LTL freight shipping, or less-than-load shipping, is the shipment of smaller freight. This kind of freight is typically somewhere between 150 and 10,000 pounds. A shippers LTL freight will be combined with the LTL freight of other companies into one trailer where they will all be shipped together. This mode of shipping can lead to several benefits and is used widely across the logistics industry. These benefits have led LTL shipping to be amongst the most popular and cost-effective methods. Although it can be a complex journey, a simplified explanation of how LTL shipping works can help new shippers succeed.
The Shipping Procedure
Unlike most freight shipments, LTL shipping does not only go from point A to be picked up and then delivered at point B. Instead, LTL freight needs to be transported through a few different check points before it reaches the intended destination. As we now know, LTL involves sharing space with other cargo, so this can mean multiple stops. In addition, there is a need for proper logistics coordination when dealing with multiple stops. Here is a standard LTL shipping process that is separated into 7 steps:
- First, there is the pickup of the freight by a locally operated trucked and this load is taken to a close by terminal.
- In step 2, the LTL shipment is unloaded after its arrived at a break bulk, or a central hub of some sort.
- Next, the load is then moved onto a long-haul truck where other LTL shipments are being housed as well.
- Instead of heading to any final destination, the freight moves on to being dropped off at a freight terminal facility. Here the loads are rearranged and properly organized so that they are shipped to the correct locations.
- From that terminal facility, the long-haul truck arrives at another terminal where the freight is removed and loaded onto the correct locally operated delivery truck.
- Finally, a short journey is made by that delivery truck to drop of the LTL cargo at its ultimate destination.
Once you understand the LTL freight shipping process, you are able to set appropriate expectations for shipping and delivery. It’s likely that an LTL shipment will take a lot longer than a FTL shipment. It’s essentially about having the right partners and efficient routes mapped out.
Benefits of LTL Freight Shipping
Although it seems like LTL shipping can be a bit tedious, there are a number of benefits that can make this the best shipping choice. The best part is having to only pay for the space in the truck that you occupy. You are saving money by not having to rent out an entire truck when you only need a specific section. In addition, you save more money because of the lower shipping rates associated with this mode of transportation. LTL shipping allows you to deliver products on a consistent basis because you are consolidating. Lastly, LTL carriers provide online tracking so you are updated on each step of transit.
If you need a 3PL service that can manage your LTL shipment needs, then you should check out HTL Freight. We have the experience and expertise required to make your shipping operations run smoothly. To find out more, you can contact us. Additionally, if you want to get started today, you can click here and request a freight quote.