LTL Explained – Less Than Truckload
LTL is an acronym for Less Than Truckload. This means a shipment that does not require a full 48 or 53 foot trailer. There are many carriers that specialize or offer this service and like full truck load carriers the LTL carriers themselves specialize in different services such as lift gate and residential pick ups and deliveries, guaranteed services, protect from freeze, transit, and bottom line cost to name a few.
Within a local area the LTL freight operator has a number of vehicles which collect shipments from their customers. After finishing the daily collection, the shipments are taken to a terminal where the vehicles are unloaded. Each shipment is weighed and rated which allows customer bills to be processed. The individual shipment is loaded on to an outbound vehicle which contains shipments from other customers bound for the same geographic area. The outbound shipments are trucked to appropriate regional terminals, where they are unloaded. The shipments are sorted and placed on local vehicles for delivery. Each individual shipment is handled a number of times from the time it is picked up from the customer until it reaches its final delivery location.