In shipping there are many more questions than answers.  Freight carriers involved in less than truckload shipping are a unique entity in the shipping equation.  Below you will find the answers to the top five questions asked about LTL shipping.

What is less than truckload (LTL) shipping exactly?

When shipping a load that consists of freight that takes up less than a full truckload it will be less expensive for freight to be sent LTL.  In shipping there are there are three main shipping modes, less than truckload, parcel carriers and full truckload carriers.  Parcel carriers usually handle smaller packages and freight that is broken down into units that are less than one hundred fifty pounds.  Full truckload carriers move freight that consists of a load fitting into a semi-trailer.  Semi-trailers are between twenty six and fifty three feet.  They require a large amount of freight to make it cost effective for shippers to choose this option in freight shipping.

How exactly do LTL shippers operate?

An LTL shipper usually carries a load of freight between one hundred and fifty one pounds and twenty thousand pounds.  Most LTL carriers work through a hub and spoke system.  This allows smaller shipments to be sent through a variety of channels and paired with other shipments headed to the same place to create a full truckload.  This keeps the costs down and allows for many smaller shipments to get where they need to be without the expense of a full truckload shipment. Many small picks ups can occur, creating smaller shipments, centered in one local hub shipped out through a variety of spokes to other LTL carriers at a lower cost to shippers.

What is the advantage of using a carrier that ships LTL?

The major advantage of using an LTL carrier is that you can decrease the costs associated with transportation on your freight shipments.  Also, additional services are offered through LTL carriers such as lift gate services at pickup and delivery, residential services, indoor deliveries, notification of pickups and deliveries, freeze protection and more.  If you need a more hands on approach to your shipment it is ideal for you to look at LTL carriers for transporting your goods.

What is the main difference between the operations of LTL shippers and parcel carriers?

Parcel carriers usually ship pieces that weigh less than one hundred and fifty pounds.  LTL carriers and parcel carriers still compete for shippers as larger shipments can be broke down into smaller packages.  An LTL carrier prefers to ship loads that don’t need a great deal of handling.  An LTL carrier prefers to ship pallets.  LTL shipper ship one pallet which may contain many boxes wrapped together to form one shipment where as a parcel carrier will break it down into smaller loads.   The typical per pound rate of LTL carriers is less than the per pound rate of parcel carriers overall.

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