What Small Businesses Should Know About LTL Shipping – eShipper

Sarah Kermalli
Sarah Kermalli Aug 02, 2016 • 3 min read
LTL freight

Sometimes you hit the sweet spot. In the world of less than truckload shipping (LTL), it happens when your shipment weighs between 151 and 15,000 lbs. That’s when your freight weighs too much for a parcel carrier, but too little for a full truckload (FTL).

In other words, you’re a perfect candidate for LTL shipping.

But before you take the plunge and start searching for an LTL partner, here are some basic facts you should know about LTL shipping:

Volume and shipping costs go hand in hand. The more you ship, the bigger discount you’re likely to get. But if your shipment is not big enough to fill an entire semi-trailer, LTL shipping offers an attractive and cost-effective alternative. An LTL carrier loads shipments from several customers onto a single truck, meaning you only pay for the space that your freight occupies. Although you could use a parcel carrier for a shipment that weighs slightly more than 150 lbs, keep in mind LTL carriers typically offer better rates due to economies of scale.

A reliable transportation partner is a must for any business. But if you’re a small business with big dreams, an LTL carrier can help you successfully scale your operations. LTL shipping is flexible, allowing you to move small quantities at a lower cost per item compared to FTL and parcel carriers. As your business grows, shipment size can easily be adjusted to the tune of substantial cost savings.

LTL carriers sugar their offerings with accessory services. Lift gates, for example, sweeten pickup and delivery. And so do notification options, inside pickup and delivery, non-commercial shipping, and – if you so desire – freeze protection. Accessorial fees are added to the overall price that is determined by a host of factors such as freight classification, weight, liability insurance, and destination zip codes, also referred to as the “lane”.

As the saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth.” In shipping, it doesn’t hurt if you can reduce the number of times your freight is handled during transit. And that’s exactly what LTL carriers allow you to do. In fact, you may even be encouraged to load your freight onto pallets or into durable crates. A palletized shipment is better protected and individual packages are less likely to get lost.

Do you think it's hard to know which shipping method is right for you? eShipper can help. We specialize in finding the most competitive rates and best carrier for your needs. Click here to learn more about us or contact us for more information.

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