Ltl Shipment Travel: How Long?

how many days travel for an ltl shipment

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is a cost-effective method of transporting cargo that doesn't require a full truckload. LTL shipments typically involve multiple stops and detailed logistic planning, as they share trailer space with other consignments. The transit time for LTL freight is generally longer than for full truckload freight, and it's important to find a reliable carrier and track shipments efficiently. LTL shipping offers flexibility and significant cost savings, making it a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses.

Characteristics Values
Definition Less than truckload freight shipping (LTL) is used for the transportation of small freight or when freight does not require the use of an entire trailer.
Weight Between 150 and 15,000 lbs
Transit Time Longer than full truckload services. Typically 1-10 days.
Cost Cheaper than full truckload services as you only pay for the portion of the trailer used.
Suitability LTL is suitable for small shipments, flexible delivery times, local or regional moves, limited storage, and sustainability goals.
Tracking LTL carriers offer tracking capabilities through the bill of lading (BOL) number, PRO number, PO number, shipment reference number, or pick-up date range.

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LTL freight is transported on a minimum of three different trucks

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is a cost-effective method for transporting freight that is individually too small for a full truckload but too large for parcel services. LTL freight is usually transported on a minimum of three different trucks, and undergoes at least six forklift moves, before reaching its destination. This is because LTL freight shares trailer space with other consignments, creating a journey that includes multiple stops and requires detailed logistic planning.

The LTL shipping journey can be broken down into seven steps:

  • Pickup: The LTL freight journey begins with pickup and delivery (P&D). A local truck collects the LTL freight from the shipper's premises, along with other nearby LTL shipments. The freight is then transported to a nearby terminal.
  • Drop-off at Central Hub: At the central hub or break bulk, the LTL shipment is unloaded, sorted, and prepared for the next part of its journey.
  • Transfer to Long Haul Truck: In the line haul phase, the LTL freight is moved onto a long-haul truck, along with other LTL shipments. This truck typically travels to another terminal, rather than directly to the final destination.
  • Freight Terminal Arrival and Departure: The LTL freight is unloaded at a freight terminal, where it is transferred and rerouted as necessary.
  • Drop-off at Destination Terminal: The long-haul truck arrives at the destination terminal, where the LTL freight is unloaded and prepared for the final delivery truck.
  • Loaded into Delivery Truck: The LTL shipment is loaded onto a delivery truck, also called the last mile, selected based on the specific needs of the freight.
  • Delivery: After a short final journey, the LTL freight reaches its destination.

The LTL shipping process offers flexibility and cost savings, but it is important to consider the extended transit times and increased handling, which can lead to a higher risk of loss or damage. Cargo insurance is vital to mitigate this risk. Digital shipping platforms can help streamline the LTL shipping process, making it more efficient and cost-effective.

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LTL freight shares trailer space with other consignments

Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipping is a cost-effective transportation solution for small to medium-sized businesses. LTL freight shares trailer space with other consignments, creating a journey that includes multiple stops and detailed logistic planning. This means that an LTL shipment will usually undergo at least six forklift moves and be transported on a minimum of three different trucks before reaching its destination.

LTL freight shipping is ideal for businesses that need to move smaller batches of goods frequently. It is a great option for shipments that are between one and six pallets or any shipment that is less than 14 linear feet, as it makes the most of the available shipping space on a given truck. LTL is also a more sustainable choice, as it consolidates multiple shipments into a single truck, reducing the number of trucks on the road and lowering carbon emissions.

LTL freight is typically packaged onto pallets before being loaded onto a truck. This helps to protect the freight from damage during transit, as LTL shipments are usually handled multiple times. The weight and dimensions of the shipment are important factors in determining the freight class, which is used to calculate shipping costs.

The LTL shipping process involves the following steps:

  • Pickup: The LTL freight journey begins with a local truck picking up your shipment from your premises, along with other nearby LTL shipments.
  • Drop-off at Central Hub: Your LTL shipment is then transported to a central hub or break bulk, where it is unloaded, sorted, and prepared for the next part of its journey.
  • Transfer to Long Haul Truck: In the line haul part of the LTL shipping process, your shipment is moved onto a long-haul truck along with other LTL shipments. This truck usually travels to another terminal, not the final destination.
  • Freight Terminal Arrival and Departure: The LTL freight doesn't travel directly from the break bulk to its endpoint. Instead, it is first dropped off at a freight terminal, where it is transferred and rerouted as necessary.
  • Drop-off at Destination Terminal: The long-haul truck arrives at the destination terminal, and your LTL freight is unloaded and prepared for the final delivery truck.
  • Loaded into Delivery Truck: Your LTL shipment is loaded onto a delivery truck, also called the last mile, at the terminal, selected based on the specific needs of your freight.
  • Delivery: After a final short journey, your LTL freight reaches its destination.

LTL shipping offers significant benefits in terms of flexibility and cost savings compared to full truckload (FTL) shipping. However, it is important to note that LTL delivery times may be longer due to the multiple stops and handling involved.

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LTL freight is collected from the shipper's premises by a local truck

LTL freight shipping is a cost-effective way to transport goods that are too large for parcel shipping but do not require a full truckload. LTL shipments typically range from 1 to 7 pallets, and the shipper only pays for the portion of the trailer that their freight occupies.

LTL carriers use a "hub and spoke" model, where local terminals are the spokes and larger central terminals are the hubs. The local truck driver will have a set casual route that they travel every day or several times a week, allowing them to build a rapport with their customers. Once the driver has filled their trailer or completed their route, they return to the terminal for unloading.

LTL freight is usually palletised, and it is the shipper's responsibility to have the freight ready for loading. This includes packaging and securing the freight so that it can be loaded onto the truck efficiently.

The transit time for LTL freight depends on the destination and route, and can take anywhere from 1 to 10 days. LTL transit times are influenced by the network of terminals and the number of times the freight needs to be sorted and routed while in transit.

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LTL freight is unloaded, sorted, and prepared at a central hub

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is a cost-effective way of transporting freight that does not require a full truckload. LTL freight is usually transported on pallets and is ideal for small businesses that need to ship goods that weigh between 150 and 15,000 pounds.

The LTL shipping process involves several steps, and one of the most important ones is when the freight is unloaded, sorted, and prepared at a central hub. This step is crucial in ensuring that the freight reaches its destination efficiently.

After the LTL freight is picked up from the shipper, it is taken to a satellite terminal, where it is combined with other shipments. From there, it is transported to a central hub or break bulk. At this hub, the freight is unloaded from the truck, sorted, and prepared for the next part of its journey. This process is known as cross-docking and helps optimize the loading and unloading process at the terminal.

The sorting process at the central hub involves inspecting and weighing the individual shipments to verify their conformity to the description provided in the accompanying paperwork. This step is essential to ensure that the freight is routed correctly and reaches its intended destination.

Once the freight has been sorted and prepared, it is then reloaded into a new truck with other shipments that are headed in the same direction. This process of consolidating multiple shipments into a single truck helps reduce transportation costs and carbon emissions, making LTL shipping a sustainable choice.

By unloading, sorting, and preparing the LTL freight at a central hub, the carriers can efficiently manage and optimize the transportation of goods, ensuring that they reach their intended destinations in a timely and cost-effective manner.

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LTL freight is moved onto a long-haul truck along with other LTL shipments

LTL freight, or Less Than Truckload freight, is a cost-effective shipping method for transporting small freight that doesn't require a full truckload. LTL shipments typically range from 150 to 15,000 pounds and are often palletized. This shipping method is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses as it allows them to share transportation costs with other shippers.

The LTL shipping journey involves several steps and multiple vehicles. Once the LTL freight is picked up from the shipper's premises, it is transported to a nearby terminal or central hub. Here, the freight is unloaded, sorted, and prepared for the next part of its journey. This is where the LTL freight is moved onto a long-haul truck, which is one of the key stages of the process.

During this stage, the LTL freight is consolidated with other LTL shipments heading in a similar direction. This long-haul truck then transports the freight to another terminal, which is usually not the final destination. The freight is then unloaded and prepared for loading onto a local delivery truck. This local delivery truck, also known as the "last mile," is selected based on the specific needs of each shipment. Finally, the LTL freight completes its journey and reaches its destination.

The entire LTL shipping process involves at least six forklift moves and transportation on at least three different trucks. This complex journey requires detailed logistic planning due to the multiple stops and the need to coordinate multiple consignments sharing the same trailer space. While this process may result in longer transit times compared to full truckload shipping, it offers significant cost savings and flexibility for shippers.

Frequently asked questions

This depends on the origin and destination of the shipment, as well as the service option chosen. For example, with FedEx Freight Priority, shipments typically arrive within one to three days, whereas with FedEx Freight Economy, this timeframe is three to six days.

The time it takes for an LTL shipment to travel is dependent on several factors such as the number of transfers, the efficiency of the carrier, and the distance travelled. Unfortunately, without knowing more information, it is difficult to provide an exact estimate for how many days your shipment will take to travel 1,000 miles.

To reduce transit time, consider using a load-to-ride LTL carrier. These carriers focus on direct delivery routes and minimize the number of terminals the shipment passes through.

LTL shipping typically takes longer than full truckload shipping because the shipments travel through a network of terminals and are sorted and rerouted multiple times.

The transit time of an LTL shipment is influenced by the number of transfers, the efficiency of the carrier, the distance travelled, and the need for special handling or equipment.

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