Ltl Shipments

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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LTL stands for shipments that are Less Than Load. This obviously means that the shipment is not large enough to fill a standard-sized trailer. LTL shipments comprise a significant portion of the world's shipping. Since it would be unprofitable for an entire trailer to be dedicated to a short load, the process of combining loads has been developed.

Dedicated Lanes

Dedicated lanes can go between any two points. They are very common in large metropolitan areas where small businesses continuously ship LTL loads directly to final markets. A dedicated lane is one that is covered by the same carrier on a regular basis, such as twice a week or every weekday, usually at the same time.

The trucks may be any size up to a standard trailer. The route is often developed with the help of a logistics services provider so that maximum use of time and fuel can be achieved. For drivers who prefer to stay close to home, the dedicated lane is a good option. The driver becomes very familiar with the route, is able to assist the customers with special requests, and may even have at least a partial return load.

LTL Advantages

When freight brokers or logistics services providers arrange LTL routes, they usually consider the routes to be long-term. The benefits to the consumer are clearly in the savings to the shipper who can then keep prices lower. The advantage to the carrier is that the routes may be in place for years assuring a consistent income from the shippers.

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