What is Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)?

Less-than-Truckload or LTL is freight that only occupies part of an entire trailer. The LTL carrier combines multiple loads from different shippers into one trailer. This allows multiple shippers to only pay for a portion of the same trailer. In turn, LTL shipping is the most cost-effective method of shipping freight. Using this method of shipping, you are only paying for the space your freight is taking up.

When would you need LTL Trucking?

It can be difficult to determine if your freight meets the correct standards for the savings provided by LTL shipping. If you are shipping freight that is less than 15,000 lb. and less than 6 skids, LTL shipping could be for you. While some carriers allow you to ship more skids or heavier weight via LTL, that is the general rule. LTL shipping is for freight that is too large for a parcel carrier but too small to fill the entirety of the trailer. In a typical trailer there is room for 26-30 standard skids. If you have a small shipment of standard skids (48×40), then you probably need LTL trucking.

What are the benefits of LTL?

There are many benefits to choosing to ship via LTL carriers. The main benefit is reduced costs. When shipping via LTL you are only paying for a portion of the trailer based on how many “spots” your freight takes up. Other shippers who are shipping via the same carrier cover the cost of the rest of the trailer.

Additionally, there is the benefit of shipment security. When shipping through this method, carriers often palletize or require you to palletize your freight. Shipping on pallets limits the amount of damage to your freight. One pallet is easier to keep secure and damage-free than multiple smaller units. Shipping pallets can also make it easier for loading and unloading which can remove or eliminate labor costs.

Moreover, shipping with an LTL carrier allows you to be able to track your shipment. Whether you are tracking via your Bill of Lading number, PRO number, PO number or shipment reference number, you can get live updates. 2 Sons Trucking has a customer service team dedicated to tracking your shipment from start to finish., you can track live from our portal.

Finally, LTL carriers offer a wide variety of additional service options. Some additional options are liftgate, inside delivery, appointment and more. This allows you to customize the shipment to you and your customer’s needs. You can contact our sales team to see what additional services your shipment will require.

What determines the cost of your LTL Shipment?

There are a few things that will affect the rate of your shipment. Some of the factors that determine LTL shipping rates:

Distance—Often the longer the haul, the higher your price will be. Shipping from California to New York will be more expensive than shipping from New York to New Hampshire. This increased price is due to the increased costs for the carriers.

Dimensions—Often, carriers determine the rate based on the size and weight of your shipments. The carrier will calculate the cost partially based on the length, width, and height as well as the weight. This helps them determine the freight class and how much space the freight takes up in the trailer.

Freight Class—Your shipments freight class is determined by a variety of factors. Weight, dimensions, and density are all factors that impact class. If you have heavy and dense freight, it is easier to handle, making it cheaper. Fragile shipments are often more expensive due to the risk. If you need help determining your freight class, reach out to our team.

Additional Features—When customizing your load to fit your needs, it comes with extra costs. Liftgate, inside delivery and other services often come with fees. Each carrier has different fees for these services.

Special Requirements—Sometimes you are shipping freight that requires extra assistance. Some of these features include residential pickups or hazardous materials. These increased costs are due to the limitations this puts on how/when the carrier can deliver.

How to Prepare LTL Shipments:

Dimensions—You will need to gather the dimensions of your shipment. The carrier will need to know the length, width, and height of the freight. This will allow them to know how many skids spaces your freight will take up. To avoid any additional costs, you will need to have accurate dimensions. The standard skid size is 48×40.

Documentation—There are a few documents needed by the carrier in order to pick-up and deliver your freight. The most important document is the Bill of Lading. This has the shipper’s information, the consignee’s information and all other information needed for shipping and payment. Ensure that the BOL is as accurate as possible to ensure delivery is correct.

Packaging and Labeling— Many LTL carriers require that your freight is palletized, and this makes sure the freight stays safe in travel. Make sure to have labels on your freight on all sides so the carrier knows where it is going. You can additionally place labels with instructions such as Hazardous material or Do not double stack.

Now, that you are ready to book your LTL shipment:

Shipping your freight through LTL Carriers saves you money on all your nationwide shipments. To save even more money, reach out to us to try our Free Portal. Through our portal, you gain access to all the top carriers nationwide. You will get amazing savings and a one-stop-shop for all your booking and tracking needs. Contact our Agent Jordan Wolinetz today, 631.755.5858 to get your first free quote!