Less than truckload, (often dubbed LTL) freight is a unique type of shipping, due to the fact it is used for shipping things that are too large for regular parcel shipping, but too small for full truckload shipments. Ranging from one hundred pounds to five thousand pounds, and the maximum being ten thousand pounds. However, shipments larger than five thousand pounds are priced differently than the rate of standard LTL freight. This is because they are volume shipments. Throughout the years, the general process of LTL shipping has been increasingly more refined and efficient. Because of this, there are many carriers in both the United States and Canada that offer, even specializing, moving LTL freight and shipping it out. The price rates for LTL are used on how many pounds you are attempting to ship, as well as a calculated distance from the current area, to the destination. LTL seems to become more popular over time, as statistics show that it is currently a $30 billion per year industry.
The process in which things are shipped using LTL can vary slightly. First, the customer who is shipping will receive some type of freight carrier such as a flatbed, trailer, or truck to put the items being shipped onto the equipment. After this is done, shipments are brought back to the places where the freight carrier(s) came from, and unloaded. Because sometimes customers have multiple shipments in different places in which they are shipping, combining them by their geographic area. Shipments are then sent to the main carrier in the destination and loaded onto a terminal, or loaded onto a vehicle for delivery. This happens after all the shipments have been individually sorted through and loaded for final delivery, or pick up from the customer receiving the shipment.
There are many different reasons to use LTL shipping, and have substantial increasingly rates over the past four years. This is most likely a result because of LTL carriers having to cover their rising costs of both maintaining and recruiting qualified certificate truck drivers to properly operate the shipping process. Therefore, one of the main benefits of this type of shipping is the drastically lower shipping fees, in comparison to full truck load rates, as well as in comparison to small items that are priced for parcel shipping. With this type of shipping also comes with several various services in addition to the general shipping, that aren’t included or used in either truck load or parcel shipping.