The term parcel sometimes signifies residential, or small shipper, in the freight industry, but that kind of definition isn’t a box parcel fits neatly into. Actually, there’s more to parcel than meets the eye! We get that reevaluating your shipping habits sounds time-consuming—and time is money where freight’s concerned—but there’s a silver lining: shipping parcel alongside your less-than-truckload cargo (and vice versa!) could save you big.
Since parcel falls under different size requirements entirely, it’s easy to assume that all things big and bulky are freight (everything from 151 lbs. and up) and should be shipped like freight. For parcel, we keep an eye on dimensional weight.
Reassess the measurements of your shipment to see if it qualifies as parcel. Here’s a quick refresher:
- Under 150 lbs.
- 108 in. or less in length.
- Less than 165 in. in both length and girth combined.
- Measure the width of the package, multiply this number by two.
- Measure the height of the package, multiply this number by two.
- Add these two numbers together. This is your girth.
- Now, add your length + girth to see if the total is under 165 in.
A good rule of thumb for deciding which to choose is this: If you believe the item falls within a high freight class category, the weight of the commodity is 150 lbs. and its dimensions are within range, choose parcel. While freight class is a non-issue for parcel, your commodity will reap the benefits of parcel services—meaning it will be handled with more care. If it’s close to 150 lbs. but has a lower freight class (or is more durable), is stackable, and fits within the dimensions, choose LTL.
Remember, ease of handling and density are two factors that go into deciding a LTL’s freight class (and if you’re unsure about either give FreightCenter a ring! We can compare and help you figure it out).
Say you want to ship your LTL freight—4 boxes of household goods weighing a total of 94 lbs.—from Melbourne, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. It measures at 18 in. x 18 in. x 9 in. When you plug this information into a quote calculator, an estimated 3-day trip comes out to around $420.78. Not exceptionally pricey in our industry but considering what you’re shipping and how you’re shipping it, it’s got you scratching your head.
So you decide to calculate the girth. When you do so, it equals 54 in.—ding, ding, ding! This qualifies as parcel! Reach out to one of our experienced agents for a verifiable parcel quote, and they will tell you that a parcel with those specifications will cost $106.60 through FreightCenter.
By shipping those 4 boxes as parcel, you’ll be saving up to 75 percent! That’s a $314.18 difference.
Glance at our handy dandy table for a visual reference:
Now, we’re not saying choose one (parcel) over the other (LTL). Our suggestion is to utilize both where you can, so you can optimize your shipments and save money. Some parcel and LTL shippers have expanded their repertoire to mirror the other. Parcel, by adding heavy-weight parcel shipments to their list of amenities, and LTL, by breaking down their palletized shipments into parcel-sized bites. When you have your pick of the litter, you can choose the best of both worlds.
If you ship LTL more than parcel, but have some freight that might qualify, investigate—especially if it’s going to help you save. Your fiscal budget could be taking an unnecessary blow if you’re simply standardizing your shipments rather than breaking them up where possible.
It’s more cost-effective for LTL shippers to break up low density shipments to ship as parcel if it’s an option, since low density shipments are typically more expensive to ship in bulk.
Analyze the applicable shipment costs for a month, or a quarter, and re-rate them for parcel. You might find that a cocktail of LTL accessorial charges has been irritating the final cost of your shipments this whole time, and those numbers certainly add up. It’s worth your bottom line to check. You can also save more by taking advantage of a trusty 3PL like FreightCenter, whether you decide to ship LTL, parcel, or both!
If you’re looking to consolidate your shipping, contact one of our agents through chat, or by calling (800) 716-7608. Saving money doesn’t have to cost you more time: Let FreightCenter be your one-stop-shop for shipping.