Less than Truckload Shipping

  • May 23, 2016

Less than truckload (LTL) shipping is a method for transporting freight that is too small to fill a semi-trailer but too substantial for a parcel carrier. Loads that are appropriate for LTL would be expensive with these other popular methods.


Within a particular region, an LTL carrier has numerous vehicles designated to collecting shipments from customers as needed. These vehicles pick up shipments from customers across the region on a daily basis. Once this collection is complete, the freight is delivered to a station to be unloaded. Once unloaded, each individual shipment is weighed and measured for billing purposes.

Next, the shipments are sorted based on their destination and loaded onto outbound vehicles that contain other shipments headed to a similar area. These shipments are transported to the regional terminal in the particular area, where they are sorted and placed on even more localized vehicles for personal delivery. When all is said and done, each shipment has been handled numerous times while in transit.


One of the main advantages of utilizing LTL carriers is reducing costs. As opposed to using a full semi-truck, the price of shipping using the LTL method is substantially lower. This is due to lower fuel costs, efficiency, and the time value of shipping goods.

Similarly, LTL carriers are currently in competition with parcel carriers who normally accept shipments up to 150 pounds in net weight. Because of this competition, LTL carriers need to incentivize shippers to use their services and are able to offer lower rates per pound than parcel carriers.


Another advantage of working with LTL carriers is more efficient transport because these carriers are able to optimize their truckloads. Using a semi-truck to move less than a full trailer or a parcel carrier to move hundreds of shipments leads to inefficiencies and creates a potential for complications in delivery. On the other hand, LTL carriers can accept mid-sized loads and can reorganize trucks to maximize time and space. This allows for faster and more efficient deliveries with fewer hiccups along the way.

InstiCo Logistics is a full service transportation broker, Freight Forwarder, and Indirect Air Carrier offering its customers logistics and supply chain solutions, including LTL shipping. Contact us to see how we can help today.

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