Volume LTL: What Is It and When Should Shippers Use It?

No one enjoys paying for empty space on a truck, which is why less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping can be a shipper’s best friend. But sometimes, companies find themselves in the awkward position of needing to move freight that is too large to qualify for traditional LTL rates while still being too small to fill an entire trailer. In these cases, most shippers begrudgingly pay for the whole truck, but the savviest among them have discovered a secret weapon: volume LTL.

If you’re not familiar with volume LTL, you’re not alone—it’s one of the best-kept secrets in logistics. Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of this cost-cutting strategy.

What is volume LTL and what are the benefits?

Generally speaking, most companies lean on LTL shipping options when they only have to ship a couple of palettes, though most carriers will offer LTL rates for shipments of up to 10,000 pounds or around 12 palettes. This allows them to fit other loads on the truck to optimize the space while providing cost-effective rates to each shipper. But when shippers have loads that slightly exceed those parameters, they often assume they’re out of luck and fork over the full amount for a truck they’ll only partially use.

This is where volume LTL can save the day. Let’s say a shipper needs to move 14 palettes weighing in at around 13,000 pounds. Since this will occupy about a third of the truck, their usual LTL carriers would likely pass on it. But if the shipper knew who to call, they might be able to access a volume LTL rate from another carrier—saving anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand compared to paying for a full truck.

Volume LTL shipping options operate in the same way as traditional LTL options, so they come with the same benefits and drawbacks—namely, lower costs but slightly longer transit times as a result of the multiple pick-ups and drop-offs along the way. But for shippers that aren’t in a rush, seeking volume LTL rates can be a great way to save money on those awkward midsize shipments that crop up from time to time.

How can shippers make the most of volume LTL?

Volume LTL options are underutilized because many shippers don’t know that these rates are available, let alone how to access them. Without highly experienced logistics talent on their teams, some companies remain unaware of all the different levers they can pull to bring their transportation costs down.

At CTSI-Global, we’re committed to helping all the companies that partner with us discover the keys to unlocking better rates. We’re not only a licensed broker but have more than 60 years’ logistics experience at our back. We’ll leverage our deep expertise and vast carrier network to help you move your freight at the best possible rate—whether you need a full truck for a reasonable price or could take advantage of volume LTL.

Why pay more? Contact CTSI-Global and start saving today.

Reader Interactions