Less than truckload shipping (LTL)
Let’s talk about “less than truckload shipping (LTL)” this month.
When the package length is over 108 inch and the weight is over 150Lb, it must be shipped by LTL, not small parcel shipping.
What is LTL? It means the quantity of the freight is less than that required for the application of a full truckload (FTL) rate. A carrier will often place several LTL shipments on the same truck to reduce the cost to the shipper.
The factors influencing LTL price are:
1. Category of freight as defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA, 18 different classes)
2. Pick up zip code
3. Destination zip code
4. Accessorial, for example lift gate, fuel, residential fee etc.
For the first factor, NMFTA defined 18 different classes according to the shipment’s weight, dimension, density, ease of handling, value, and liability. For example, class 50 means 50lb/per cubic foot; class 70 means 15lb/per cubic foot; class 500 means 1lb/per cubic foot. The shipping fee increases when your shipment’s class number is bigger.
According to these factors, if we want to lower the LTL shipping cost, we can work on the following:
1. Packing: Make sure the shipment is packed well to reduce the shipment’s empty space.
2. Reduce class number: double check if the shipment’s class is correct.
3. Choose correct shipping method: for pallets over 7, we should also check FTL price to compare which one has better rates.
4. Choose different truck companies: Truck companies’ prices are different in different areas.
5. Choose a service with a longer transit time: If the shipment is not urgent, choose a service that takes longer shipping time to reduce cost.
6. Choose a good 3PL company: 3PL can quickly compare different services, screen the best shipping companies, and save time.