LTL Freight: Meaning, Definition, and Examples

When discussing shipping freight, LTL freight is undoubtedly one of the most complicated and confusing areas. It can be overwhelming for beginners to understand the ins and outs of LTL shipment. Some people do not even know where to begin.

We recognized this common aspect of frustration and decided to create a comprehensive guide for beginners in LTL carrier. Keep reading to find out more!

What is LTL Freight?

What is LTL Freight?

LTL freight shipping, or less than full load shipping, is utilized for the transportation of small freight or when the freight does not need an entire trailer, it is similar to LCL shipping. This shipping method can be utilized when the LTL shipments weigh between 150 and 15,000 pounds.

With LTL shipping, the shipper pays for the part of the standard truckload shipping their freight occupies. On the other hand, the shippers and their truckload shipments fill the unoccupied space.

LTL Meaning

LTL Meaning

Less than truckload (LTL) is a freight option when multiple shipments share the same truck, and various shippers pay for the space they occupy. It’s a cost-effective method of shipping small shipments or goods less than 15,000 pounds.

LTL Freight Definition

LTL Freight Definition

What is the LTL definition? Less than truckload (LTL) freight refers to transporting goods or products that don’t need full truckload shipments. Smaller freight loads normally lead to separate shipments transported on a single truck.

LTL freight is normally arranged on pallets and ranges from 150 to 10,000 pounds. On top of that, LTL shipping carriers optimize the truckload to move more freight for more shippers efficiently.

Shippers love LTL freight shipping because it affords them environmental friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility. Nonetheless, LTL truckload freight shipping can be rather complicated.

How Does LTL Work?

How Does LTL Work?

LTL shipping combines partial loads to make full truckload shipments, which is practical. The shipping costs are based on space utilized, the class of shipped items, destination locations, and pickup locations.

LTL freight shipping can be shipped standard, guaranteed, or expedited shipping. LTL freight can also be shipped, along with special services included. Some of those services include residential pickup/delivery, inside pickup/delivery, lift gate pickup/delivery, and reweighing or reclassification.

Such specialized services needed added costs referred to as accessorial fees.

The difference between LTL and FTL Freight Shipping.

The difference between LTL and FTL Freight Shipping.

FTL shipping is a shipping option that needs a full semi-truckload. It is similar to FCL shipping. Normally, FTL shipments could range from 150 pounds to 1,000 pounds. That way of shipping is only cost-effective if you have a substantial volume of freight.

On the other hand, LTL freight is a much better option for other shippers with at least 150 pounds of freight to transport.

FLT carriers could put between 2 and 6 shippers’ shipments on a trailer. Since every shipment would also be considered less than a truckload, those would be LTL shipments.

Remember that a shipping method is only considered LTL shipping if the shipper pays for the truckload’s whole volume.

What Are the Benefits of LTL Freights?

What Are the Benefits of LTL Freights?

Still uncertain if LTL shipping is good for you? Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of LTL shipments.

Small business-friendly

Small companies benefit from shipping LTL freight because they ship fewer parcels and spend less on freight than big companies. You see, LTL shipping enables them to benefit from the services a freight service provider offers without paying high costs for unused space. How cool is that?

Environmentally conscious

The entire LTL shipping process leads to fewer trucks carrying full truckloads, unlike an entire truck carrying less than its capacity. That decline in the number of trucks required to get goods to their destination minimizes emissions and your business’s carbon footprint.

Cost savings

LTL shipping includes numerous smaller shipments that fill an entire truckload. Since your shipment only consumes a portion of the truck’s space, you only pay for the space you consume. That guarantees your costs will only be a fraction of what a standard full truckload shipping normally costs.

Security enhancement

Most LTL trucking shipments are placed on pallets before they’re loaded into the truck. The better your freight is packaged, the better chance it has to arrive efficiently and safely at its destination. Smaller and loose items not palletized are not perfect for shipping LTL freight.

Extra services are available

Choosing LTL shipping means you can access special handling services such as inside pickup/delivery and liftgates.

How much do LTL carriers cost?

How much do LTL carriers cost?

Now that you learned the LTL carriers meaning and LTL carriers definition, it’s time you understand how much it costs to work with LTL carriers.

If you are shipping LTL, you are more likely to search for the lowest rate. Fortunately, LTL carriers know that. These parcel carriers maximize cost savings to pass them on to their customers.

Keep in mind that the cost of LTL shipping depends on the National Motor Freight Classification that develops the grading system similar to what other industries provide. It uses eighteen classes from class 50 on the lower end to class 500 on the higher end.

The factors considered here are density, handling, liability, and storability. When combined, these qualities create the commodity’s transportability. The higher the NMFC number, the costlier the LTL shipping rates would be.

Other shippers should have access to a system that enables precise classification based on the information given to them.

Click here to read about Freight Charges: Meaning & Calculator & More.

When Can I Use LTL Freight?

When Can I Use LTL Freight?

You can use LTL shipping if you are someone who does not ship a high volume of palletized freight simultaneously. If you are a heavily-used freight lane, then it makes much sense, as you don’t need to pay additional to get trucks to stop by your local terminals and facilities.

Remember that LTL shipping saves money in the long run. It’s the simplest way to move bulky and big items affordable and quickly. You can save money shipping LTL when you do not need a full truckload.

Best Practices for LTL Freight Shipping

What’s the best way to prepare LTL shipments? To successfully ship LTL freight, ensure your company pays closer attention to the following:

·        Give correct information about your less-than-truckload shipping shipments

Carries will spend more time, money, and resources to handle incorrectly packaged or reported freight, such as hazardous items. Keep good relationships with freight carriers by reporting information about your shipment and packaging them based on the properties of the freight.

·        Leverage consolidators

Whatever your software’s quality, you cannot consolidate freight unless you have a massive LTL volume. Luckily, even small volumes could ship through LTL trucking through freight consolidators.

LTL freight consolidators bring partial loads from many carriers into their consolidation centers to make full truckloads. Hiring them means increased savings and better efficiency.

·        Use TMS

A transportation management system offers shipment optimization, business intelligence, visibility, and global supply chain talent. Those systems minimize costs, enhance efficiency, and offer a competitive edge in your global supply chain.

Final Words

Your business should be informed of LTL shipping as a viable shipping service. Depending on your shipment types and organization, LTL freight can be extremely cost-effective and cost-efficient.

Make sure you stay updated with how the LTL industry runs, and it could benefit you to maximize the impact of LTL shipments. That information will help you distinguish the next steps you can take to maximize your LTL freight.

If you have more questions about FTL and LTL shipments, contact us to solve them and start your LTL shipment right now.

DFH Global Logistics - China

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