What is an LTL Common Carrier?

LTL common carriers are an important part of the shipping supply chain, helping to get your cargo from its origin to the destination. Continue reading to learn more about what an LTL common carrier is and how it might fit into your next shipment.

The Role of an LTL Common Carrier

An LTL common carrier’s job is to consolidate various shipments from different companies, adding value where they can by covering a set route. The companies who LTL common carriers serve represent the full range of the industry, including large trucking companies, freight service providers, motor carriers and more. These companies will contract an LTL common carrier to offload some of their work and relay on having a trusted partner to be able to hand off some of their transports to when the service fee amount and set route allow for it. Common carriers handle all kinds of shipments, from large commercial cargo to smaller residential shipments, allowing for just about any company to contract them for the services needed.

How do Common Carriers Operate?

LTL common carriers’ job is to make the client’s life easier by handing off cargo to a trusted partner, knowing their cargo will arrive safely to its destination within the allotted time frame. Common carriers will have several types of cargo at any given time, depending on the size of the truck, and will make several stops along the way to get each set of cargo to its destination. Pick up is coordinated between the client and the common carrier and after that, the client can relax knowing their cargo will get where it needs to be on time. In the event an unforeseen event causes a delay, the client can use their tender code, which was given at the time of pickup, to get more information on the cause of the delay and an updated drop-off time. But because LTL common carriers have set routes that they frequently run, delays are less common than other modes of shipment.

How to Prepare Cargo for an LTL Common Carrier

Preparing to use an LTL common carrier to fulfill your shipping needs is fairly straightforward, especially if you have a low-maintenance shipment. Because there are various types of cargo in one truck, special packaging is often required to both secure the cargo correctly and to aid in the identification of each set of cargo for the staff who are responsible for moving it. This may result in an additional fee so be sure to ask your common carrier partner.

While you should weigh and measure your cargo ahead of time, and will need to do so to get an estimate, your common carrier will likely take measurements and weights upon the cargo’s arrival to be sure of their truck’s weight and fitting in your cargo with the others. Carriers can very easily get smacked with penalties if their reported truck weight is higher than the allotted amount so they will be sure to do their due diligence.

Lastly, be sure to ask if your cargo requires any specialized services outside of the norm, as this will add time to the initial intake and will result in additional cost as well. Because their time is limited, any additional attention required almost always has a cost tied to it.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have any questions about LTL common carriers, contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer any and all of your questions. You can also visit our About Us page to learn about the full range of our services.

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