LTL Freight Shipping
What is LTL (Less than Truckload Shipping)?
LTL is an acronym for Less Than Truckload. This means a shipment that does not require a full 48 or 53 foot trailer. There are many carriers that specialize or offer this service and like full truck load carriers the LTL carriers themselves specialize in different services such as lift gate and residential pick ups and deliveries, guaranteed services, protect from freeze, transit, and bottom line cost to name a few.
Rates for LTL freight are determined by class, weight, pick up and destination zip codes (in the transportation industry this is commonly referred to as the “lane”), and any additional services required to meet the shipper’s and consignee’s (this is another term for the delivery location) needs.
Carriers will offer shippers and brokers discounts for freight that they are wanting to secure for business. The amount of discount is negotiated with the carrier and FAK’s (freight of all kinds) maybe offered to lessen the perceived cost of shipments in addition to the discounted rates. That FAK really means is say a shipper wants to move his products which are class 85 engines and is negotiating his rates with a freight broker. The carrier may offer to move this freight at a lower class of 50 thus lowering the perceived cost. Because FreightTo.com does offer FAK rates our discounts are always deeper and this means that we move every one of our customers freight shipments at a lower rate than competitors.
Fuel costs are always associated with the lane of a shipment and added on top of line haul costs. Fuel is updated on a weekly basis and is based on the national average of diesel. With rising fuel costs LTL has seen an increase as when people are buying less the need to ship is lower. So where a company used to fill up a whole trailer with their product now they may only need half as much trailer space and can ship their product cheaper by going LTL instead of using a full truck load carrier.
These are shipments that FreightTo.com defines as over 6,000lbs and/or over 12 feet of trailer space. Our standard LTL space is 12 feet of trailer or 6 48″ x 48″ pallets that cannot be stacked or 12 48″ × 48″ pallets that can be stacked. For shipments of these size and weight our brokers will automatically seek out a backhaul quote from one of the 50 carriers we use who will give the best rate and transit that meet our customers needs. Backhaul is an industry term meaning a lane that a carrier needs to get “back” to where they have regular/daily freight.
Types of charges can be residential pick up, lift gate delivery, call ahead notification to the receiver, or job site pick up or delivery are some additional services that LTL carriers will offer. These services are very handy for customers whose freight may not always pick up at or deliver to a facility that is equipped with a dock and fork lift.
Carriers determine some of these charges as a percentage of the weight or simply as a flat charge. Guaranteed services are offered by the majority of our carriers and like volume shipments explained above FreightTo.com will get our customer a rate for these shipments so the best rate and transit is matched up to our customer’s needs.