17 Jan What is an LTL shipment?
LTL briefly explained
If you are used to sending or receiving small quantities of goods, i.e. a few palettes or parcels, then you will certainly already have used LTL. In fact, this service involves shipments which are «Less-than-TruckLoad» (hence the acronym LTL), meaning less than a full load. We also refer to these as «part-loads», «small shipments» or «groupage» although the term LTL shipment is the one most commonly used. This kind of shipment is often in competition with courier delivery services, which are ideal for single parcels. But you will need an LTL shipment if:
- Your shipment exceeds the volume-weight limits for courier delivery;
- The costs of courier delivery are really too high compared to those for LTL shipment.
There are many transport companies in Quebec and Canada offering specialized LTL shipments, such as, for example, Transport Econo Nord, meaning that you can choose from a wide range of service providers and get the benefit of a competitive market.
The art of planning LTL shipments
The organization of this kind of shipment by transport companies is complex. The transport managers need to plan the loads on the basis of the amount of goods (weight and volume) for each truck, but also take into account the delivery dates and locations required: a real balancing act!
The advantages of using LTL shipments
LTL shipments allow road transport companies to combine the loads of various clients in a single shipment, leading to significant savings for the customer: you only pay for the space you actually use.
In order to offer you the best possible rates, our prices are based on:
- The distance involved
- The weight and volume of goods
- The type of goods (perishable foodstuffs, hazardous goods, etc.),
- Any special requirements you may have
The rates are usually competitive because the costs relating to LTL shipments (gasoline, etc.) are shared amongst all the customers.
Dispatch and delivery dates are flexible: you can select the collection and delivery dates according to your own requirements. Often your transport company can provide temporary storage for your goods before final delivery at the agreed destination.
So LTL shipments are thus the ideal solution for small businesses looking for deliveries to be effected “right on time”.
Help save the planet
Just like car-sharing, LTL shipments contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the number of vehicles on the road with all their related drawbacks!
Vehicles to meet your special needs
If you have specific requirements for the truck of your shipment, an LTL transporter can offer collections and deliveries with a range of different vehicles:
- Truck with tailgate (if you have no loading or delivery bay),
- Refrigerated truck for perishable foodstuffs,
- Heated trucks to protect against frost and ice (very useful for Quebec winters),
- Special trucks for home deliveries.
Road transport offers more flexibility and has undeniable advantages. It has some drawbacks, however: speed limits and traffic restrictions, unpredictable weather conditions, delays caused by agents, etc. Your LTL dispatches and deliveries therefore call for careful planning and the services of a transport company with localization and tracing systems for its vehicles so that you can be kept up to date at all times on the whereabouts of your goods.