Less than truckload freight shipping (LTL) is used for the transportation of small freight or when freight doesn’t require the use of an entire trailer. This shipping method can be used when freight weighs between 150 and 15,000 pounds. If you’re a small company that is shipping your products for the first time, don’t feel bad if less-than-truckload shipping is your only option. You may not have enough cargo to fill a full truckload (FTL), but that’s not the only reason logistics managers choose LTL shipping. Plenty of companies, large and small, rely on the flexibility of LTL shipping to help save them money and time. Small business owners have their plates full with business demands that keep them busy all day. Thanks to LTL shipping small businesses have found a solution for many of their shipping concerns. While LTL shipping offers a great deal of support, there are still questions that need to be asked. Here are a few LTL shipping questions every small business shipper should be asking…

Do I Have the Proper Packaging in Place?

LTL is ideal for small businesses in particular, as you are able to share the space of a trailer with other shippers. Common handling and transportation situations including loading, turning, accelerating, and driving over road hazards like speed-bumps can harm freight that isn’t packaged correctly. Take preventive measures to avoid damage, loss or shortage. The last thing any business wants to happen regardless of size is goods they are shipping to arrive at the destination damaged or broken. Do not cut costs when it comes to packaging. It is important to package every item with care in order to avoid any possible damage during the shipping process.

How Do I Track My Shipment?

In order to assure that your shipment has been fulfilled and delivered to the customer on time, it is wise to invest in a system that allows you to track your shipment from start to finish. LTL shipping service times heavily depend on which carrier you select and the distance being traveled. Partnering with an online freight service provider provides you with a wide selection of professional carriers that offer great service and fair rates. As soon as your shipment is picked up the latest tracking information can be seen when signing in to view that shipment.

Is My Freight Classification Correct?

Freight class is a standardized classification system for commodities transported via less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipping. Freight class is assigned to a shipment based on either the specific commodity being transported or the total density of the freight being shipped. Always double check to confirm you have the correct freight class for your shipment. The classification of your freight is determined by the weight, dimensions, density, ease of handling, value, and liability. The lower the class number the lower the freight shipping cost. If the freight was classified incorrectly and the freight has to be reweighed and reclassifies higher freight charges could be added.

How Are My LTL Shipping Rates Determined?

Becoming familiar with the driving forces behind LTL freight rates will not only help you set reasonable expectations. You’ll actually be able to anticipate and project your shipping costs better than before. While full-truckload (FTL) shipments are usually rated on a per-mile basis, LTL rates are driven by a slew of factors that can be difficult to digest if you’re new to the shipping world. LTL rates in particular are very dependent on the freight’s class. LTL shipping rates in general do not fluctuate by the size of your company.

Generally speaking, there is almost never just one LTL freight carrier that fits every need you may have. Unless you have spare time on your hands, your best bet is to work with an established freight broker that can do the work for you so that you can stay focused on running your business.

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About American Lighthouse Transportation

American Lighthouse Transportation has been serving shippers with honesty and integrity throughout the United States, since 1998. You can depend on our experienced and knowledgeable management team, drivers, and support for all your shipping needs. We communicate effectively to make sure your shipment arrives safely, accurately, and on-time! You can count on us for personalized customer service, expert guidance, accurate anticipation of potential setbacks, and possible workarounds and solutions.
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