Less than truckload or LTL shipping is a great, cost-effective way to move small goods and quantities. It also is pretty flexible to move plenty of small amounts of goods. Unlike the full truckload freights, this combines shipments from different businesses into one specific truckload, and you only have to pay for the space you’ll be using. There are many eCommerce businesses that is using this in order to set up their inventory, since it offers economies of scale when they move smaller goods, and it is an appealing option for some businesses to move amounts that are less than six pallets of inventory. In this, we’ll talk about why it’s good, and also how the process of this works.
What is it
- LTL freight is when you rent out a part of the space in a truck in order to get the goods from one location to another.
- This is used by many ecommerce businesses in order to help replenish their inventory. It offers more economical shipping and other options for merchants who don’t need to move a ton.
- With this type of shipping, you’re essentially paying prorated for a part of the trailer that your cargo is in, which makes it cheaper than renting trucks and moving stuff about.
- This is usually done individual, or broader in service.
- You can do local carriers that go from 80-800 miles, regional carriers that move it across different territories, and of course national carriers that move all of this cross-country.
The pros of This
The obvious pros are that it’s a lot cheaper. You’re not renting out a whole truck, but a part of it, and it can save you a lot of money on shipping. It also reduces your warehouse costs, since you don’t need to keep it in a warehouse until the shipping is taken, but instead, you just move it out of there. Finally, it does reduce the number of trucks that are out, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and the environmental impact. This also is pretty flexible too since you can offer different delivery options. It also gives you tracking that you can use.
While it is a good system, there are some downsides to this. For starters, the delivery times tend to be much longer, since it does require the drivers to pick up multiple cargoes before reaching the destinations. This also does put it at a bigger risk for damage or loss, and it can be quite worrisome for some people. Usually though, it’s a better model.
How it Works
- This is pretty much done in a series of distribution centers. You bring the product there, you pay the rate, and then of course, it’s all thrown into the truck.
- The trucks will take the freight that they get from each of the terminals which are local, and then they bring it to the distribution hubs to be delivered, or you can have it go from truck to truck.
- Everything is put in either pallets, large boxes, or crats, and from there is shrink wrapped in order to reduce the chances for damages of the times that you have.
- This is something that runs on weight and dimension limits. If you’re considering this, you might want to talk to someone who does have this, and from there, you can get a quote for how much it will be.
There are some minimums, but overall, if you don’t’ want to have to rent out a truck every single time, this is a viable option for transporting your products as well.