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Types of LTL Carriers and When to Use Them

Whether you’re new to LTL freight shipping or just looking to expand your supply chain’s carrier reach, knowing the different types of LTL carriers and how and when to use them is important. And not all carriers are the same! We’re guiding you through the different types of LTL carriers and when to use them so you can optimize your supply chain.

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What is LTL Shipping?

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is a cost-effective, reliable, and efficient method for shipping freight. It’s essentially a rideshare for your freight cargo, where your cargo shares the space in the back of a freight truck with other shippers’ shipments. That makes LTL shipping the most affordable and popular mode of freight transportation.

Shippers might choose LTL shipping for:

Cargo weighing more than 150 pounds.
Large, bulky items.
Palletized or crated shipments.
Shipments that don’t require the use of the entire trailer.
Shipping cargo through local terminals and distribution centers.
Business shippers and individuals who want affordable freight rates.

Types of LTL Carriers and When to Use Them

The type of LTL carrier you use is entirely dependent on your shipping needs and the scale at which your business is growing. Geography and freight distance also plays a huge role in deciding the right type of LTL carrier and when to use them. Let’s discuss the 4 main types of LTL carriers that are most commonly known and used in the LTL shipping industry.

National Carriers

National LTL carriers service shipments across the country. These carriers maximize your coverage and, in a sense, streamline your supply chain, since you’d only need to ship with one carrier to complete your shipment. These carriers are great for businesses that are expanding to a national scale and are shipping large amounts of cargo regularly.

Multi-Regional Carriers

There are LTL carriers out there who serve multiple regions of the country, but not the entire country. These are known as multi-regional LTL carriers. If you don’t need national shipping coverage but still need to move a high volume of cargo across states, look into multi-regional LTL carriers for securing capacity.

Regional LTL Carriers

Regional carriers are the most well-known alongside national carriers. They only serve specific regions of the country; some in the Northeast, others in the Southwest, etc. If you’re shipping across states but not on a national scale, for example Florida to Georgia, regional LTL carriers will work better for you.

Sub-Regional Carriers

If you’re shipping locally or within state lines, sub-regional LTL carriers are your best bet. Although they have a smaller coverage area, these carriers offer more competitive rates than you’d find at the national and multi-national levels, and you will most likely be able to find capacity much easier as well.

Expand Your Supply Chain with FreightCenter

Utilizing the right types of LTL carriers and knowing when to use them is an important part of your supply chain strategy. Depending on what your business needs, you can incorporate different types of LTL carriers into your network so you can operate at scale and continue to deliver outstanding customer service.

FreightCenter can help simplify this whole process for you! Leverage our large network of fully vetted LTL carriers with discounted rates. Easily compare all the options that work for your personalized shipment details in our powerful transportation management system (TMS) software and find the right LTL carrier on the most efficient lane. Combine that with our expert logistics agents who are available to assist and answer any questions – it’s a combo you can’t beat!

Get started with a free online quote or call 8007167608.

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Rail Freight

Rail shipping is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly transportation method that utilizes trains to move goods over long distances. It's known for its efficiency in handling large volumes of cargo, making it a sustainable and economical choice for businesses seeking reliable freight transport options.

Expedited Freight

Expedited shipping is a premium service designed to meet urgent delivery needs. It prioritizes speed and quick turnaround, ensuring that packages or goods reach their destination faster than standard shipping options. Expedited shipping is the go-to choice when time-sensitive deliveries are essential, providing businesses and individuals with reliable and prompt service for critical shipments.

White Glove Freight

White glove shipping is a premium service that goes beyond standard delivery, offering meticulous handling, specialized packaging, and in-home setup or installation for valuable or delicate items, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience for customers.

LTL Freight

Less than truckload (LTL) shipping is a smart logistics solution for businesses with smaller shipments. It combines multiple smaller shipments into a single truckload, optimizing space and reducing costs. LTL shipping offers affordability and efficiency while ensuring timely delivery, making it an ideal choice for companies looking to save on transportation expenses without compromising on service quality.

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