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A Basic Guide to LTL

10 Jan 2013

Less than Truck Load, abbreviated as LTL, is fast becoming one of the most popular means of freight shipping these days. A shipment whose volume is less than full truckload needs to resort to LTL service offered by logistic solution provider companies. LTL allows fast, safe and economical shipment of the freight that is comparatively handy to transport and can be manhandled easily.

LTL Carriers

They are typically cargo trucks that are enclosed completely. Some refrigerated LTL carriers also use temperature controlled van trailers to ship temperature sensitive goods. Most of the van trailers today feature roll up doors as a gateway to inside freight or goods. Some logistic or transport companies use pup trailers, which can tow trailers simultaneously and thus handle a twofold amount of goods. These pup trailers are primarily used in interstate freight shipping.

Intercity truck drivers use 53 foot trailers to meet the multiple pickup and drop-off of goods. However, if the good size is very small, the carriers use cab trucks for higher maneuverability. The drivers of these cab trucks usually keep a pallet jack to manage the goods all the way to the destination, or perhaps destinations.

LTL Shipping Quotes

The shipping charges of LTL freight are determined based on several parameters including weight, pick-up and delivery location, category and size of the freight, and additional services leveraged to meet the needs of consignee. Some carriers offer good discounts to freight brokers and shippers.

While requesting a price quote for your LTL freight shipment, make sure that there are no hidden charges involved in it. Fuel surcharges vary based on the variation of diesel prices at the national level. Instead of a full truck load carrier, using an LTL carrier for your portable freight can save you a considerable amount of fuel surcharges.

Logistic companies also offer additional services like a residential pickup, lift gate delivery, call ahead notification to the recipient, and job site pickup or delivery of LTL freight shipping. These services turn out to be very useful for customers whose goods are not always hoisted or delivered to a site that is facilitated with a dock and fork lift. Fail-safe shipping services are offered by many of the LTL carriers across the globe. There are plenty of companies across America that offer LTL freight shipping at the competitive rates for both domestic and international locations.

LTL Freight Packaging

Carriers need to ensure that the goods they transport are labeled and packaged as per the DOT standards. So, freight doesn’t get damaged or destroyed by the environment, other goods or by persons during manhandling. First time shippers might not be aware of the packaging rules. Thus, it is beneficial for them to hire a logistics company that is a one-stop-shop for all their LTL shipping needs, from warehousing and packaging to transportation. Labeling the freight will help avoid scenarios like package stealing or loss during the transportation.

Though LTL implies transportation by truck only, but the carriers also use rail, airways and marine ways in freight shipping jobs. LTL carriers are an ideal option for low weight transportation.