What is LTL Shipping?

LTL Shipping

LTL or Less-Than-Truckload Shipping simply means a shipment that does not require a full 48ft or 53ft trailer space. LTL shipment ranges from 1 to 6 pallets, crates, large parcels or other shipping units that don’t fill up a freight carrier’s truck. This allows the driver to haul more than one specific load to better utilize the trailer.  This method can be used when the freight shipment weighs between 150 and 20,000 pounds.

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Why LTL Shipping?

  • Lower costs: LTL shipping requires only partial use of a trailer, which means you will only pay for the actual space you use. Other shippers utilizing the trailer will pay for the remaining.
  • Shipment security: Most LTL carriers require palletizing your freight. Palletizing increases the security of your goods from damages while in transit. Your carrier will make sure freight is loaded properly and is secure no matter what.
  • Additional service options: LTL shipping will provide you with additional benefits such as the lift-gate service at pickup or delivery, residential (also known as “non-commercial”) service at pickup or delivery, inside delivery, notification prior to delivery, freeze protection, and more.

Factors That Determine LTL Shipping Rates

  • Distance: Typically, the longer the haul, the higher the price. Some LTL carriers only serve a specific region, and transferring the shipment to another LTL carrier will increase the cost. At GoShip.com we do this research for you, so you’ll be matched with the best lane and best price.
  • Classification of Freight: Freight class is defined by a variety of factors. It is determined by the weight and density of your freight. If you have a lower-class freight, it means that its heavy, dense, and difficult to break making it easy to handle. Higher-class freight is typically lighter, less dense, and difficult to handle due to being fragile. At GoShip.com, we utilize our freight class calculator to determine your class, so you don’t have to!
  • Additional Charges: Services that go above the normal pick-up and delivery require additional fees. These could include lift gate use, inside delivery, limited access delivery, or freeze protection.

Preparing LTL Shipments

  • Documentation: It’s important to always make sure the address for pick-up and delivery are correct. After you book a shipment with GoShip.com, you will receive a bill of lading (BOL). Ensure that the bill of lading is correct and accurate before turning it over to your carrier.
  • Dimensions: Accurate dimensions are very important to you and the carrier. The carrier relies on accuracy so they can maximize their capacity, and can prevent any adjustment fees toward your shipment. Why is accuracy important to you? You will be charged if your dimensions are inaccurate – and no one wants that!
  • Packaging and labeling: Palletized loads are the best solution for condensing and securing your freight. Make sure you place the heaviest items toward the bottom and secure your labels on the side.

Common LTL Shipping Questions

  • How does LTL work?  LTL shipping operates from terminal groups. You have smaller local terminals that connect to the larger terminals.
  • What’s the difference between LTL and FTL? Freight that only requires partial space in a trailer is known as LTL shipping, whereas freight that requires the full trailer or exceeds the weight limit is known as full-truckload (FTL).
  • Should I ship parcel or LTL? If you are shipping freight that is over 150 pounds, consider utilizing LTL. Using an LTL freight provider will not only provide competitive rates and expert advice, but the advantage of shipping LTL on a pallet vs. small parcel is that LTL would be less susceptible to damage in transit.

GoShip.com is here to make your life easier by being the connection between you and the carrier. Let us use our advanced industry knowledge and our experienced qualified carriers to assist you with your LTL freight. All it takes is an easy and free quote to view the most competitive rates from our vast carrier network, allowing you to choose your best option.

Benefits of LTL Shipping with GoShip.com

  • Instantly compare LTL quotes from our trusted carrier network.
  • Get the lowest rates for your LTL freight shipping needs.
  • No need to contact a freight broker
  • Custom solutions to meet your business needs
  • Online tools to book all your shipments and email tracking options
  • Years of experience in the LTL and transportation industries


Our years of experience in the LTL and transportation industries let us provide you with tailored, custom solutions to meet your business needs. No matter if you’re an individual shipper or a small business, we can be a one-stop shop for all of your LTL shipping needs!

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