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Truckload or LTL: What’s Your Best Option?

You’ve got some freight you need to move, but you’re a little uncertain of your options.  After all, the logistics industry is changing all the time! Less-Than-Truckload, Full-Truckload, what does it all mean? If you’re not in logistics, you’re probably not familiar with the terminology or the methods.

It’s pretty confusing out there in the freight world!  There are a variety of options as well as providers for each shipment you need to move. Finding the right solution is time-consuming and probably not the best use of your time.

Here at AMT, we get it! We know you’ve got better things to do. That’s why we’ve prepared this quick primer on truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload shipping (LTL), so you can get your product on the road as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

How do you know when truckload shipping is your best option?

 

Weight and number of pallets are both good indicators of when truckload shipping is appropriate. A truckload shipment is typically 10 or more pallets and weighs between 10,000 and 45,000 pounds.  

LTL shipping is perfect for freight consolidation. Most LTL shipments are between 1 and 6 pallets and weighs less than 10,000 lbs.

But weight isn’t the only consideration. Let’s take a look at other factors involved in making the right shipping choice for your freight.

 

Handling

 

If your freight is fragile, you might want to consider TL shipping even if your products won’t fill a truck. Simply put, truckload freight is handled less. When your freight is on the truck, it travels to its delivery point with little or no handling. Less handling, of course, means fewer damages, right!

LTL on the other hand is great for smaller shipments of hardy cargo! If your small shipment is packaged well and can’t be damaged as it’s moved on and off trucks during deliveries, LTL is a good choice!

 

Urgency

 

If time isn’t an issue, and you have a smaller shipment, consider LTL. Because your shipment shares space on a truck with other shipments, the truck will make several stops from point A to point B.

But sometimes you don’t have several days, and that’s when you should consider truckload shipping–even for smaller loads. In this case, it might be more expensive to ship truckload, but the peace of mind that an on-time delivery gives you is worth it!

 

Cost

 

It’s pretty simple, LTL is often cheaper than truckload shipping because customers split the space on full trucks. And LTL rates are fairly standardized which enables shippers to save money.

Truckload shipping rates have a tendency to fluctuate. Truckload shippers should have knowledge of equipment prices, market trends, and available lanes. 3PLs like AM Transport Services can offer truckload shippers the benefit of years of experience and relationships with a wide variety of carriers from the big guys to the small owner operators.

 

Equipment

 

Do your products require specialized equipment? From reefers to open-deck equipment to dry vans, truckload shippers can handle a variety of cargo types.

At AM Transport Services, we know this stuff is confusing. That’s why we encourage you to give us a call with your questions. We have thirty years of experience in the logistics industry, and we’re here to help you make the right decisions for your particular freight. Not only that, we’ll find the trucks, negotiate the best rates, make the necessary appointments, and keep track of your shipment from pickup to delivery.

 

Give us a call today!

 

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