What Does “Less Than Truckload” Mean?
We have all heard different definitions for the term less than truckload (LTL) when it comes to supply chain and logistics. Different companies and even industries have various standards and processes, which leads to confusion on just what less than truckload freight means.
The most accurate definition of less than truckload, or LTL, refers to any freight that does not fill a 48-foot to 53-foot trailer. Full truckloads, or FTL, means you can fill a standard trailer and your shipment has zero empty space. Anything less is considered LTL. Less than truckload shipping gives shippers the option to only claim and pay for the space they require in a freight trailer.
If you are shipping large items or 1-2 pallets that only take up a small part of a truck, you are shipping an LTL load. Many retailers and small businesses turn to parcel carriers to manage their LTL loads. Since parcel carriers aren’t optimized for large items or pallets they often are very expensive or won’t even accept items heavier than 150 pounds. The weight restrictions are very limiting and don’t offer the necessary flexibility for large item shipping. And for the large-item loads that major parcel carriers did ship last year, 25% of them were lost or damaged en route, according to the president of a major U.S. shipping company.
A service that offers LTL deliveries should bring more expertise, better care for large items and is often more cost effective. The LTL carrier contracts with you and other shippers to fill the unoccupied container until it’s at capacity and ready for routing.
Disadvantages of Traditional LTL Shipping
Traditional LTL carriers offer some flexibility, price reductions, and custom shipping options compared to full truckload freight shipping. However, there are significant disadvantages that come with LTL options:
• Pricing and accessorial tables are different for every carrier. Prices depend on shipment weight, size, location, delivery date and even delivery time. Each category affects rates and leads to confusing pricing quotes.
• Delivery schedule is dictated by your location. On average, arrival of your items can take anywhere between 3-10 business days.
• The more items are handled, the more likely damages will occur. LTL’s often transport goods to their warehouse, unload and store your items, reload them to optimize their haul for transport, and unload again at it’s final destination. Rehandling leads to damages that are preventable.
• Since one container is full of multiple deliveries from multiple shippers, delays, lost items and missed delivery windows are common.
• Clear tracking isn’t guaranteed. If you are considering using an LTL carrier, ask for details on how you can track your shipment during transit to ensure the carrier has tracking capabilities.
Optimize Your LTL Network with Bungii
Traditional LTL carriers are an option for less than truckload and one off deliveries, but not the best option. More flexibility, clear tracking, and comprehensive pricing shouldn’t be add-ons, they should be standard shipping practices.
Bungii is making that a reality providing commercial and retail shipping professionals an end-to-end solution for their small load, big and bulky shipping needs by combining:
• An industry leading technology platform to support business customers with an 87 Net Promoter Score, which is 96 points above the industry average, -9.
• Virtual fleet of Bungii-Certified Drivers delivering same-day LTL loads. All of our Bungii-Certified drivers have passed a 16-point safety standard, which includes extensive background checks, MVRs, thorough training and a perfect 100% on a final examination.
• Industry knowledge and operational excellence for LTL delivery service.
• A commitment to understanding business partner’s unique needs.
Your LTL delivery needs are solved with the Bungii Business Partner platform. Our platform supports advanced routing and logistics for some of the largest companies in the U.S. Whether you are a retailer needing to move a small pallet from one store to another, a commercial business that has to get materials to a job site same day, or a retailer that needs help reimagining your reverse logistics strategy, your specific logistics needs are met with a customized plan tailored to your unique business challenges.