What is Volume LTL Shipping?

Volume Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping is a freight transportation method that combines multiple shipments from different shippers into a single truck for delivery. The term “Less-Than-Truckload” indicates that shipments do not fill an entire truck, and instead, the available space is shared among multiple shipments from various senders.

Characteristics of Volume LTL Shipping

The key characteristics of Volume LTL shipping include:

1. Partial Truckloads: Unlike Full Truckload (FTL) shipping, where a shipper reserves and pays for an entire truck, LTL shipments only take up a portion of the available space in a truck. This is cost-effective for businesses that have smaller quantities of goods to transport.

2. Consolidation: LTL carriers consolidate shipments from multiple shippers into a single truck. This consolidation optimizes truck capacity, reduces transportation costs, and minimizes the environmental impact by maximizing the use of available space.

3. Hub-and-Spoke System: LTL carriers often use a hub-and-spoke distribution network. Shipments are collected at local service centers (spokes), consolidated at a central hub, and then redistributed to their final destinations. This network improves efficiency and reduces transit times.

4. Weight-Based Pricing: LTL shipping rates are typically determined by the weight and dimensions of each shipment. Shippers are charged based on the space and weight of their goods in the truck.

5. Flexibility: LTL shipping offers flexibility for businesses that do not have enough cargo to fill an entire truck. Shippers can send smaller quantities of goods without the need to pay for unused space.

6. Tracking and Visibility: LTL carriers often provide advanced tracking and visibility tools, allowing shippers to monitor the location and status of their shipments in real time.

7. Liftgate and Inside Delivery Options: LTL carriers may offer additional services such as liftgate delivery for heavy or bulky items and inside delivery to the recipient’s location.

Volume LTL shipping is particularly suitable for businesses with varying shipment sizes, allowing them to benefit from cost savings while still ensuring timely and reliable deliveries. It is a common choice for companies that deal with diverse and smaller quantities of goods and want to optimize their supply chain logistics.

Explore NextBillion.ai’s Route Optimization API, which supports dynamic capacity parameters suitable for Volume LTL Shipping.

Read this technical notebook on Volume LTL Shipping Implementation using various NextBillion.ai Products.