Less-than-truckload freight, also known as LTL, is a term used to define multiple shipments from different merchants being placed on the same trailer. This differs from FTL shipping in the sense that no singular merchant has reserved the right to the trailer’s entire capacity. Deciding to use LTL shipping is largely based on the size of your freight. If your shipment currently falls between one to six pallets or is less than 14 linear feet, LTL is an economic option for you or small businesses. However, the lack of exclusivity when using this service comes with some disadvantages as well.
Because you are only paying for the amount of space you are using, LTL carriers are responsible for handling multiple shipments without misplacing or damaging goods. Furthermore, LTL freight shipments are not delivered directly to customers, but instead make multiple stops along the way. This means a customer’s shipment is passed through multiple hands and shipment centers before reaching its final destination. Delivery dates may vary as a result due to unexpected delays.