What is LTL Shipping, Benefits of LTL and How it Works?
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What is LTL Shipping?
As the name suggests, less-than-truckload (LTL) or less-than-load are a kind of shipping services which do not require a full truckload. These are relatively smaller freights of goods. Nearly all national parcel services and specialized logistics providers offer LTL services.
The LTL service providers tactfully optimize their loads in such a manner that they move more number of products in a comparatively efficient manner. Therefore, it is no surprise that shippers prefer LTL shipping as it is more cost-effective and offers greater flexibility. Another added advantage of LTL shipping is that it is environment friendly. The benefits make it so simple. However, that is far from the truth. In actual, LTL shipping is very complex.
How LTL Shipping Works?
LTL freights operate on the hub and spoke model. This means that the shipment does not simply travel from the pick-up location to the final destination for delivery. On the contrary, the cargo is collected from comparatively smaller local distribution channels. Afterward, the products are transferred to larger hubs where there are other products which are to be delivered to the same destination.
The products belonging to one seller are packed on a single pallet and the seller is charged only for the space occupied by his respective pallet. These pallets are transferred from truck-to-truck until they reach their delivery destination.
Benefits of LTL Shipping
As already stated, in the case of an LTL shipment, you only pay for the space occupied by your pallet. Thus, you end up saving money.
Since the products are first packed into pallets before being loaded in the product, therefore, there is a greater chance of the products remaining secure, especially in the case of smaller units.
LTL presents a more sustainable and environment-friendly method of delivery. This is because more cargo can be shipped together which means there is reduced fuel consumption, resulting in a greener shipment.
Most Suited for E-Commerce
Where most e-commerce businesses are looking for effective shipping solutions which are aligned with the customers’ needs, LTL presents the perfect solution. It not only increases security but also shortens the delivery period as there is no need to wait for a full truckload.
Beneficial for Small Businesses
LTL is the perfect partner for small businesses. Most small businesses have smaller deliveries and therefore, LTL can present a great solution to their delivery needs without burning a hole in their pockets.
Factors Affecting LTL Shipping Cost
There are multiple factors that can impact the cost of delivery for LTL shipments. These are:
Shipments which are to be delivered farther away cost more.
Size of Package
The weight and size of the package directly impact the shipping cost.
Mode of Shipping
Generally, the LTL shipping can be sped up by paying an extra amount.
Type of Cargo
Products that require special handling generally cost more. This includes glass items, electronics and other perishables.
How to Reduce LTL Shipping Costs?
There are many innovative ways in which you can reduce the cost of shipping. For starters, you can partner with some of the other local businesses in your area for a more effective sharing of space.
You can also save money by choosing those parcel services that use dispatch and routing software. This will help you cut down the last-mile delivery charges, thus lowering the cost.
Another way of saving on shipping costs is by taking the help of a third-party logistics provider. The logistics provider will help you reduce the cost by negotiating with the shipping company on your behalf.
The Future of LTL Freight
As technology continues to evolve, the supply chain keeps getting more complicated. LTL is no exception. The LTL freights are becoming more sophisticated. Now, there is a greater emphasis on the ability to handle more volumes of products.
Today, in order to make the delivery process smoother, it has become important for shipping providers to accurately assess multiple carriers, measure delivery performance and accurately follow the shipping process.
In order to make the most out of your LTL freights, you must partner with other businesses, work with logistics providers and look for LTL shippers with smart dispatch and routing tools. This will make your shipping more affordable.
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