What is LTL Freight & How Can It Work For You?

Domestic transport helps connect the continental United States through the transportation of cargo to bring products to the areas where they are needed. One of the many types of domestic transportation services is LTL freight or less than truckload, which proves to be the best option for many retailers moving freight. Learn more about LTL to see if it might be the right option for you and your business.

What is LTL Freight?

LTL stands for less than truckload, and is the service of taking cargo that is less than a full truckload and transporting it with other freight in order to make the most of the space on the truck. The alternative to LTL is FTL, or full truckload, where the entirety of the truck is dedicated to freight from one client. 

How Do LTL Freight Services Work? 

Logistics managers like us will be hired to move freight for clients and if the shipment is under a certain size and is not in a rush, LTL shipments are an option we give to the client. LTL shipments combine partial loads to make for one longer shipment with several stops along the way, making the process more efficient as a whole. The cost associate with shipping cargo mostly boils down to the total space needed, the type of items being shipped and any special requirements needed, and the pickup and destination locations so there are many scenarios where LTL is the best option for a client to choose.

There are also special services that are offered on most LTL shipments; you can use standard, expedited, or guaranteed shipping based on the timeline you need your cargo to arrive on. Most logistics management providers will also offer lift gate services, inside pickup/delivery, residential pickup/delivery, and reweighing/reclassification. It is standard for each of these services to cost an accessorial fees, meaning they are not included in LTL shipping costs in general but they can make for a smoother, safer shipment for your cargo.

What’s the Difference Between LTL and FTL?

The difference between LTL and FTL can be summarized by who the truck is dedicated to on a given shipment. If a full truckload is being used for one client’s cargo, that is a full truckload shipment. If the space on the truck is divided among several clients, leading the truck to make several stops along the route to deliver all the cargo to their respective destinations, that is a LTL shipment. The most obvious benefit of LTL is that in many cases, it is less expensive than FTL so if you don’t need the full space of a truck, it is likely your best option. It is also a great option if you’re in need of moving your cargo but you aren’t in any rush, as you could chose a standard LTL and receive the lowest rate. 

FTL will allow you more options and flexibility though, making it the obvious choice for clients who have special needs or a strict time frame for delivery. FTL transports almost always are faster than LTL, as there is only one pickup and drop-off location that needs to be coordinated and they will be able to take the most direct route.


How Do I Know if LTL is Right for Me? 

The best way to know for sure if LTL is right for you is to work closely with a trusted logistics manager. Your logistics manager will be able to tell you the best option for you based on the details of your transport and any special needs you might have. If you’re in need of an experienced logistics manager, contact LogiWorld today for a free quote on your shipment!

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