Everything You Should Know About LTL Shipping
LTL Shipping is the transportation of freight when it does not require the use of an entire freight trailer. This method of transportation is used for partial shipments which weigh usually no less than 150 pounds and no more than 15,000 pounds. When one needs to ship LTL freight, they pay for the amount of space their freight occupies in the trailer while the other shippers pay for the remaining. It is like carpooling but with freight where everyone pays a little bit to move the freight down the road.
There are multiple benefits when it comes to LTL transportation services. Here are some benefits:
- It reduces the costs because one doesn’t need to pay for the entire trailer but only the portion of the trailer which is occupied by the freight being shipped. The other portion of the trailer will be paid by the other shippers who are also shipping LTL freight.
- There are additional service options when using LTL freight such as liftgates which are platforms at the end of the trailers which allow for easy loading and unloading. Inside pickup and delivery are also available with LTL freight as the trucks/trailers used in this type of service are usually chosen to be maneuverable making it easy to go in and out of tight locations.
- Superior security as shipments are tightly packed into pallets. Single, well packed pallets stand a better chance of remaining secure compared to multiple smaller pallets. This means that one doesn’t have to worry about receiving damaged goods.
- Tracking is a breeze with the usage of bill of lading numbers, PO number, PRO number or shipment reference numbers. This ensures a straightforward process with minimum guess work.
LTL shipping rates are a market just like anything else. Sometimes the prices skyrocket and sometimes it is low. This is due to volume and demand just as with any other industry. Here are some factors that determine LTL shipping rates:
The distance between pick up and delivery. This one is simple. The further a shipment needs to go, the higher the price to ship it. There are also other geographical factors such as how remote the location is at pick up and/or delivery.
The mode of transportation. One can opt for a normal delivery timeframe or expedited service. Expedited services usually come with an additional fee but it is highly recommended for time sensitive deliveries.
Type of goods being delivered also plays a part in pricing the shipment. For example, perishable goods, fragile goods, and hazardous goods cost more to ship than ordinary goods.
The dimensions of the goods being shipped directly affects the shipping rates due to the amount of trailer space they will occupy. Trucking companies charge more for wider and heavier shipments than lighter and smaller shipments.
LTL shipping is perfect for shipping freight under 15,000 pounds that does not require a full trailer. This will save shippers money and maximize cost savings while ensuring timely deliveries.
When preparing LTL shipments, there are some things which must be accounted for in order to have a pleasant experience. The dimensions of the freight which will be shipped must be accurate. When measuring the freight, round up all numbers so that the carrier has enough space for the goods on their trailer and so that nothing is misrepresented. Properly prepare a bill of lading to give to the carrier which will serve as a receipt for the goods being shipped. When preparing a shipment, load the goods onto pallets to condense and protect your items. Always place heavier items on the bottom to create a strong base and label the sides of the pallets.