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LTL Freight Shipping or Less than truckload shipping is the method used for transportation of small size freight. Small packages can be sent via parcel carriers or full truckload carriers. There are thus several options when it comes to sending small packages. That said, the parcel carriers will usually not carry more than 150 pounds. A full truckload has the capacity to carry a heavy load and use semi trailers with dimensions between 7.92m to 16.15m.

Defining LTL Freight

There are many different explanations on what LTL Freight is. A ‘Full Truck Load’ is large however it can contain 2 to 6 different LTL freight packages. On the other hand there are other freight companies that do not use the “Truck Load” measure but instead load 2 to 12 pallets. This is equivalent to approximately 4000 to 24000 pounds. In addition to this, LTL freight can also be shipped via common carriers. These are carriers like FedEx Ground, UPS, even U.S Mail. Such carriers transport parcels just above their normal shipment to allow for LTL Freight. In terms of weight, this is from 150 pounds to 2000 pounds and in terms of pallets it would constitute 14 pallets.

Characteristics of LTL freight

LTL freight can be moved via air, road, sea. There are many transportations options.
LTL shipping carriers are also known to utilize temperature controlled trailers when required.
There are several methods to determine the shipping rates, like the class, weight, source, destination, etc.
Fuel charges are also a big factor when it comes the cost of LTL shipping.
The nature of the shipment also dictates the cost. Thus for shipments that are fragile, toxic, etc. the freight charges are likely to be higher.
LTL freight delivery times can vary depending on the distance as well as the load of the carrier. However, generally all carriers do have a time defined shipping option. Additionally it may also be possible to schedule urgent deliveries.
When it come to LTL freight, the packaging must be done with utmost care. The main reason being that LTL freight is usually handled several times during the transit from source to destination.

LTL freight shipments are often misrouted and wrongly loaded. Hence the best way to make sure the package is in the right container and route is to place the tracking code in a place that is clearly visible. It also pays to place the tracking code on either side.

LTL shipping carriers often implement the “Zone Skipping” process. Which basically means shipping the package to another parcel carrier hub. This method is used to avoid extra charges that are incurred while shipping across multiple zones.

Intermodal transportation is usually preferred when it comes to LTL shipping. This means the LTL freight can be delivered by making use of air and sea, truck and sea or some other similar combination. The advantage of doing this is reduced package exposure.

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