Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping
What is LTL shipping?
LTL consists of shipping on pallets that take up less than a full truck, typically with a total weight of up to 15,000 lbs. In practice, most carriers classify LTL as up to 6 to 8 pallets since there are better volume options for larger shipments, however it can be utilized for less.
LTL carriers span the entire continent, with local, regional, and national coverage. They offer flexible services depending on your shipping needs, such as expedited or guaranteed delivery, liftgates, etc.
LTL shipping is an indispensable tool for business of any size. It’s convenient and cost-efficient thanks to its pooled distribution model where multiple shipments are combined and routed through a hub. The team at MFT is here to help you maximize its benefits and grow your business.
Why use LTL shipping?
Everything is done online, instantly. From getting quotes, to scheduling a pickup and live tracking, all the way to delivery notification and online invoicing, no other form of transportation offers such a streamlined shipping process. Or if you prefer, the team at MFT will be happy to assist you offline as well.
We partner with a vast network of LTL carriers to bring you the largest selection of available routes at the lowest prices. For each quote, you’ll receive a list of qualified carriers, with available options to tailor to your particular shipment. You have full choice and control over your freight.
By only paying for the portion of the truck used, and the intense competition amongst carriers, you get the benefit of lower rates.
shipping to a location that doesn’t have a gate or has limited-access? No problem. With LTL, you have flexible options to meet your needs, including having liftgates, residential pickup and delivery, and guaranteed delivery.
When to use LTL shipping
You have less than 6 to 8 pallets of cargo.
You need to book & ship your freight quickly
You need expedited or guaranteed delivery.
You require additional services such as inside pick up and delivery, limited access, liftgates, etc.
You want to book & track everything online.
When not to use LTL shipping
If you have over 8 pallets of products, weigh over 5,000 lbs or more than 12 linear feet, it will be more cost efficient to ship them by either volume LTL or partial truckload.
If you have fragile cargo. Since LTL shipments route through a distribution center, the pallets are handled more often than other modes of transportation, raising the risk of damage.
If you are shipping products in a higher freight class. LTL rates are determined by dimensions and weight (ie. density). The lower the density, the higher the cost. With very low density products, partial or full truckloads might be better options since their pricing is not based on freight class.
How to use LTL shipping – tips and tricks
Always give accurate shipment info such as weight and dimensions when requesting a quote. LTL shipments are frequently reweighed & measured during transit and if your numbers don’t match the carrier’s, a hefty additional charge (ie. “reclass fee”) will follow.
Pack your skids carefully and securely. Only use pallets in good condition. The frequent loading & unloading nature of LTL shipping subjects your cargo to a higher risk of damage.
Keep in mind that regular service does not include guaranteed delivery. This means the delivery date listed in a quote is only an estimate. Choose guaranteed delivery as an option if that’s what you need.
Next generation LTL
For businesses small and large, LTL service forms the backbone of their shipping program. And for good reason, as LTL offers an beatable combination of price, convenience, and flexibility.
At MFT, we bring you next gen LTL shipping by combining our extensive system of quality LTL carriers with the most powerful online shipping software, plus unparalleled personal service when needed.