What is LTL (Less Than Truckload)?

Courtney L.
April 5, 2022

If your shipment doesn’t fill up a dry van, then you just might need Less Than Truckload (LTL) services to help you optimize your supply chain and save money. 

In this post, we explain exactly what LTL entails and how you can formulate the best transportation plan for your smaller shipments.

What is Less Than Truckload (LTL)?

If your shipment doesn’t reach full capacity or weighs between 150 to 15,000 lbs, you don’t have to stick to shipping it in a trailer with unused space. All of that empty space costs money, and it also isn’t an efficient way to get your goods moved with precision.

Instead, LTL services consolidates several smaller shipments into one dry van until capacity is reached. This is cost effective for shippers since the space is shared, and LTL shipments travel through multiple hubs, getting picked up or dropped off along the way.

However, this may mean longer delivery times since the truck is constantly stopping. LTL loads can be expedited, but this typically results in extra fees.

What Determines LTL Shipping Rates?

There are a few factors that come into play regarding LTL rates, the main indicator being the distance between pick up and delivery.

The height, width, and weight of the shipment is also a consideration to determine the right freight class, which is used to calculate shipping costs.

Finally, if certain goods require extra equipment or specialized handling, this also can result in added costs.

LTL: The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for ways to be budget-savvy and stretch your savings along the supply chain, then LTL services is the way to go- especially if your shipments weigh under 15,000 lbs. 

LTL loads also get access to services such as trucks with preinstalled liftgates for freight that weighs over 100 lbs. The smaller shipments are typically palletized for loading, which increases security over the road.

Courtney L.