Less Than Truckload (LTL) refers to the transportation of goods that do not require the full space of a truck. In LTL shipping, multiple shippers’ freight is combined and transported in the same truck, with each shipper paying for their portion of the trailer space.
LTL is a popular choice for businesses that have shipments too large for parcel carriers but too small to justify the cost of an entire truckload. By consolidating shipments from multiple customers, carriers can offer more competitive rates compared to full truckload shipping.
Key aspects of LTL shipping include:
However, LTL shipments might handle multiple times during transit, as goods are often consolidated at terminals and then dispatched for final delivery. This can increase the risk of damage or delays compared to full truckload shipments.
How is pricing determined for LTL shipments? LTL pricing is based on factors like freight class, weight, distance, and any additional services required.
What is a freight class in LTL shipping? Freight class is a standardized classification system used to categorize LTL shipments based on density, stowability, handling, and liability.
How does LTL differ from parcel shipping? While both are used for smaller shipments, LTL is typically used for heavier, bulkier items that exceed parcel carriers’ weight and size limits.
Are there size and weight limits for LTL shipments? Yes, but they vary by carrier. Typically, LTL shipments can range from 150 pounds to around 15,000 pounds.
How can shippers ensure their LTL freight is handled safely? Proper packaging, accurate labeling, and choosing a reputable carrier can reduce the risk of damage during transit.
Is LTL shipping faster than FTL? Not necessarily. While LTL might be quicker for short distances or off-peak times, the consolidation and handling processes can sometimes lead to longer transit times compared to FTL.