Shippers who often ship LTL freight can benefit from another shipping method called volume freight shipping. In the shipping industry, it 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 of the options.
Volume freight is a shipment that's larger and heavier than standard LTL, but not enough to fill a full truckload trailer and be justified for a full truckload shipment. Volume shipments are usually ranging 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 quoting.
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. It can be a cost-efficient option 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 a cheaper and faster option for some of your shipments.
This transportation mode has many benefits for shippers, but it 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. A lot of volume shipments are last minute or backhaul, which makes it complex to plan in advance.
LTL and truckload shipments usually have the same definition for the majority of carriers, but that doesn’t apply to volume packages. The definition of a volume shipment can be different for each carrier. Some will consider 8 pallets volume cargo, while others will measure the minimum weight or dimensions. Many carriers don’t do volume quoting at all due to its complexity when 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. That means if you need inside delivery or lift gate, choosing volume shipping won’t serve your needs. Volume freight can be beneficial for certain types of shipments. Just make sure to discuss all the details with your carrier or shipping company in advance.