Less-Than-Truckload: Understanding the Pros and Cons of LTL

Less-Than-Truckload: Understanding the Pros and Cons of LTL

Did you know that in 2017, trucks moved more than 10 billion tons of freight in the US alone? That equates to 30 pounds for every person in the country.

If you’re looking for shipping services, you have a huge number of trucking companies to choose from. Not only that, but each one will usually offer a range of different shipping options. The choice can sometimes feel overwhelming.

We’re here to help you decide by taking a look at one of your shipping options: less-than-truckload or LTL freight.

Read on as we look at some of the pros and cons of LTL shipping.

What Is LTL?

Less-than-truckload shipping is exactly what it sounds like. If your shipment isn’t large enough to fill a whole truck, then you don’t want to have to pay for an entire truck to ship it.

LTL shipping companies allow you to share the space in the truck with other shippers that also have smaller shipments. It means the truck gets filled with multiple shipments rather than having to travel half empty.

As with any type of shipping, there are some pros and cons which we’ll examine below.

Pros of LTL shipping

LTL shipping offers a number of benefits. These are the most common.

Cost

The major benefit of LTL shipping is that rather than paying for an entire truck yourself, you’re sharing that cost with others. It means that LTL shipping can be much more cost-effective than full truckload shipping.

More Secure

Since loads are combined, your truck will be filled to capacity with full pallets.

This makes them fall less likely to get damaged in transit than would be the case with a half-loaded pallet rattling around inside a mostly empty truck.

Greener

Using an entire truck that isn’t full is a waste of available resources.

By combining shipments that would otherwise have gone in separate vehicles, you’re reducing the carbon footprint of those shipments which is better for you and for the planet.

Cons of LTL shipping

There are some downsides to LTL shipping. You should take these into consideration when choosing your shipping options.

Time

Your shipment is not necessarily going straight from A to B, since there are other loads that need to be collected or delivered. An LTL shipment is therefore likely to take a little longer than a full truckload shipment.

Increased Handling

It’s likely that your shipment will be handled more as part of an LTL shipment, as it may be combined with other goods and separated again. More handling means an increased risk of loss or accidental damage.

Not Ideal for Larger Shipments

If your shipment is fairly large but not quite enough for a full truckload, then LTL may not be the most economical option. You may be better off with a full or partial truckload option.

Are You Looking for LTL Trucking Companies?

If you’re looking for LTL carriers, then we’re here to help.

Yep! Commerce is a complete logistics solutions provider, offering LTL, full truckload, intermodal, cross-docking, warehousing, and more. We can provide a quote in less than five minutes and offer reliable services at great prices.

Get a quote now!

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