What Is Volume LTL Freight and When Can You Use It? | GoShip

What Is Volume LTL Freight and When Can You Use It?

Posted on:
Aug 08, 2023

Shippers who often ship LTL freight can benefit from another shipping method called volume freight shipping. The shipping industry stands somewhere between full truckload and less-than-truckload shipping. Knowing the difference can be tricky, so it’s important to know the difference between all options.

What is Volume Freight?

Volume freight is a larger and heavier shipment than standard LTL, but not enough to fill a full truckload trailer and be justified for a whole truckload shipment. Volume shipments usually range from 6 pallets (or more than 5,000 lbs) to 24 pallets of goods. Mostly, these shipments are handled by LTL carriers because they have more experience with complex shipments and quotes.

What are the benefits of volume freight?

Volume can be a working solution for shippers who often ship last-minute, high-class shipments and have time to wait for a spot rate. 


Volume freight can be cost-efficient since it lets you bypass density-based pricing. If you are moving light items, it can be a better shipping solution than LTL. Despite the complexity, volume shipping can become cheaper and faster for some of your shipments because it is more efficient.


Due to the nature of volume freight, shipments typically stay on the same trailer from the beginning to the end of the journey. This decreases the likelihood of loss and theft because the freight is handled less.

Adds Capacity 

Volume freight allows shippers to tap into a different capacity pool. During times of tight capacity, volume gives companies an alternative.

What are the specifics of volume freight shipping?

This transportation mode has many benefits for shippers but also has many undercover details.


While avoiding freight classification of standard LTL may seem like a perfect feature of volume transportation, the pricing here is not that simple. Most of the volume rates are spot rates that are difficult to secure in advance. Many volume shipments are last minute or backhaul, making planning complex.

Definition of volume freight

LTL and truckload shipments usually have the exact definition for most carriers, but that doesn’t apply to volume packages. The definition of a volume shipment can be different for each carrier. Some will consider eight pallets volume cargo, while others will measure the minimum weight or dimensions. Many carriers don’t do volume quotes due to their complexity compared to LTL or truckload.


Many shippers assume volume shipping offers all the benefits of LTL without density-based pricing. However, these two modes are different. For instance, the volume freight carrier may refuse to apply accessorial services for your shipment. If you need inside delivery or a lift gate, choosing volume shipping won’t serve your needs. Volume freight can be beneficial for certain types of shipments. Please discuss all the details with your carrier or shipping company in advance.

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