LTL Trucking

Nearly everything you touch today got to you because of LTL shipping. Freight from all parts of the country is carried by some flatbed LTL service from the producer to the consumer. Not all cargo is carried on flatbeds but most likely a semi or other truck was involved with getting that product to you.


In case you are not familiar with the term LTL, it means Less than full Truck Load.  It allows LTL trucking companies to travel precisely when your load is ready. This is a real benefit for small businesses that might need a lot less than a full truck load of one particular product.  Truckers also benefit by being able to pick up a load on their return trip and thus not lose money by traveling empty.


According to Manta, a small business search engine on the internet, there are at least 365 LTL trucking companies registered in the United States. It is easy to locate one near you by using one of the freight directories online. The entire LTL shipping industry is recorded and cataloged by state, by name, by city, by specialty, by owner and by size of the business. Recommendations from various consumers are often available on those same pages. Take a look at to see the wealth of information that is available to the person looking for the ideal flatbed LTL service near their location.


There are companies that specialize in refrigerated LTL service. This is a valuable service for transporting perishable goods, such as food. Some products only require an insulated truck. Others require a fully refrigerated truck.  The food products must be kept cool and transported quickly to ensure the quality of the product. The customer is relying upon the refrigerated LTL service to deliver their products in excellent condition in order to maximize their profits.


Consider the alternatives. Transporting small amounts of freight can be done with parcel carriers or LTL companies rather than full truckload companies.  A parcel carrier generally takes cargo that can be conveyed as packages of less than 150 pounds.  A full truckload carrier generally uses a semi-trailer which is normally between 53 and 26 feet long.  That vehicle needs a significant amount of cargo to make its transportation economical. That is why the freight company that specializes in LTL shipping is ideal for most of the cargo transportation in everyday work.


LTL freight loads are usually from 151 to 20,000 pounds. Cargo is collected from different shippers and delivered to a terminal where it is sorted for transport with other loads to the same route. That does mean the freight is handled more often than what is hauled by a full truckload carrier.  The advantage to using an LTL carrier is the lower cost.  The company does not have to pay for a full truckload of product. One drawback may be the time it takes for delivery. LTL trucking companies may need more time than a fully loaded truck with fewer stops.

Leave a Comment