LTL Shipping

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LTL Shipping

LTL shipping, or less-than-load shipping, is the shipment of smaller freight, typically somewhere between 150 and 10,000 pounds.  A shippers LTL freight will be combined with the LTL freight of other companies into one trailer where they will all be shipped together.  This mode of shipping can lead to several benefits and is used widely across the logistics industry.

Benefits Of LTL Shipping

Minimize Costs

The cost saving of LTL shipments come from the fact that multiple companies are combining their shipments into one truck.  With LTL, shippers are paying for the weight and volume of their cargo being shipped.

Reduce Carbon Footprint

LTL shipments allow for each trailer to be filled to capacity. As a result, there are fewer trucks being used to transport goods, this, in turn, reduces carbon emissions.  This is a great benefit to many companies and something to consider when choosing your mode of shipment.

Increased Security

LTL has increased security when compared to parcel.  With parcel shipping, your freight is handled at multiple points by multiple people and is split up into many pieces.  With LTL you can ship via pallets which alone vastly increases the security of your shipment since everything is packaged together.

Factors that Effect LTL Shipping Rates

There are countless factors that can impact LTL shipping rates and shipping in general. Below are some of the biggest determining factors when creating a quote for an LTL shipment.  In addition to what is listed below, you can save money by partnering with a logistics company that can dedicate a team to your freight.

  • Weight and size – Size and weight are two important factors when planning an LTL shipment.  These details need to be communicated so that it is known how much of the available space and weight your freight will take.
  • Freight Classification – Freight classification plays a big role in LTL shipping and will impact the cost to ship.  There are 18 different freight classes and they are determined by weight, size, and density.

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Information Needed for an LTL Freight Quote

When preparing an LTL quote there are a couple of things you need to provide in order to get an accurate quote.  The most important is the weight and volume of your consolidated freight.  With LTL you will not be taking up the entire trailer and it needs to be known early on how much space and weight your LTL shipment will take.

LTL Shipping and loading

Specialty LTL Services

  • Reefer – It is not uncommon for LTL freight to be shipped in reefer vans. This specialty service is a great way to save on cost if you have a smaller shipment of cargo that needs to be maintained at a certain temperature.
  • Expedited – LTL expedited shipping is available and used for cases when you have a small shipment that needs to get somewhere immediately.

Tips For LTL Shipping

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are working with consolidated freight to ensure proper logistics management. First off, LTL shipments should always be palletized or crated when possible. This greatly minimizes the risk of damage or lost items and will make it easier to load and unload. Also, there are limitations to LTL freight sizes.  When shipping LTL you want to try to stay within 8’6” wide and 13’6” tall.  Otherwise, it falls into oversized which adds on an additional fee or may require a flatbed trailer.


  • How do I track my LTL shipment? For LTL shipping tracking you can reach out to your Becker Logistics account manager, click here to find out more.
  • Does my order have to be palletized? This can vary from carrier to carrier, some may demand pallets while some are a bit more lax on what they will allow.  Overall, with consolidated freight, it is generally a good idea to have your freight palletized when possible.

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