(CC image courtesy Sergio Russo via Flickr)
A less than truckload (LTL) shipping rate is based on several different factors, all of which we’ll go over in this blog. If you’re unsure of how these relate to your product, just let us know and we’ll help you out!
Typically, an LTL quote will take up less than 12 feet of linear space on a truck. For those of you who don’t have truck dimensions tacked to your office walls, this equates to 6 standard size pallets, not stacked. A standard size pallet is typically 48” x 40” or sometimes 48” x 48”. If your shipment takes up more space than this, you may need a volume shipping quote or a full truckload quote.
Now that we’ve defined LTL, what exactly do we need to get accurate less than truckload rates? It comes down to 4 basic must-haves: Origin zip code, destination zip code, total weight, and freight class. I can’t say this enough: THESE FOUR PIECES OF INFORMATION ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. The zip codes and total weight are self-explanatory, but freight class can sometimes be more complicated.
We have an excellent blog explaining freight class if you need assistance on that end. Your freight broker can help with your freight class as well.
Another vital piece of information for less than truckload rates is the mention of additional services. The standard LTL shipment is business-to-business and dock-to-dock. If you don’t have a shipping dock or forklift to get the pallets off the truck, you’ll need a lift-gate, which can cost extra. Residential shipping also costs extra, as do several other things. Check out our Additional Services Cheat Sheet for more information on these. They can change your freight quote and can make a difference in which carrier you select.
Less than truckload has a lot of moving parts, and this blog is just a primer. If you’re new to shipping, be sure to download our Beginner’s Freight Shipping Guide, and check in on our collection of instructional Freight Papers, all available for FREE on our website.