LTL freight refers to the transportation of items or goods that do not need the use of a full truckload. Because of the reduced freight weights, several independent shipments are often transported on a single vehicle. LTL shipments are typically palletized and weigh between 150 and 10,000 pounds with companies that do international logistics.

LTL carriers specialize in maximizing the efficiency of their loads to transport more products for more shippers. LTL shipping is popular among shippers because it provides flexibility, cost savings, and environmental benefits. LTL shipment, on the other hand, is a bit difficult.

Working of LTL freight: 

LTL freight shipments, in essence, combine partial loads into whole multi-stop truckloads, which is incredibly efficient. The cost of shipping is determined by the amount of space required, the type of things being delivered, and the pickup and delivery locations.

LTL freight may be carried in three different ways:

  • Standard
  • Expedited
  • Guaranteed.

LTL freight can also have specific services added to it. Liftgate pickup/delivery, inside pickup/delivery, residential pickup/delivery, and reweighing/reclassification are just a few of the services available. These services come with extra charges known as accessorial fees.

Benefits of LTL freight: 


A whole truckload of LTL freight is made up of multiple smaller shipments. You only pay for the space you utilize because your package only takes up a fraction of the truck’s capacity. It guarantees that your costs will be a fraction of the cost of a typical complete truckload transport.

Ideal for e-commerce:

In an age where ecommerce shipping has become the standard, businesses must ensure that their delivery methods are compatible with their consumers’ demands. By avoiding the need for each shipment to fill a full truckload, LTL shipping improves efficiency and delivery times. Using LTL shipping ensures that your freight or inventory arrives at its destination on time and in perfect condition.

Friendly to small businesses: 

LTL shipping is highly beneficial to small businesses. Small firms, on average, transport fewer items and spend less money on freight than large corporations. LTL shipping enables small firms to use professional shipping services while avoiding the high expenditures of unused space.

Environmentally friendly: 

Rather than having more trucks carrying lower than their capacity, the LTL shipping method results in fewer vehicles carrying full loads. The fewer vehicles required to transport goods minimizes emissions and your company’s carbon impact.

Increases security: 

Before being loaded into a truck, most LTL items are packed onto pallets. One well-packaged pallet has a more chance of remaining protected than shipments with numerous smaller handling units.

Additional service options:

When shipping through LTL, you get access to special services like:

  • liftgates
  • inside pickup
  • delivery


LTL carriers provide tracking through various methods, including the bill of lading number, PRO number, PO number, shipment reference number, and pickup date range, to mention a few.

Factors that specify LTL shipping rates are: 


The greater the distance between two points, the higher the price.


The dimensions and weight of the shipment are used to define the freight class, which influences charges.


LTL shipments can be expedited; however, this usually comes at an extra cost.


Shipments that require special handling or equipment (perishables, delicate, or dangerous products) will almost certainly cost more.

Reasons to choose LTL shipping: 

  • LTL shipping is suitable for firms with less than 15,000 pounds of freight that do not require a full trailer.
  • If you want to save money, LTL is a good option.

Preparation of LTL shipments: 


When calculating the length, breadth, and height of a cargo, round up to the nearest inch. Carriers need accurate dimensions to optimize their capacity, and you need dimensional accuracy to avoid modification costs.


When the carriers arrive, the bill of lading should be filled out as thoroughly as possible. This paper serves as a receipt for the sent products.

Labeling and packaging:

Condense and safeguard your cargo by loading products onto pallets. Pallets or boxes should have heavy objects placed on the bottom and a label placed on the side.

Additional LTL shipping services: 


Request an expedited freight price if you need your products to reach their destination faster than the typical transit period.


When freight weighs more than 100 pounds and the receiving location lacks a dock, the shipment must be moved directly off the truck.

Limited access: 

This service is necessary for delivery to locations where carriers have limited access, such as construction sites, camps, rural areas, strip malls, and so on.

Inside pickup and delivery: 

You must request inside pickup and delivery if the carrier needs to enter the premises to retrieve the freight to load or finish delivery by bringing it within.

Challenges faced during LTL freight: 


As a compromise for flexibility and pricing, LTL freight may sacrifice expediency. Freight typically takes longer to arrive since each truck carries supplies from numerous firms traveling to multiple adjacent destinations. When using LTL freight as a shipping option, allow for extra time than you would for a full truckload cargo.

The capacity of carriers: 

Unlike full-truckload shipment, LTL shipping is not available from every carrier. Finding a company that will transport LTL at a reasonable cost might be difficult. To get through this stumbling block, give yourself plenty of time to look for a carrier or utilize a free quote tool to find a company that meets your service and price requirements.

Details about the shipment: 

LTL shipping necessitates meticulous attention to detail. The price your company pays for LTL freight is affected by several factors, including freight class, weight, pickup and destination locations, deadline, and so on. When deciding the logistics of your LTL shipments, pay great attention to all details to acquire the best pricing and service level feasible.

Successful shipment of LTL freight: 

Ensure your Shipping Company pays attention to the following elements to carry LTL freight properly to provide the best possible services around (we have no issues there).

Make use of a transportation management system (TMS) : 

Shipment optimization, visibility, business analytics, and global supply chain talent are available through a transportation management system (TMS). These systems help you save money, increase efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in your global supply chain.

A TMS should examine every LTL load to see if it can be combined with other cargo on nearby routes. It then uses this information to create multi-stop complete truckloads of freight.

A TMS’s knowledge can assist your company in selecting an LTL carrier, receiving accurate prices, appropriately optimizing items and routes, and answering any issues you may have along the road.

Consolidators of leverage: 

You can’t combine freight until you have a lot of LTL volume, no matter how good your software is. Fortunately, even small loads can ship via LTL with the help of freight consolidators.

LTL freight consolidation businesses combine partial loads from various carriers to form complete truckloads. Using LTL consolidators improves efficiency and saves money.

Individual LTL orders from diverse shippers are blended into a complete truckload to give shippers consistent, on-time worldwide delivery for their partial shipments. Freight frequently arrives at the consolidation facility and is sent within 24 hours. Despite the hectic nature of these warehouses, cargo is handled less often than a regular LTL load, reducing the risk of damage and claims.

Give precise details about your shipments: 

Carriers must devote additional time, effort, and money to incorrectly packed or reported freight. Maintain positive relationships with carriers by accurately reporting information about your shipments (weight, freight class, etc.) and appropriately packaging them according to the freight’s characteristics. It saves time and money for your LTL carriers, resulting in a beneficial partnership.

How can you make your LTL freight more efficient?

It is a logistics dilemma that almost every shipper faces:

How to efficiently route freight that is more than six pallets but not enough for a full truckload. Because of the wasted space, using a full truckload service if you don’t have a full load to send may be a less environmentally beneficial option.

Shippers can save costs and emissions by consolidating their freight.

LTL freight shipment should be considered a feasible logistical solution for your company. LTL freight may be incredibly efficient and cost-effective depending on your company and your most common shipment types. Having data on hand makes it easier to figure out what measures to take next to get the most out of LTL freight.

With Custom Crating and Logistics, you can get better solutions that match your specific needs, meet growing customer expectations, enhance efficiency and increase velocity.

Contact us to learn more about how our LTL services might help your supply chain.

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