LTL (less-than-truckload) shipping is beneficial to several parties by combining loads into a single truck
When evaluating whether LTL shipping is right for your shipping needs, there are several factors to consider.
Overview of LTL Freight Shipping and Logistics Services
Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipping is an economical solution to the common problem of having shipments that are too small to fill up an entire truck or trailer. The shipping method involves combining loads from several shipping customers into a single truck, with each customer only paying for the space their shipment occupies.
LTL shipping is beneficial to several parties. For customers, it reduces shipping costs for smaller loads. For shipping companies, it allows them to send out a single truck while satisfying the demands of multiple customers. For the environment, it reduces the amount of emissions produced during transportation operations.
Compared to other shipping methods, LTL Freight Shipping offers several advantages, such as:
- Lower costs. As you only pay for your portion of the entire truckload, your shipping price is a fraction of that of a full truckload.
- Smaller environmental footprint. LTL shipping combines multiple shipments to fill an entire truck. The method enables fewer trucks to be on the road while still fulfilling shipping demands, translating to less emissions being generated by transportation operations.
- Better suitability for small businesses. In general, small companies ship fewer products than large companies. LTL shipping allows for the delivery of goods without paying a full truckload price for a partially filled truck.
While LTL freight shipping has many benefits, there are a few challenges also, including:
- Longer delivery time. While LTL shipping is cheap and flexible, it is often much slower than other shipping methods. As multiple shipments from multiple clients are combined together, the truck or trailer may take longer to deliver your package.
- Harder carrier selection. Not all carriers offer LTL shipping. Additionally, finding one with rates that fit your budget may be difficult.
- Greater attention to detail required. There are many factors to keep in mind when using the LTL shipping method, all of which can affect price, delivery estimates, etc.
How to Ship LTL Freight Properly
Once you’ve decided to ship freight via the LTL shipping method, you should perform the following steps:
- Gather all shipment information, including dimensions, density, freight class, etc.
- Package the shipment properly in durable packaging and protective material, such as on pallets and in shrink wrap, to protect it from damage
- Assign shipper and consignee details on every package label to ensure the shipment proceeds to the correct delivery location
- Choose a reputable LTL transport company/carrier that can assist you through the process
Satellite Specialized Transportation: LTL Freight Shipping Experts
At Satellite Specialized Transportation, we are well-versed in LTL shipping operations. Equipped with over 30 years of experience in the truck freight transportation industry, as a freight broker, we can get your goods and materials where you need them when you need them.
LTL Freight Class
The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) developed the freight classification system to categorize different types of LTL freight, from 50 to 500. Freight class is determined by several characteristics of the freight shipment, such as dimension, density, weight, packaging, and value. The classification of a particular LTL freight shipment significantly impacts the cost of shipping, with lower class numbers having lower costs and higher class numbers having greater costs. As such, it is important to choose the right freight class to avoid overpaying or experiencing shipment delays.
LTL Freight Cost
In addition to freight class, several other factors influence LTL shipping prices. For example, the carrier, address destination, handling charges, and fuel prices all may affect the final shipping cost. While it’s difficult to determine average price ranges, using a shipment calculator can give you an estimate.
LTL Freight Tracking
Freight tracking capabilities enable you to check-in with your shipments. By having greater visibility into the location of your shipment, you have a more accurate estimate of when to expect delivery and better peace of mind.
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