Does “Common Carrier” Mean a Truck That’s Used for LTL Shipments?

September 8, 2020 10:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you’re new to shipping goods, whether locally, statewide, nationally or even internationally, it’s important to understand the difference between commonly-used trucking terms. LTL (less than truckload) trucking in Minnesota is a popular way for companies to ship goods without needing a full truckload (FTL) delivery.

What is LTL trucking?

Less than truckload shipping is the term used to describe a shipment that won’t take up an entire freight truck’s space or weight capacity. Typically, these shipments are made up of parcels that weigh less than 150 pounds.

LTL shipments are an economically feasible way to ship goods without needing to fill a 15,000-pound trailer full of goods. If you were to use FTL shipping, you’d need to pack a freight truck to capacity in order to keep shipping costs down. LTL trucking allows carriers to pack multiple shipments from various companies into one trailer, which lowers the overall shipping cost and keeps things affordable for smaller companies. Generally, the shipper will only pay for the portion of the trailer space that their goods, require rather than the use of the entire truck.

LTL shipping prices vary by location, type and size of shipment, so if you’re considering this method, be sure to get a quote from multiple companies. You may find that your parcels require special handling that impacts the price.

What is a common carrier?

A common carrier in general terms is simply a carrier that transports people or goods, with a legal responsibility for loss, damage or injury during the journey. In LTL trucking, a common carrier is the trucking company that consolidates, ships and unpacks the combined shipments on an LTL load.

That means that common carriers can include trucks used for LTL shipments, but they may also include buses and other types of transportation.

What else do I need to know about LTL shipments?

There are some factors to keep in mind when booking an LTL shipment:

  • Know that there may be multiple destinations: LTL shipping often involves multiple destinations, which means your shipment can take longer to arrive. If you need your shipment to arrive in a hurry, ask for a quote on expedited shipping.
  • Find out whether you’re in a limited access situation: If your freight’s ultimate destination is in an area with limited access, like a rural area or construction site, work to ensure the carrier will have appropriate access before you ship the goods.
  • Know whether you need indoor pickup or delivery: If your shipment requires the carrier to pick up or drop off goods indoors, you may incur a higher fee. Be sure to let them know when you schedule your LTL shipping.

Understanding the basics of LTL trucking in Minnesota is important for any business owner shipping goods. K-Way Express, Inc. has a variety of shipping services designed to meet all of your company’s needs. Find out more or get an estimate by visiting our site or calling for a quote today. We look forward to assisting you soon!

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