LTL, or less-than-load, is a shipping method that involves using only a portion of a truck’s available space. Those companies who choose LTL trucking pay only for the space they use and the distance the product needs to travel.
Are you wondering if your company can benefit from LTL?
If so, keep reading.
Know the benefits of LTL shipping
The primary reason you may opt for LTL is to save money when you have less than a full truckload of product that needs delivery. You may be used to paying for the traditional method of shipment. You feel comfortable knowing that your product doesn’t have to share space with items from other companies. You pay for the full load and distance of shipping on your own.
There is another, better way. LTL trucking offers shared space. You pay only for the percentage of trucking that your product requires. You also pay less for distance based on the number of other trucking companies that are using the same route. There is a third benefit often overlooked. Your items are usually grouped together on pallets or in containers.
Using a full load without shared space can lead to items shifting while in transit. 18 wheeler safety is a vital consideration for anyone involved in shipping by road and dead space increases the risk of goods becoming damaged and undeliverable. LTL shipping avoids this possibility. Items pack in such a way that little shifting is possible. LTL trucking allows you to spend less while saving more.
An additional benefit to using less-than-load trucking is an environmental one. Your company can take credit for helping the environment by keeping fewer trucks on the road. The math is simple. Multiple companies can use the same vehicles for partial truckloads, or each can use single trucks for each shipment. Only LTL guarantees the knowledge that you are doing your part for cleaner air and less dependency on fossil fuels.
Understand when you need a full load
You may be sold on LTL shipping now. However, there are times when LTL is not the right choice. You need to know when to call for LTL shipping and when a full load is the better option.
Full load trucking is standard because most companies have more than enough products to fill a truck. It does not make financial sense to divide up shipment so that you can use less-than-load trucking. A full load requires its own dedicated truck.
Your business model may not be reliant on weekly deliveries of products. You can hire full load trucks less frequently because you are using the entire space. Using this method requires you to be very accurate with inventory records. You will need to know precisely how often individual products are required so that your less frequent shipments have adequate supplies.
Truckloads are sometimes less expensive than LTL. Though this is rare, it is possible. The truckload may be charged at a lower rate if the products are light and easy to unload. You should receive a quote for full trucks and LTLs for the same shipment so you can know exactly how much money you might save with either choice.
A final reason you may prefer a truckload rather than less-than-load is to make sure your time-sensitive supplies arrive when they are needed. LTL is reliable, but full truckloads guarantee that you are not sharing unloading time with other businesses.
This alone may be reason enough to hire a trucking company and choose full truckloads rather than LTL.