What Are Some Key Differences Between Truckload and LTL Shipping?

November 8, 2021 6:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

You have quite a few shipping options when you need to get goods from point A to point B. That said, one of the most common methods is called less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. As the name suggests, LTL shipping means trucks aren’t entirely full with one company’s products. Instead, an LTL trucking company will make a few stops along the way and pick up and drop off goods from other businesses along the route.

LTL trucking is a great option for smaller companies who need a shipping partner but don’t move enough volume to necessitate using an entire truck. Whether you’re a small business owner in need of a trucking partner or would just like to learn some more about LTL trucking, keep reading. This post will cover what sets LTL trucking apart from standard shipping.

Shipment size

The biggest difference between the two types of trucking lies with the shipment size. A full truckload shipment contains 26 single-stacked or 52 double-stacked pallets. The weight of a full shipment ranges from 10,000 to 44,000 pounds.
Since it’s less than a full truckload, an LTL shipment is typically between one and six pallets and weighs anywhere from 150 to 5,000 pounds. LTL freight takes up less than 12 feet of space on a truck.

Transit time

If you ship with standard shipping, your freight gets picked up at your location and is delivered straight to its destination. The only time the truck stops is for the driver to fuel up or rest.
When you choose an LTL trucking company, though, your cargo makes quite a few stops along the way. The truck will stop at other vendors on the route, so the transit time is often longer. However, it’s still faster than waiting a long time until you have a full truckload’s worth of product to ship if you’re a smaller business.

Total cost

Pricing is another huge difference between standard and LTL shipping. Truckload shipping costs fluctuate throughout the year and vary from company to company. Prices can be much higher depending on driver availability, season, equipment needed and transit difficulty.
LTL prices are much more stable, but they can change. National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) standards determine LTL prices based on freight density, liability and ease of handling.

Handling and damage

Because your goods are only handled during pick up and drop off, there’s very little opportunity for property damage with truckload shipping. But with LTL trucking, the goods are taken off a truck and moved to a different one with each stop, so there’s a higher possibility of damage in some scenarios. The best way to avoid damage is to choose a reputable LTL trucking partner.
Temperature control
With LTL shipping, it’s much more difficult to find a truck capable of temperature-controlled shipping. If you need to move medicine, produce or other temperature-sensitive cargo, you’ll want to choose full truckload shipping.
Let us be your LTL partner
If you think LTL shipping might be right for you, contact our team at K-Way Express, Inc. With our fair pricing and experienced hands, we’re proud to be a trusted LTL trucking company serving clients across a wide range of industries.

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