What is LTL Shipping and Why It Matters to Small Businesses

Delivery practices must be among the most vital decisions a business makes. After all, shipping contributes a huge part of the budget, considering that they make shipments continuously. Nowadays, many growing companies, particularly eCommerce, utilize LTL shipping or less-than-truckload services to replenish their inventory. It’s because LTL enables them to cut extra expenditures when moving smaller amounts of goods.

Here, you will learn why LTL matters, especially to small companies, and how it works.

What Is LTL?

LTL freight shipping is a shipping service for moving small loads of goods weighing 150 to 15,000 pounds without utilizing the entire truck. A shipper pays for the portion of a truck trailer their freight uses, while other shippers also pay for the space their shipments occupy.

This service is offered by truck freight companies that are available in the following provider types:

  • Local Carriers. Freight companies that operate within a local radius of 80 to 800 miles.
  • Regional Carriers. Companies that move products within larger territories than the local carriers. In addition, they deal with regional and national providers between unconnected distribution centers.
  • National Carriers. These companies work across the country and use more transport equipment with more personnel and industry expertise.

What Determines LTL Shipping Rates?

1. Location. Typically, the farther the distance, the higher the costs.

2. Mode. LTL shipments can be expedited or accelerate transportation for an extra cost.

3. Measurements. The dimensions and weight of a shipment directly impact rates.

4. Type. In general, a shipment needing special handling or devices, like delicate, dangerous products, or perishables, will have higher expenses.

How Does LTL Delivering Work?

Because you combine your small shipments with other shippers to create full truckloads, you can save from paying full truckload costs. Its rate is based on the space occupied, the class of items being delivered, and pickup and destination locations.

Benefits of LTL Shipping

1. Cost Savings

Since your delivery doesn’t occupy the whole truck space, its expense is calculated based on how much it occupies, which is less expensive than what an average shipment would cost.

2. Reduced Warehouse Expenditures

As a small business, you can depend on LTL freight shipping to cut warehousing costs rather than leasing extra area. You will not need to stock many products at the same time because you can send some through LTL shipping.

3. Environmental-Friendly

Unknown to many, using the LTL shipping process also helps the environment in a great way. Emissions are reduced if you use fewer trucks to carry full loads instead of more trucks transporting less than their capability. If lesser trucks need to get to their locations, there are also fewer carbon emissions or carbon footprints.

4. Improved Customer Service

Because many freight companies provide flexible and hassle-free service choices, this will help shorten the delivery time that helps improve your customer service. These may be residential shipment, inside shipment, and more.

5. Easier Tracking of Shipments

Forget about the inconvenience of tracking your shipments since a lot of freight companies these days have modern and top-of-the-line tracking systems. This also lets your customers keep an eye on the progress of the delivery.

Final Thoughts on LTL Shipping

Picking LTL as your approach to delivering goods to your customers is no doubt efficient and affordable. To maximize your LTL shipments, ensure understanding how the LTL market works and how it benefits you as a small business. It will also help if you take time to know the kinds of shipping approaches you can utilize, such as dry van transport, flatbed transport, and refrigerated options, depending on your items.

Here’s a practical tip from us: If you have numerous orders from different places, third parties may save you. If these orders are going to the same location, try delivering them at the same time. Most importantly, be sure to know accurate information about your shipments, such as the weight of your items and the number of pallets your items will move on.