Less Than Truckload (LTL)

Less Than Truckload (LTL) is a shipping option offered by Amazon Carrier Partner Program where the products sent by merchants are palletized. Merchants are allowed to ship upto 12 pallets in one shipping plan. The LTL method doesn't require a complete trailer.

LTL, which stands for Less than Truckload, is a shipping and logistics term used to describe the transportation of relatively small and lightweight freight shipments that do not require the use of an entire truck for transportation. LTL shipments are typically smaller in size and weight compared to full truckload (FTL) shipments and are often grouped with other shippers' cargo in a single truck to optimize efficiency and reduce costs.

Methods of LTL or Less Than Truckload:

1. Hub and Spoke

Many LTL carriers operate using a hub-and-spoke network. They collect shipments from various origins and consolidate them at a central hub before redistributing them to their respective destinations. This method minimizes transit times and allows for efficient route planning.

2. Density-Based Pricing

LTL rates are often based on the density of the cargo. Shipments with higher densities (heavier items in a smaller space) may incur lower per-pound shipping costs, incentivizing shippers to maximize space utilization.

Types of LTL:

1. Standard LTL

This is the most common type of LTL shipping, where multiple shippers' freight is combined on a single truck. Shipments are typically palletized and organized for ease of loading and unloading.

2. Expedited LTL

Expedited LTL services offer faster transit times for time-sensitive shipments. Carriers prioritize these shipments and often charge higher rates for expedited services.

3. Guaranteed LTL

Some carriers offer guaranteed delivery dates for LTL shipments, providing certainty to shippers and receivers regarding the arrival of their cargo.

How to Ship LTL Freight:

Shipping LTL freight involves several key steps:

1. Packaging

Properly package your goods to ensure they are protected during transit. Use sturdy boxes or pallets and secure items to prevent damage.

2. Weigh and Measure

Accurately weigh and measure your shipment, including its dimensions. LTL rates are often based on weight and dimensions, so precise measurements are crucial.

3. Select a Carrier

Choose an LTL carrier based on factors like cost, transit time, service level, and reputation. Request quotes from multiple carriers to compare rates.

4. Prepare Shipping Documentation

Complete all necessary shipping documents, including the bill of lading (BOL), which serves as a receipt and contract between you and the carrier.

5. Schedule Pickup

Arrange for the carrier to pick up your shipment from your location or drop it off at the carrier's service center.

6. Tracking and Monitoring

Keep track of your shipment's progress using the carrier's tracking system. This allows you to stay informed about its location and estimated delivery date.

7. Receiving and Unloading

Upon arrival, the consignee should inspect and sign for the shipment. Unloading may be the responsibility of the consignee or performed by the carrier, depending on the service level

8. Billing and Payment

The carrier will invoice you based on the shipment's actual weight and dimensions. Ensure accurate billing and make timely payments.