Small Business Tips: Cutting Shipping Costs Using LTL Shipping

ecommerce shipment

Shipping practices should be one of the most critical decisions a business makes. After all, shipping or delivering products take a large portion of the budget since they make shipments continuously. These days, many growing businesses, especially eCommerce, use LTL shipping or less-than-truckload services to replenish their stocks. It’s because LTL lets them cut extra expenses when moving smaller loads of goods. 

Here, you will find out why LTL matters, especially to small businesses, and how it works.

What Is LTL?

LTL freight shipping is a method of transporting small loads of shipments weighing 150 to 15,000 pounds without using the entire truck. A shipper pays for the portion of a truck trailer their freight occupies, while other shippers also pay for space their deliveries occupy.

This service is provided by truck freight companies that are available in the following carrier types:

  • Local Carriers. Freight companies, which operate within a local radius of 80 to 800 miles.
  • Regional Carriers. Companies that transport items within larger areas than the local carriers. They also deal with regional and national carriers between unconnected distribution centers.
  • National Carriers. These companies work nationwide and use more transport devices with more personnel and industry competence.

Factors that Determine LTL Shipping Rates

1. Location. In general, the farther the distance, the higher the cost.

2. Mode. LTL shipments can be expedited, or transportation is accelerated for an additional cost.

3. Dimensions. The measurements and weight of a shipment directly affect rates.

4. Type. Typically, a delivery requiring special handling or equipment, like fragile, hazardous products, or perishables, is more expensive.

How Does LTL Shipping Work?

Since you combine your deliveries with other shippers’ small loads to create full truckloads, you can save from paying full truckload costs. Its rate is based on the space used, the class of products being delivered, and pickup and destination locations.

Advantages of LTL Shipping

1. Cost-effective

Since your delivery occupies half of a truck or a portion of the full truck, its cost is calculated depending on how much space it occupies, which is less expensive than what an average shipment would cost.

2. Reduced Warehouse Expenditures

As a small business, you can rely on LTL freight shipping to cut warehouse costs instead of renting extra space to store your products. Instead, you can send some of these through LTL shipping.

3. Environmental-Friendly

Were you aware that you are helping the environment when you use the LTL shipping process? 

Trucks contribute to carbon emissions. When you utilize LTL shipping transporting full loads of shipments, there will be fewer trucks on the road than more trucks operating, carrying less than their capacity. Thus, lesser carbon emissions.

4. Improved Customer Service

These days, many freight companies provide flexible and hassle-free service choices. These will help shorten the delivery time that also aids in improving your customer service. These could be residential shipment, inside shipment, etc.

5. Easier Tracking of Shipments

Forget about the troubles of tracking your shipments since a lot of freight companies have modern and top-of-the-line tracking systems. This also allows your customers to keep an eye on the progress of the delivery.

Keep In Mind

Choosing LTL as your way of transporting products to your customers or replenishing your stocks is no doubt efficient and cost-effective. However, to maximize its benefits, ensure to know how the LTL industry works and how it benefits you as a small business. It also helps to know the kinds of shipping types you can use, such as dry van transport, quality flatbed trucks or FB trucks, and refrigerated options, depending on your items.

Here’s a practical tip from us: If you have many orders from different locations, third parties may save you. But if these orders are going to the same destination, try shipping them at the same time. Most importantly, ensure to understand the exact info of your shipments, such as the weight of your goods and the number of pallets your items will move on.