Many small and developing businesses are taking advantage of less than truckload (LTL) shipping. LTL shipping is the transportation of freight that is less than a full truck load for a standard semi-trailer. The weight requirement for LTL shipping starts around 100-150 pounds and can reach up to 20,000 pounds. LTL companies usually operates on a truckload pooling consolidation and distribution system where multiple LTLs are combined to make a full truckload. The most obvious advantage of a pooled distribution system is a much lower shipping rate, but there are several other perks of utilizing LTL shipping including minimized costs, reduced carbon emissions, fewer risks compared with parcel carriers, and technological innovation.
Numerous studies have shown that LTL shipping is cheaper and more economical than parcel shipping. When using LTL shipping, you’re only charged for the weight of your freight. In a truckload pool, the cost of the full truckload is distributed among the manufacturers so that each saves money. This is particularly advantageous for small and developing companies, giving them the flexibility in cost and inventory control. Businesses and organizations can move smaller loads of goods for less money. This also helps trucking companies by allowing them to fill trailers to capacity, earning them more money and making transporting materials environmentally friendly and efficient.
LTL shipping doesn’t only cut costs for the shipper, it drastically cuts down on carbon emissions from diesel trucks. This is extremely beneficial for the environment considering the other option of a semi-truck driving cross country pulling a trailer that’s not even at capacity. Again, this is where the advantage of truckload pooling comes into play because there are multiple small loads of freight completely filling one semi-trailer versus several trucks on the road with loads below their capacities.
Fewer Risks Compared with Parcel Shipping
If your freight is too light for LTL shipping, you may have no other option than parcel carriers. But if your freight weighs in at least 150 pounds, it’s pretty much guaranteed you can take advantage of LTL shipping. LTL carriers are urged to take special precautions with LTL freight using travel-safe containers to protect packages from damages during handling and to reduce the chances of individual items being lost.
The shipping industry has not fallen behind in technological advancement which has improved the efficiency of the shipping process. Innovations in application programming interface (API) and electronic data interchange (EDI) have made it easier for LTL companies to seamlessly automate workflow. Ritualistic tasks like automated pick-up requests, API quotes and responses, document retrieval, tracking notifications, and automated batch invoicing have become much more user-friendly and intuitive.
As you can see, there are several benefits of using LTL shipping if the freight falls within the required weight range. LTL shipping is a win-win agreement, preferable to the shipper and the trucking company in most scenarios. This information should help you determine whether LTL shipping is a good option for your needs.
Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics