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Overnight Shipping and Delivery: Estimated Transit Times in LTL

overnight shipping and delivery
Patience is a virtue

Overnight shipping and delivery is a great thing. No doubt about it. For better or worse, we live in a culture of immediate gratification. “I want it now,” sang Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. At times, “Patience is a virtue,” seems as outdated as flip phones.

But virtues are timeless for a reason, and in the freight industry patience is more than just something to be aspired to; it’s an essential part of the process. Overnight shipping and delivery is great if you can get it, but a successful freight shipper knows that planning for estimated transit times is always better than relying on them.

Estimated transit times? That’s right. The LTL freight industry operates using estimated transit times. A carrier will estimate that it takes one day to pick up freight in San Antonio and move it to Dallas, and most of the time, that estimation will be correct. But delays happen in freight. All the time, really. One day can turn to two with a simple weather delay, traffic accident, a driver calling in sick, or a truck breaking down.

Can you get overnight shipping and delivery in LTL? Of course. One day transits have a higher delivery success rate than longer estimated transit times. You won’t find same day pickup and delivery in LTL, it’s not offered, but overnight delivery is possible if the transit times work out.

But what I want to stress is this: While it’s okay to expect your freight to adhere to its estimated time of delivery, always provide a cushion if there happens to be a delay. If at all possible, ship a one day transit shipment on a Wednesday if it needs to get there by Friday. If it gets there on Thursday, even better!

As freight brokers, we understand that business is rarely tied up in a neat bow. Orders are placed at the last second. Production delays put added stress on shipping. These things are part of life, and sometimes you can’t afford to plan for freight hold-ups. In those cases, ask us about Guaranteed Shipping. We’re here to provide these sort of freight solutions.


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