carrier’s drivers to reach their destination.

Does the Carrier Have the Capabilities to Track Your Shipment?

Does the carrier have the capabilities to track your shipment and provide updated information about its status throughout the transportation process?

This is crucial if you run a business. So the answer should always be yes. You should be able to easily track your shipment online or by calling the carrier. The  Less Than Truckload freight company you pick should provide you with updates promptly, as well as any other information you need to know about your shipment’s condition.

Less Than Truckload Shipping Is a Great Solution 

A less than truckload (LTL) shipment is a great solution for companies with larger freight needs. LTL shipping is cost-effective and provides access to local, regional, national or international carriers that can support your business’s shipping needs.

When it comes to choosing a carrier for your LTL shipment, you’ll want to find one with an extensive network of terminals and warehouses across the country (or even around the globe). This generally ensures the timely delivery of the products.

For more, be sure to contact us today to see how we can take care of your freight and carrier solutions.