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What is Guaranteed Delivery in LTL and When Do You Need It?

Transit time is a common concern among shippers that offer LTL services. Often, carriers give you the estimated delivery time, and it is assumed that the actual delivery date may be slightly delayed. Each carrier defines its own transit times that mostly depend on the route, distance, lane, freight size, type, and other factors. Therefore, sometimes there are situations when a shipment doesn’t arrive strictly upon the mentioned date. But what should you do if you need the shipment to be there at the right time, at the right place? If you want to ensure that you receive freight on a certain date, you should request guaranteed LTL delivery. 

What is the difference between standard LTL delivery and guaranteed delivery?

The main difference between these two delivery types is that for standard delivery, a small delay is expected and considered normal. It doesn’t mean your shipment will necessarily be late, but there is a chance it could be. When you request guaranteed delivery, the carrier guarantees that your freight will definitely arrive upon the requested date. In the cause of delay, you will get your money back in most cases. Essentially, the guaranteed delivery option comes with an extra fee, but that way you play it safe. 

When should you use guaranteed delivery? 

The main reason why companies should use guaranteed delivery is when they or their customers need freight delivered strictly on a certain date. This service can be a reliable shipping option for many causes, including:

  • The retailer or customer requires freight on a certain date
  • Your freight arrival is crucial to keep the supply chain running 
  • When on-time delivery is urgent for the receiver 

However, guaranteed delivery doesn’t cover all of the shipments and destinations. To make it work, your transit times should fall on business days and business hours. Shippers should also keep in mind that guaranteed delivery will not work on holidays. Carriers also won’t provide guaranteed delivery for oversized and hazardous freight, as well as for shipping to remote areas.  

Ultimately, discuss this service directly with your carrier and talk out all of the details of the shipment to be sure it is handled accordingly. 

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