Find answers to common freight questions.
How Do I Ship LTL Freight?
When shipping Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight (150 to 15,000 lbs), you pay only for the space your cargo occupies. LTL can be shipped via standard, expedited, or guaranteed services. LTL freight shipping can be complicated due to variables such as lanes, weight, dimensions, and classification.
You can start first by determining how to package your freight. Crating an item is the best way to protect the freight from damage. Followed by a heavy-duty cardboard box strapped to a pallet. Some items can get by with only being shrink-wrapped and strapped to a pallet. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFC) has guidelines on packaging depending on the item you are shipping. It’s also important to remember that the smaller the footprint or space your freight takes up. Typically the lower the freight rate will be. The denser the shipment is, the lower the freight class will be, and the lower the rate will be.
Reach out to one of our freight agents for help on the best way to package the item you are shipping – 800.716.7608
Once you have the item properly packaged. It’s time to think about what type of service level you need. Since LTL can be shipped via standard, guaranteed, or expedited. Standard means the freight moves with an estimated transit time. Guaranteed means the freight moves with some priority in the carrier’s network and has a guaranteed delivery date to meet, or there is a service failure. Expedited is when you need your freight delivered faster than the posted transit time for a lane. The freight needs to be delivered in 2 days rather than the standard 4 days, for example. FreightCenter agents can look at a lane and give you options based on your needs and budget.
Once you have contacted and booked a shipment with FreightCenter. A bill of lading will be available for download and printing. Review the bill of lading to ensure everything from the pickup location to the item and weight are correct. Then two copies must be printed out. We recommend taking photos of the freight before it’s picked up.
When the driver arrives on the day of pick-up. Make sure to hand the freight to the correct carrier and hand the driver two copies of the bill of lading. The driver should sign both copies and give one back to you for your records. The driver will place a tracking/pro# sticker on the paperwork, and you can track your shipment on our website. Tracking will appear the next business day as the carrier has to take the freight back to their shipping terminal/hub before it will start tracking online.
Still, Have More Questions?
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