LTL / Less Than Truck Load Shipments
Imagine you’re trying to move some product from your store or warehouse to another location. If you rented an entire moving truck but only filled half of it with your freight, the remaining half would be empty space. In the transportation industry, this situation is similar to what’s known as a “full truckload” shipment, or FTL for short, where a customer reserves the entire space of a truck but might not use all of it.
Now, instead of leaving that extra space empty, what if you could share the truck with someone else who also had freight to move but not enough to fill an entire truck? This way, both of you could split the costs, and the truck would be fully utilized. This is what we call a “partial load” or “less-than-truckload” (LTL) shipment.
Here’s a breakdown of partial loads in the transportation industry:
- Definition: Partial loads, often referred to as “Less-Than-Truckload” (LTL) shipments, involve transporting freight that doesn’t require the space of an entire truck. It’s typically used for shipments that are too big for parcel carriers but too small for a full truckload.
- Cost-Efficient: By consolidating several smaller shipments into one truck, LTL can be more cost-effective for customers. Instead of paying for the entire truck when you don’t need all its space, you only pay for the portion of the truck that your freight occupies.
- Transit Time: One thing to note is that LTL shipments might have a slightly longer transit time compared to FTL. This is because LTL shipments often make multiple stops to pick up or deliver other shipments.
- Flexibility: LTL is great for businesses or individuals that don’t have enough cargo for a full truck and don’t want to pay full price for a truck but need to get their goods to their destination. It allows flexibility in shipment sizes and frequencies.
- Handling: Since there might be multiple pick-ups and deliveries, there’s a higher likelihood that the cargo will be handled multiple times, moving on and off the truck. This can increase the risk of damage, so it’s essential to package goods securely.
- Pricing: LTL shipping costs are determined by various factors, including weight, dimensions, distance, and the freight class (which is based on the product’s density, stowability, ease of handling, and liability).
So, if you’re looking to haul freight and you don’t need an entire truck’s space, partial loads or LTL shipping can be an excellent, cost-effective option for you!