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LTL Freight

LTL Freight

Streamline your LTL freight shipping process with FreightCenter, and experience significant cost savings of up to 95%. Take advantage of our complimentary LTL freight quote service today. LTL shipping is an ideal solution for transporting partial truckloads and other goods that do not require full trailer capacity.

What Does LTL Mean In Freight?

LTL stands for “Less-Than-Truckload” in the freight industry. LTL shipping is a transportation method for smaller freight loads that do not require a full truckload. LTL carriers typically transport multiple smaller shipments from different customers on the same truck, which allows customers to share the cost of transportation and reduces overall shipping costs. LTL freight shipments typically weigh between 150 and 15,000 pounds and may be too large for parcel carriers like UPS or FedEx but too small to justify the price of a full truckload.

LTL carriers use specialized equipment, such as pallet jacks, liftgates, and forklifts, to handle and transport these shipments. LTL carriers offer various services, including pickup and delivery, tracking, and insurance. LTL shipping rates are typically based on the shipment’s weight, dimensions, density, distance traveled, and additional services required.

Why choose LTL Freight Shipping?

  • LTL Shipping Quotes from 50+ carriers
  • Instant LTL rates anytime
  • LTL solutions to anywhere in the U.S. & Canada
  • Unbeatable discounts on your less-than-load, truckload, rail, air, and more
  • Automated LTL tracking, paperwork & invoices
  • Manage all freight quotes & shipments in one place
  • 24+ years of transportation experience working for you!
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What Is LTL Freight Shipping?

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is a cost-effective option for small to mid-sized businesses to transport partial truckload shipments without paying for a full 53-foot trailer. Shipping a full truckload trailer can be expensive, especially if you do not need to use the trailer’s entire space frequently. On the other hand, opting for LTL shipping can help you save on transportation costs. However, there are several factors to consider when shipping LTL.

One crucial aspect to consider is the origin and destination of your shipment, as it can impact how your package is shipped. Additionally, the type of packaging used, such as pallets, crates, or boxes, can affect the shipping process. It’s also important to measure the weight of the shipment, which includes the packaging and the item(s) being shipped, as well as the dimensions of the freight using length, width, and height measurements. If you have any questions about packaging options, refer to our website for more information.

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FreightCenter LTL by the numbers
25 Years In Business
1.5m+ LTL Shipments Delivered
93%+ On-Time Performance
99.1% Damage Free LTL Shipments

When should you use less-than-load (LTL) freight shipping?

It’s the go-to choice when your shipment’s weight falls in the range of 150 to 15,000 pounds – a sweet spot that’s too hefty for parcel carriers like UPS or FedEx but not substantial enough to justify the expense of a full truckload. Let’s delve into some scenarios where LTL freight services genuinely shine.

Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: Picture a small business with a limited inventory to move. LTL shipping becomes a beacon of cost-saving hope as it enables firms like these to divide the expenses of a full truckload with other shippers. It’s a lifeline for the budget-conscious.

Cost-Effective Shipping: The name says it all – LTL shipping is your ticket to cost-effective transportation. Instead of footing the bill for a truck you might not need, you pay only for the space your cargo occupies. That’s budget optimization in action.

Multiple Destinations: If your shipments are destined for many locations, LTL shipping becomes your logistical maestro. It efficiently consolidates your freight, slashing transportation costs while ensuring your goods reach each destination promptly and safely.

Limited Storage Space: Imagine operating from a facility with limited real estate storage space. LTL shipping is your ideal solution. It empowers you to ship smaller quantities of products without the headache of securing additional storage space.

Specialized Freight: LTL carriers bring more than just trucks; they have specialized equipment like liftgates, pallet jacks, and forklifts. This arsenal makes them your go-to choice when your freight demands extra care and handling.

But when is LTL freight service at its best? It’s your go-to option when dealing with freight that exceeds 150 pounds, handling large, dense, or bulky items, shipping palletized or crated shipments, managing loads that don’t demand an entire trailer, routing freight through local terminals and distribution centers, and seeking budget-friendly rates for business shippers and individuals alike. In these situations, LTL service emerges as the most efficient and economical choice for getting your goods where they need to go.”

List of Additional LTL Freight Services

Unlock enhanced shipping possibilities with a range of Additional LTL Freight Services. Discover tailored solutions to meet specific shipping needs, from liftgate and appointment delivery to white glove and more.

LTL Liftgate Service

Discover the convenience of LTL liftgate service. Learn how this specialized option simplifies loading and unloading for shipments, making logistics more accessible and efficient.

Inside Pickup/Delivery

Streamline your LTL shipping with Inside Pickup/Delivery service. Explore the benefits of hassle-free loading and unloading, tailored to meet your specific needs.

Residential Pickup/Delivery

Simplify LTL shipping to your doorstep with Residential Pickup/Delivery service. Learn how this convenient option ensures a seamless logistics experience for residential addresses.

Limited Access Pickup/Delivery

Effortless LTL shipping to challenging locations with Limited Access Pickup/Delivery service. Discover how this specialized solution caters to unique delivery points, ensuring smooth logistics.

Appointment Delivery

Take control of your LTL shipments with Appointment Delivery service. Learn how scheduling precision enhances logistics efficiency, ensuring on-time deliveries for your business.

Notify Before Delivery

Stay informed with LTL Notify Before Delivery service. Discover how this proactive option keeps you in the loop, allowing you to prepare for your shipments' arrival with confidence.

White Glove Service

Elevate your LTL shipping experience with White Glove Service. Explore how this premium option ensures the utmost care and professionalism in handling and delivering your valuable cargo.

Hazardous Materials Handling

Safeguard your LTL shipments with expert Hazardous Materials Handling. Learn how specialized training and equipment ensure the secure transportation of dangerous goods.

Trade Show Delivery

Make a lasting impression at your next trade show with LTL Trade Show Delivery. Discover how this service streamlines logistics, ensuring your booth and materials arrive on time and in perfect condition.

Expedited Service

Meet tight deadlines with LTL Expedited Service. Explore how this fast-track shipping option accelerates delivery, ensuring your time-sensitive shipments reach their destination with speed and efficiency.

Freeze Protection

Protect your temperature-sensitive cargo with LTL Freeze Protection service. Learn how specialized equipment and protocols safeguard your goods from freezing during transportation, ensuring product integrity.

Guaranteed Service

Reliability meets peace of mind with LTL Guaranteed Service. Explore how this commitment to on-time delivery provides confidence in your shipping, ensuring your cargo arrives exactly when and where you expect it.

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LTL Freight

Factors That Determine Less-Than-Load Freight Costs

Numerous factors play a pivotal role in shaping the cost of Less-Than-Load (LTL) shipping, shedding light on the intricacies of this pricing model. These factors include:

Location and Distance: The geographical span your shipment must traverse is a linchpin in determining the overall cost. Unsurprisingly, longer distances typically translate to higher shipping costs.

Dimensions and Weight: The size and weight of your shipment hold significant sway over the freight class and density it falls into. These classifications are crucial determinants of shipping rates, making it vital to consider these dimensions when estimating costs.

Mode of Service: LTL shipping offers a spectrum of service options, each catering to distinct needs. Choices such as standard, guaranteed, or expedited shipping come with varying price tags, allowing you to align your selection with your budget and time constraints.

Type of Cargo: Certain commodities demand specialized handling or equipment, giving rise to unique considerations in the cost equation. Whether it’s the delicacy of perishable goods, the fragility of items, or the regulatory hurdles of hazardous materials, such nuances introduce additional costs that must be factored in during the pricing assessment.

These interwoven factors collectively contribute to the comprehensive understanding of LTL freight costs, enabling shippers to navigate the intricacies of this dynamic pricing landscape.

Download Our LTL Shipping Guide

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) FAQs:

Q. What is Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping?

A. Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping is a method of transporting relatively small freight shipments that do not require an entire truck trailer. LTL shipments typically weigh between 150 and 20,000 pounds and occupy a portion of a trailer along with other loads heading in the same direction. LTL carriers consolidate multiple shipments from different customers to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.

Q. Can LTL shipments be delivered to residential addresses?

A. Yes, LTL carriers can deliver shipments to residential addresses. However, additional services such as liftgate or inside delivery may be required if the recipient needs the necessary equipment or workforce to handle the shipment at the delivery location. These services may come with additional charges, so discussing the specific delivery requirements with your shipping provider and making any necessary arrangements in advance is essential.

Q. How does LTL shipping differ from Full Truckload (FTL) shipping?

A. LTL shipping differs from Full Truckload (FTL) shipping in consolidating smaller shipments into a single truck trailer. FTL shipping, on the other hand, involves dedicating an entire truck trailer to a single load. LTL shipping is generally more cost-effective for smaller shipments that don’t require a full trailer, while FTL shipping is suitable for larger shipments that require the exclusive use of a trailer.

Q. How is the cost of LTL shipping determined?

A. The cost of LTL shipping is determined by various factors, including the weight, dimensions, freight class, distance traveled, and any additional services required, such as liftgate delivery or residential pickup. LTL carriers use a combination of these factors, pricing structures, and industry tariffs to calculate shipping costs. Requesting quotes from multiple carriers to compare rates and find the most competitive pricing for your specific shipment is recommended.

Q. What is the transit time for LTL shipments?

A. Transit times for LTL shipments can vary depending on the distance traveled, carrier capacity, pickup and delivery locations, and any potential stops or transfers along the route. LTL shipments typically take longer than FTL shipments due to the need for consolidation and multiple stops. Carriers provide estimated transit times based on the pickup and delivery locations, but it’s important to note that these are estimates and not guaranteed delivery dates.

Q. How should I package my LTL shipment?

A. Proper packaging is crucial for LTL shipments to ensure the safety and integrity of the freight during transit. Use sturdy boxes or crates and secure the items inside to prevent shifting or damage. Use cushioning materials like bubble wrap or packing peanuts to protect fragile items. Label the packages clearly with the necessary shipping labels and any handling instructions. For more clarification about packaging requirements, consult your shipping provider for guidance.

Q. What is a freight class, and how is it determined?

A. Freight class is a standardized classification system used in LTL shipping to categorize different types of freight based on their density, handling characteristics, and liability. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) assigns a freight class to each commodity, ranging from class 50 to class 500, with higher classes indicating higher freight density and lower classes representing lower density and easier handling. The freight class is determined by weight per cubic foot, value, stowability, and handling requirements.

Q. Do I need to purchase additional insurance for my LTL shipment?

A. LTL carriers typically provide limited liability coverage based on the freight class and weight of the shipment. However, this coverage may only partially protect the value of your goods. Consider purchasing additional cargo insurance to provide comprehensive coverage for your LTL shipment. Cargo insurance offers financial protection in case of loss, damage, or theft during transit and provides peace of mind knowing that your goods are adequately protected.

Q. Can I track my LTL shipment?

A. Yes, most LTL carriers offer tracking services that allow you to monitor the progress of your shipment. You will typically receive a tracking number that you can use to track the shipment’s status online or through the carrier’s website or tracking portal. This lets you stay updated on your LTL shipment’s whereabouts and estimated delivery time.

Q. What should I do if there are any issues or damages with my LTL shipment upon delivery?

A. If you notice any issues or damages with your LTL shipment upon delivery, it’s important to document them immediately. Take photos and note any visible damage on the delivery receipt or bill of lading before signing it. Contact the carrier’s customer service and initiate a claim process immediately. To support your claim, provide all necessary documentation, such as photos, invoices, and proof of value. The carrier will guide you through the claims process to seek resolution and potential compensation for the damages.

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