Many small companies and a large number of the big manufacturing companies use LTL or less than truckload shipping on a frequent basis. LTL, which may also be known as “less than load,” is a term that designates that the size of the shipment is not sufficient to fill the complete truck.
For trucking and freight companies, less than truckload shipping is an effective way to maximize their income from a given truck and shipping route. Rather than having to ship a partial load, the trucking company can fill the balance of the truck with LTL shipments from one or more businesses.
What to Consider
As a business, it is more challenging to ship using the LTL option rather than shipping full loads. If you are booking LTL shipments on your own, it can be challenging to find a freight company with the required space on a load that will allow for delivery within the time frame you need to load to get to your customer.
To address this issue, particularly if the company will be completing less than truckload shipping on a regular basis, working with a Third Party Logistics service or 3PL can remove all these challenges.
The 3PL company will typically work with multiple freight companies, making it much easier to match part or LTL shipments with trucks moving along certain routes. This works as a benefit to the freight companies as well, ensuring their trucks are running at full capacity.
Ability to Deliver
There are several different considerations wit LTL loads. In some situations, the 3PL service may need to arrange for last mile delivery or to even provide transfers between trucks to get the shipment to its destination.
By using an experienced 3PL, all of these logistics challenges can be easily handled. This can also be done at a highly competitive rate for the business, often much lower than what the business would be able to negotiate without the 3PL service.