What It Means to Do LTL Freight
Much shipping these days is done via what is known as LTL (Less Than Truckload) shipping. This is a method of shipping that become popular among shipping companies after the deregulation of the entire trucking industry in the 80s. The regulation of the industry was nothing new. Via the Interstate Commerce Commission, the U.S. government had been regulating it since 1935. At this time in the 80s, it began to be recognized that LTL was the best method to add value to shipping services. But there may be some shipping companies and truckers who may not yet realize these benefits of LTL. That is where this article can be helpful.
Basically, LTL refers to shipments that don’t require a 48 or 53-foot trailers such as residential pickups and deliveries, guaranteed services, freeze protection, transit, and bottom line costs. And those are only a few examples. There are many. There are a lot of companies who specialize solely in LTL shipping. And it has proven extremely lucrative. As mentioned, LTL companies have been steadily on the rise since the 80s. However, like virtually every industry in the world they did encounter a slump from around 2008 to 2010.
In 2010, with some help from the government, they did start going up in productivity again, way up. A 2012 study of the top ten LTL companies by themselves pulled in a yearly total of $23.2 billion. And this sector of the shipping market has continued to grow in success every year since.
LTL carriers are almost always characterized by enclosed trailers, with some carriers having these trailers refrigerated. At one time these trucks usually had swing doors. Many of them now have roll-up doors. Most LTL carriers will use rigs that have two trailers. This is because the contents of each will have its own destination and make for easy drop-offs along its routes. These drop off points are terminals where the load can be dropped off for pick up and delivery.
LTL companies base their rates according to class, weight, and destination. However, the carriers will also offer various discounts based on the individual situation of a client. When negotiating the cost, the shipper will also take into account the cost of the fuel that will be needed. We all know that the cost of fuel is changing all of the time so naturally, this will also constantly change. In the end, LTL is just cheaper and more profitable a method of shipping merchandise for trucking companies.
Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics