What is Less Than Truckload (LTL)?

While carriers can each define what a less than truckload shipment is specific to their own particular rules and tariffs, a standard broad-based definition of LTL is twofold:

  • Weight – a true LTL shipment must have a billed weight of less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Space – it cannot exceed 12 linear feet of trailer space.

Less than truckload shipments are consolidated with other loads, meaning that your freight is loaded onto the same trailer with other LTL freight. Pricing is very complex in LTL as rates are based on the product class, distance and weight, unlike the flat cost-per-mile basis with full truckload. Moving a shipment via LTL rather than full truckload is cheaper, but requires consolidation and de-consolidation of shipments at a terminal for density.

There is also another type of truckload shipment called a partial shipment. The area between an LTL shipment and a full truckload shipment can be considered a volume or partial shipment. These shipments take up more space than a standard LTL, but less than a full truckload. LTL carriers in particular rate these type of shipments differently than a regular LTL shipment that is based on weight and class. These are rated more so based on pallet dimensions, total space needed, and the weight, along with the usual point to point lane. For more information on partial shipments, download our one page guide here.

Less Than Truckload Services Offered:

  • Standard LTL
  • Enterprise Solutions – LTL Transportation Management Program
  • Volume LTL and Partial/Consolidation Services
  • Refrigerated LTL
  • Guaranteed Delivery and Expedited Solutions

Need Help Classing Your Freight?

Are you unsure of your freight classification? Let our LTL team determine the correct class for your freight so that you can avoid reweigh fees. Carriers are getting more strict when it comes to having the NMFC# and correct class, making it imperative that you have the correct information on your BOL. Here is a link to a helpful density calculator as well.

Class Your LTL Freight