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Everything You Need to Know to Use LTL Freight Shipping

Over 7.4 million businesses, 118.7 million households, and 89,004 government units as of 2014 demanded freight-shipping services.

Less-Than-Truckload shipping is like Full Truckload (FTL) shipping, but it is somewhat smaller. However, both FTL and TLT give businesses a flexible way to deliver products to customers in cost effective manner, especially when the loads are more substantial and larger, or there are multiple boxes to transport.

With LTL, you can allow your business to save on shipping costs, so you grow your revenue without spending too much capital.

However, LTL shipping is not as easy as you may assume. It is not just about calling a freight company and having them take your goods to the customers.

There is much more you need to know. Here are some of the important things to know about LTL freight shipping.

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What Is LTL Freight Shipping?

Before you request a quote from a freight company, you need to know what LTL shipping is and how it works. Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) freight common for smaller freight. It is also, what you need when you do not want to use an entire trailer for shipping.

This method is popular for products that weight between 150 and 15,000lbs.

With this form of shipping, the shipper will pay part of the standard truck trailer their products will occupy and other shippers will pay for the potion that their goods occupy. This is certainly cheaper than paying the entire truck yourself, and the products do not occupy it to capacity.

The rates you pay will depend on where the products will be picked and delivered. Of course, the more the distance, the higher the price you will pay. The weight and dimensions of the products and the expedition costs will determine the price.

You will also pay more for fragile, perishable, or hazardous items.

Some of the benefits you will love about shipping include:

  • Reduced costs
  • Better security for products getting shipped
  • You also get additional services like the lift gates and delivery and pickup services
  • You will have a PRO number that will help you track the product

Before you move the shipment, there are certain things you must know. This guide will provide you with steps and streamline with a freight shipping process.

Price Determination

Distance- The first thing you need to factor into the quote, to get an accurate price, is the distance between point A and B. This may seem like it is a straightforward way of pricing the trips, but it is often not as simple. You need to know about the shipping lanes of the company you use.

The shipping lanes are used in commercial shipping and help customers who have to ship over long distances feel like they are getting the best value for their money.

This is most cases means that longer distances give you better value than shorter ones. This is why you will notice irregularities in pricing when you choose the distance.

Other factors other than distance will determine how much you pay for each trip.
Some of those factors include:

Weight: the rates are structured in a way that the more the weight of the shipment, the less you pay per 100lbs.

Density: the density of the shipment is one factor that is calculated into the LTL rates. When you understand how to calculate the shipment density, you can describe the freight better and make it easier to get a precise quotation.

To calculate the density, companies will divide the total weight by the cubic feet.
If the shipment is palletized, be sure to use the dimensions of the pallets, the height of the pallet and the carton.

You can use the density to determine the class.

Freight Classification- Every piece of product you ship is classified into a specific section. These classifications are a big driving force to the LTL rates. The National Motor Traffic Association has over 18 different classes that range from 50 to 500.

The classifications depend on density, liability, value, and stow-ability. The lower classes are for products that are difficult to damage but that are easier to handle.

Other factors that determine costs include minimums, freight of all kinds, discounts, and rate tariffs with the different LTL carriers.

Service Type

You also need to understand the service type you choose. There are a few variations that freight companies offer that meet the different needs of their customers.

Here are the most common. Remember that each will vary in terms depending on the company you choose.

Standard -This is perfect of bulk products. However, the shipping time is not guaranteed. Therefore, you need to look at different companies to find out whether their services are faster.

Express- if the standard is too slow for you, then you might want to choose the express method. You also need to know that it may cost more.

Guaranteed: This is for when you need to be certain that the goods will arrive where you need them at a specific day and time. It is always the best option.

Assessorial Fees

These are the charges the LTL shippers charge you for the services that are not standard. These are sometimes optional and will be charged with the extra costs for the extra services. These are the most common fees that you can expect from the LTL shipping.

Inside Service- Not all locations are loading docks. Some do not have any accessible delivery areas. This leads to inside pickup. You need to describe the areas, so you do not surprise the carrier.

Liftgate and residential delivery services are just as their names suggest. You have to discuss with the carrier to see how much they will charge you.

If You Do Not Have Specifics for the LTL Freight, Then You Need to Do More Research

If you are running a business that requires effective shipping solutions, you need to familiarize yourself with LTL freight. With the tips above, you can easily avoid unnecessary costs and will get value for your money.

Learn more on different ways to grow and improve your startup on our blog.

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