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What is LTL Freight? Understanding Less-Than-Truckload Shipping

1st November 2023 | by Sam Nardi

What is LTL Freight? Understanding Less-Than-Truckload Shipping
In the world of logistics and transportation, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are paramount. One method that businesses often turn to for achieving these goals is Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) freight shipping. LTL freight is a smart solution for companies that need to transport goods without requiring an entire truck. In this blog post, we will explore what LTL shipping is, how it works, its advantages, and when it's the right choice for your business.


What is LTL Freight? 

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) freight is a shipping method that allows multiple shippers to share space in a single truck. Instead of reserving an entire truck for your cargo, you pay for the portion of space that your shipments occupy. This approach is ideal for shipments that don't fill an entire trailer but still need to be transported reliably and cost-effectively.


How LTL Freight Shipping Works 


  • Cargo Consolidation: LTL carriers collect shipments from multiple shippers at different locations. These individual shipments are consolidated at a central hub or terminal. 
  • Sorting and Loading: At the terminal, the shipments are sorted based on their destinations and sizes. Then, they are loaded onto the appropriate trucks for delivery. 
  • Delivery: The LTL carrier transports the consolidated shipments to their respective destinations, making multiple stops along the way to offload goods. Each shipment is carefully tracked throughout the journey. 
  • Final Mile Delivery: Once the truck arrives at the destination terminal, local delivery drivers take over and deliver the goods to their final destinations. 

Advantages of LTL Freight 


  • Cost Savings: LTL freight is a cost-effective shipping option, as you only pay for the space your shipment occupies. This can be significantly cheaper than booking an entire truck, especially for smaller shipments.  
  • Efficiency: LTL carriers specialize in optimizing routes and consolidating shipments, which minimizes transportation costs and reduces the carbon footprint. 
  • Reliability: LTL carriers are experienced in handling various types of cargo and ensuring its safe delivery. They provide tracking and visibility throughout the shipping process, giving you peace of mind. 
  • Flexibility: LTL freight is versatile and can accommodate shipments of various sizes and shapes, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes. 


LTL vs. FTL: What’s the Difference? 

When it comes to choosing between Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) shipping, the decision hinges on the size and volume of your shipment. LTL is the preferred option for businesses with smaller shipments that don't require an entire truck. With LTL, you only pay for the space your cargo occupies, which can significantly reduce shipping costs and is environmentally friendly due to optimized space utilization. 

FTL is the go-to choice for larger shipments that need an entire truck's capacity. While FTL may come at a higher cost, it offers faster transit times and less handling, reducing the risk of damage or loss. Ultimately, the decision between LTL and FTL depends on your shipment's size, urgency, and budget considerations, ensuring that you choose the most cost-effective and efficient option for your logistics needs.


When to Use LTL Freight Shipping  


LTL freight is an excellent choice for several scenarios:


  • Small to Medium-Sized Shipments: If your shipment doesn't fill an entire truck but still requires secure and reliable transportation, LTL is the way to go. 
  • Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs): Managing shipping costs as an SMB with limited resources can be especially challenging, so LTL is often the go-to choice for smaller businesses looking to save on shipping costs. 
  • Cost-Effective Shipping: For businesses looking to save on shipping costs without compromising on quality, LTL is a cost-efficient option. LTL allows you to share truck space with other shippers, optimizing resources and reducing expenses.    
  • Frequent Shipments: If you have regular, smaller shipments to make, LTL freight can streamline your logistics operations and improve efficiency. 
  • Reduced Environmental Impact: If you're committed to reducing your company's carbon footprint, LTL can help by optimizing routes and minimizing empty space on trucks.

Contact Speedy Freight for Your LTL Freight Shipping Needs

When it comes to LTL freight shipping, choosing a reputable and experienced LTL carrier like Speedy Freight brings several additional benefits to the table. 

At Speedy Freight, we’re known for our dedication to timeliness and efficiency, making our services the preferred choice for businesses with time-sensitive shipments. Our team is always on hand to answer any shipping queries you have, from LTL shipping to fulfillment services, and ready to offer you customized logistics solutions for your company, no matter what industry you operate in. 

When you select Speedy Freight for your LTL shipping needs, you're not just benefiting from the advantages of LTL freight but also from the expertise and commitment of a trusted carrier. 


Get a quote for our less-than-truckload services.

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