What is LTL Freight
LTL is an acronym that means “Less Than Truckload”. This means a shipment that does not fill an entire 48 or 53 foot trailer. LTL freight shipments are usually palletized and can range anywhere from 100 to 10,000 lbs, and the LTL carrier typically can move goods from many different customers on a single truck.
Typically, specialized carriers exclusively provide LTL freight shipments and are usually priced by weight, density, value and distance along with ease of handling. Pricing is normally calculated based on cents per hundredweight (equal to 100 pounds). Volumetric pricing or dimensional weight pricing is considered if a shipment’s density is a consideration.
LTL freight carriers are abundantly available in the U.S. and The NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) standards are usually used in order to identify the best price structure for a particular shipment. Example: A 10,000 pound shipment of rice takes up less space in a trailer than does 10,000 pounds of foam pellets! Carriers typically use a system of pricing that accounts for weight and density, as well as volume and distance.
In contrast, large shipments over 10,000 lbs of one product from from a single customer are usually moved by FTL (Full truckload) and is commonly referred to as simply “Truckload”.