Wondering if you should use LTL freight shipping options? Not sure if LTL freight is right for your company?
If you frequently ship goods around the country, it can be well worth comparing your shipping options carefully. LTL freight shipping is a great option that offers a lot of unique benefits.
In this guide, we’ll tell you what LTL freight is and how it can help your company.
What is LTL Freight?
Less than truckload( LTL) freight shipments are shipments that combine multiple smaller shipments into one truckload.
With LTL shipping, multiple partial loads will be combined to make a full truckload, allowing for lower costs and several other benefits. The shipping cost will be based on the amount of space that is used, the pickup location and destination, the types of items being shipped, and more.
While full truckload (FTL) freight takes up an entire trailer and only one shipper will have goods transported at a time, LTL shipping carries items for multiple companies at once.
While LTL freight has its benefits, FTL shipping tends to work best when there are a lot of items to ship. FTL shipping also allows a shipper to have more control overall.
Benefits of Using LTL Freight
There are a lot of advantages to LTL shipping. Here are a few of the key advantages that you should know about.
One of the reasons that LTL freight can be a good option is because it’s cheaper than FTL shipping. Because a truck will be filled with several small shipments from different shippers, it can be a more affordable option for shippers who have a limited amount of inventory to ship.
Businesses will only pay for what they actually ship on an LTL freight truck. This means that they’ll end up paying a fraction of the cost of what they would pay for an FTL shipment.
One of the best benefits of using LTL delivery options is that they offer more flexibility.
LTL bypasses the need for a business to fill up a full truckload when shipping. Companies can instead ship inventory exactly where it needs to go at the ideal time and can ship a lower number of items at once. Hot shot delivery may also be an option with LTL freight.
This flexibility is great for e-commerce companies and small businesses that don’t need to ship a lot at once.
LTL shipping reduces the number of trucks that are carrying full loads. Fewer trucks will be used for more shipments. This means that many freight shipments can get to their destinations with a lower impact on the environment.
By using LTL freight, your company will reduce its carbon footprint and cause fewer emissions.
Drawbacks of LTL Freight
While LTL freight has its benefits, it also has some negatives as well. Here are a few of the drawbacks of using LTL freight.
While LTL freight can offer better flexibility to shippers, it can suffer a bit when it comes to time.
Because multiple companies will be shipping items in the same truck, there will be multiple stops in multiple locations. It will take longer for items to get from Point A to Point B.
When compared to using an entire truckload, time can be more of a factor with LTL shipping. You’ll want to think carefully about this timing when making shipments with LTL freight.
Finding the Right Carrier
Finding the right carrier for LTL freight can also be somewhat difficult. Not all carriers offer LTL freight shipping as an option so you’ll need to do a bit of digging to find the right carrier that will offer a good price.
Be sure that you’re prepared for the search and that you have enough time to find a carrier that fits your needs.
Paying Attention to Details
When using LTL shipping, remember that you’ll need to pay close attention to the details of your shipment.
Price will vary based on many factors including weight, pick-up location, destination, freight class, and more. You’ll need to think about all of these factors carefully when planning a shipment to ensure you can get the very best price.
Making the Most of LTL Freight
Now that you know a bit about LTL freight, here are a few tips that you should follow to have the most success with it.
1. Consider the Pricing Carefully
There are many factors that contribute to the cost of LTL shipping rates. This includes freight class and weight, distance, fuel price, season, speed of service, and more.
You need to carefully consider all of the different factors and make sure that you compare base rates among different LTL freight shipping companies. This will help you ensure that you’ll get the best deal and will be happy with the end result.
2. Fill Out the BOL Correctly
One of the things that you should do to ensure a good LTL shipping process is to make sure that you fill out the bill of lading (BOL) carefully. The BOL is essentially a receipt for the goods that are being shipped and lists details of the agreement between the carrier and the shipper.
Be sure to avoid making mistakes on the BOL since this can cause problems with regard to freight handling and costs.
3. Make Use of Pallets
When shipping with LTL freight, it’s a good idea to use pallets. Pallets can make things a lot easier for carriers and can help ensure that your freight is kept in the best condition during transit.
Pallets can also help to make loading much easier and will help ensure that items are loaded in the most efficient way.
If you want to have the best time shipping items across the country, LTL freight shipping can be a good option. Be sure that you consider using it for your company if you want to lower costs and have more flexibility.
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