Less Than Truckload: Simplified Definition

Less than Truckload (LTL) is a freight option where multiple shipments share the same truck and each company pays for the space they occupy. It is a cost-efficient method of shipping small shipments or goods that are less than 15000 pounds. To protect the shipments during transit all the goods are consolidated into small crates or palletized packages to ensure that they remain safe when being handled at multiple hubs and centres. While it is less expensive than other freight options, it also takes longer for the goods to reach their destination.

Less Than Truckload: Technical Definition

ClickPost defines Less-than-Truckload(LTL) as a freight option for shipments that are not large enough to occupy the full capacity of a shipping truck and involves transporting small shipments, typically between 150 to 15000 pounds, and it is generally cost-efficient since multiple shippers share the same truck, though the transit times may be substantially longer as the routes are fixed and the respective trucks pick-up and drop-off cargo at various delivery hubs along the route. 

How does Less-Than-Truckload(LTL) work?

Less than TruckLoad (LTL) shipping works on the hub and spokes model. Hubs are the larger centralized terminals that are the distribution centres and spokes are the local terminals in which shipments are stored for further transport. Once an order is processed and packaged it is assigned a carrier. The carrier then consolidates all the packages into crates or palletized packages to ensure that they remain safe during transit. Then the packages are loaded into the truck along with other shipments and dropped off at different local hubs for further transportation.

What are the benefits of LTL?

Less than Truckload shipping is extremely useful for businesses as it helps them deliver small shipments effectively and efficiently. Some of the benefits of Less than Truckload freight are:

It is very cost-effective as multiple ecommerce businesses share the cost of the full truck.

It is also very secure and convenient as all shipments will be palletized to ensure they are safer during transit.

LTL shipments may get access to other shipping services like lift gates and inside pick up and delivery.

What is the cost of LTL shipping?

Less than truckload is a cost-effective way of shipping small shipments as multiple retailers share the costs of shipping and truck space. However, the cost of less than truckload freight may be different for different retailers. The cost of truck space depends on various factors such as:

Location: The cost of shipping can depend upon the distance between the pick-up point and the final destination and how many hubs will it pass through.

Dimensions: The height, width, and weight of your shipment determine the freight class which is used to calculate transportation costs. If your shipment takes more space on the truck then it will cost more to ship. 

Mode: LTL loads can be expedited. It further results in extra fees.

Type: Certain Fees are applied if the customer shipping requires any special handling for transit.

Indoor pickup or delivery: If the carrier needs to enter a building to retrieve the freight and load or finish the delivery, you must make a note of it and maybe pay a higher price.

What is the difference between Less-Than-Truckload shipping and Full-Truckload shipping?

Less than truckload is a freight option for ecommerce businesses who need to move products ranging from 150 pounds to 15000 pounds of freight. On the other hand, Full TruckLoad shipping is a shipping method that necessitates the use of the whole truck space. FTL shipments can range from 150 pounds to thousands of pounds. This kind of transportation is only cost-effective if you have a considerable amount of freight to deliver.

Less than truckload carriers can load multiple shippers' shipments on a trailer or truck. Since each shipment would be considered less than a truckload, those shipments are called Less than a truckload shipment. A shipping method is only considered full truckload if the shipper is paying for the entire volume of the truck. 


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