LTL freight shipping is in many cases a good choice for most businesses. You can have your products moved from one place to another, using different modes of transport, including rail, air, water, and truck. When you want your products moved within the country, you can always use tricks for shipping because this options is highly flexible and is quite cost-effective too. Truck transportation is also a good choice, especially compared to rail because the shipment does not have to move as per the railroads timetable. For truck transportation, you can choose two types of options – full truckload (FTL) shipping and Less-than-Truckload (LTL).
Finding a right carrier is important to make your business a real success, and making the right choice sometimes means to check all your options and select what suits you the most. LTL stands for “Less than Truckload (LTL)”, which means that your shipment does not need a full 48-foot or 53-foot trailer. Even if you know that you need LTL freight shipping, you may still have to pay attention to several things to select a right carrier. The reason is that different carriers may specialize in different services, such as guaranteed services, residential pickups and lift grade deliveries, freeze protection, and bottom line costs.
Specific Characteristics of LTL Shipping Carriers
LTL carriers usually take advantage of van trailers that may be enclosed or covered trailers. If you are going to ship something that requires a temperature-controlled environment, you can also find LTL carriers with temperature-controlled trailers. Most of these trailers come with roll-up doors – it means the entrance may be a bit smaller as compared to trailers with swing doors.
It is worth mentioning that most companies use 53-foot trailers to make pickups and deliveries around town, but they sometimes use two tandem trailers mainly because the freight has already been paid for destination.
Know about the Rates
If you have decided that LTL freight shipping is the right option for you, it is important to ensure that you compare rates before finalizing your decision. The rates you pay may vary slightly between carriers, but are usually determined by weight, class, zip codes of pickup and delivery locations. They may charge you more for any additional services you may require. Some carriers are likely to offer discounts in case you make a long-term arrangement with them. It means that if you want to use the same service in future, you may want to negotiate a little to get better rates.
It is worth pointing out that the cost of cost of LTL freight shipping may change with a change in fuel surcharges. These are basically the fuel costs attached to the lane of a shipment and are in addition of line haul costs. You may notice an increase in LTL shipping cost with fuel costs going up. So, be sure to consider all your needs and ensure that LTL shipping is the best option for your business.