Less Than Truckload (LTL) Rates and Quotes
HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST LTL FREIGHT RATES?
Less than truckload (LTL) shipments are shipments that aren’t large enough to fill the entire trailer of a semi-truck but also aren’t small enough to be shipped via a parcel carrier. LTL freight shipments are the middle-point between parcel and full truckload shipping and can be the most economical shipping mode for certain types of freight.
Typically, LTL shipments are shipped on pallets (palletized), or with crates. LTL shipments are usually transported via truck through local terminals and distribution centers and are a cost-effective way to move bulky goods that don’t fill an entire truck.
For a shipment to be economically shipped as a full truckload shipment, it needs to “cube out” the entire semi truck’s trailer. This means filling the trailer completely in a combination of weight and volume so that there is no wasted and empty space. Many shippers have freight that can’t completely fill an entire trailer by itself. That’s why LTL carriers consolidate multiple LTL orders into a single truckload on the same trailer. This results in maximum efficiency for shipping freight that doesn’t naturally cube out the trailer and reduces the overall cost of shipping LTL freight.
In addition, efficient less than truckload shipping helps companies get their products to the customer quicker and reduce total freight spend.
When deciding which mode (or modes) of shipping is the best for your business, ask yourself whether your freight can be shipped parcel or FTL. If your freight cannot be shipped with one of these modes, LTL will probably be your most economical shipping option.
With a TMS, shippers can be up and running with a full TMS in the time it takes to book a flight online. TMS companies like Kuebix have developed web services (API) integrations with every major carrier that supports these integrations to make the process of connecting rates simple and straightforward for users.
This means shippers can connect directly to all their carriers for instant access to all their negotiated carrier rates side by side. With all the information they need directly at their fingertips, transportation professionals can select the best freight quote for every shipment. For carriers that don’t support web services, it’s possible to use EDI integrations and tariff uploads so shippers can view ALL their carrier rates and access real-time information without ever leaving a TMS interface.
A transportation management system helps users track and trace shipments with real-time carrier updates and provides users up to date arrival information. For example, Kuebix Business Pro helps users track and manage every step in a product’s lifecycle using their own ERP or Kuebix TMS and a standard or custom interface. With this additional tracking functionality, customer success teams, as well as transportation teams, are better able to answer customer questions and make changes as needed.
A TMS works with most major North American LTL carriers and helps users connect their LTL rates for easy and impartial side-by-side comparison. Users can use a TMS like Kuebix to better understand their different options and choose the one that best suits their business. Some of the LTL carriers that Kuebix works with include Estes, UPS Freight, YRC Freight and FedEx Freight. No matter how many LTL carriers a TMS user connects with, they will be able to select the best fit for their shipping needs.
LTL freight shipping rates are determined after considering several factors including freight class, density, dimensional weight (DIM), route, packaging and more.
LTL shipments are typically handled and transferred between trucks several times before reaching their final destination. To ensure that your shipment stays intact and in good condition, the packaging you choose is important. Try to consolidate your goods into a single, palletized shipment when possible and always factor in the shipments dimensions, documentation, labeling and instructions on loading and unloading. Correctly palletizing and wrapping your shipments will prevent them from becoming damaged or disarranged during shipment. When you package your LTL shipment right, you increase the likelihood of your goods arriving undamaged and on-time and decrease the likelihood that you’ll get hit with extra fees by the carrier or receiver.
Q: LTL vs. FTL: What’s the Difference?
A: LTL shipping is less than truckload, which means that the freight does not take up the entire truck but only a portion of the truck. FTL is full truckload shipping, which means the freight occupies the entire space or meets the maximum weight limit of the truck.
Q: Are There Additional LTL Shipping Services?
A: Yes, there are several different options if you have specific requirements around delivery or shipping. They include:
Q: How do I know if less than truckload (LTL) shipping is right for my needs?
A: LTL shipping makes the most sense for businesses that are looking to minimize costs and that are shipping freight under over 150lbs but less than 15,000lbs.