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0 Comments January 20, 2023

What Is LTL Shipping?

Less than load freight shipping, also known as LTL freight, LTL shipping, or hotshot trucking, is a service that combines small loads of cargo from multiple businesses in one trailer. It’s a convenient and cost-effective way to approach logistics for companies that frequently need to move small loads of goods. Below, we’ll give a quick overview of less-than-load trucking and similar specialized freight services.

How Do Services Like LTL Shipping and Hotshot Trucking Work?

Less than load shipping is ideal for small freight loads that don’t fill up an entire truckload of space. This type of service is used for shipments weighing over 150 pounds but less than 15,000 pounds that would not fill a full-size trailer (between 48 and 53 feet). Several businesses with small loads can consolidate their shipments using an LTL service, reducing costs and streamlining logistics.

Factors Affecting LTL Shipping Rates

While less-than-load shipping services are generally more cost-efficient than full-load trucking, many variables impact the cost of shipping, including:
  • Dimensions: The weight and dimensions of the load will determine freight class and rates.
  • Location: The farther a load must travel, the higher the shipping costs.
  • Type: Shipments that require specialized handling cost more than standard goods.
  • Mode: Time-sensitive loads that must be expedited garner additional fees for faster delivery times.

Benefits of LTL Shipping Services

Many businesses partner with LTL service providers to take advantage of the many benefits this type of specialized shipping provides, including:

Reduced Shipping Costs

As multiple companies can combine their loads onto one trailer, they can save money. Why pay more to ship a small load that only takes up a portion of a full-size trailer? Instead, the company only pays for the space and weight of their goods on the trailer, reducing costs to a fraction of full-size rates.

Flexible Logistics

For businesses with fluctuating demands, LTL services provide customizable logistics and flexibility, making shipping simple and convenient.

Lower Carbon Footprint

By consolidating smaller loads onto one trailer, businesses can reduce the environmental impact of their transportation needs and lower their carbon footprint.

Additional Types of Specialized Freight Shipping and LTL Services

Many LTL providers offer businesses several options regarding freight specializations and custom logistics. For example, the most common types of specialized services include:

NFO Shipping

Next Flight Out (NFO) shipping is for logistical crises of time-sensitive goods. This specialized service ensures rapid dispatch and delivery by transporting goods on the next available flight.

Limited Access

Limited access shipping is for goods that must be delivered to locations where carriers will have difficulty accessing, like camps, rural areas, construction sites, etc.

Expedited Freight

Businesses with time-sensitive loads that require faster delivery can request an expedited shipping quote, which costs more than standard delivery rates.

Inside Pickup and Delivery

Inside pickup/delivery services are for shipments that require the carrier to either pick up or deliver the shipment indoors. For businesses with small freight loads, less-than-load shipping can provide excellent benefits, including cost savings, easier logistics, and a lower environmental impact. To learn more about LTL services and how they can benefit your business, contact Comet Couriers now at (207) 649-8656 and request LTL Shipping quotes from our team.