3 Modes of Shipping: LTL, TL, & Small Package

There are three common modes of shipping: Less-than-Truckload (LTL), Truckload (TL), and Small Package shipping. When shipping freight it is important for a company to evaluate the best method for shipping their products to its destination. In today’s blog post we examine the benefits of these three modes of shipping.


3 Modes of Shipping Freight

1. Less-than-Truckload (LTL)

LTL shipping is when multiple companies ship their freight on the same truck. Typically, companies will use LTL shipping if their shipment contains less than 6 pallets and/or weighs between 150-10,000 lbs.

LTL shipping is beneficial for companies as it cost less than Truckload shipping. Companies are able to split shipping costs with other businesses shipping freight on the same truck making LTL shipping the more budget-friendly option. This method of shipping can take longer to reach its final destination but skilled Transportation companies will work to pair shipments together on a truck based on destination.

2. Truckload (TL)

TL shipping is when an entire truck is dedicated to one company’s shipment. Typically a company will use TL shipping if they have 10 or more pallets, freight weighing over 10,000 lbs, high risk freight, or time-sensitive shipments.

While TL shipping is more expensive than LTL shipping it can be beneficial for companies as their shipment stays in the same truck from point A to point B therefore products that are in high demand can be delivered quickly.

3. Small Package Shipments

Small package shipments are used for freight weighing less than 150 lbs. Typically this method of shipment is used when individual packages are sent to different consumers located close to one another. UPS and FedEx are examples of Transportation companies that ship mainly small package shipments. Companies will send packages using these transport companies when they need to send a small package to a consumer quickly.

This method is  mostly used for individual packages instead of pallets and can include a higher risk of damages since the transportation company is dealing with a high number of packages from multiple companies, all going to different destinations.