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What is LTL Shipping & How It Works?


Sanjay Negi

Assistant Director @ Shiprocket

March 3, 2022

4 min read

Most online businesses rely on LTL shipping (less-than-truckload) to ship their freight. It is the go-to option for online businesses and D2C brands as it is a cost-effective shipping mode. Also, it helps fulfill orders in a timely manner without paying extra for warehousing costs.

LTL Shipping

If you are also an online business and ship your products to your customers, knowing everything about LTL shipping is essential. This blog will discuss what LTL freight is and how LTL shipping works.

What is LTL Freight?

Less-than-truckload or LTL shipping is transporting cargo less than a truckload, i.e., it does not require an entire truck space to be transported. So, the transporters can consolidate two or more cargos heading in the same direction. As said, this is a cost-efficient method, and the online business owners only need to pay for their portion of the truck and not the entire truck. Notably, LTL freight is an ideal option for shipping cargo and not an individual product.

The Working of LTL Freight

LTL Shipping

LTL freight utilizes the hub and spoke model where it doesn’t travel directly from a freight pick-p location to the delivery destination. The cargo is collected from small and local distribution centers. It is then transported to larger hubs and sorted to continue its journey with other cargo to be shipped to the same destination.

The cargo is packed on an individual pallet, and the online seller is charged for the space the pallets occupy. These pallets are transferred from one truck to another before reaching their final destination.

Benefits of LTL Shipping for eCommerce Business

LTL Shipping

Online sellers depend on shipping companies to deliver their packages to the desired location in the fastest way. But sometimes, it becomes costly for them to use courier partners. Thus, opting for LTL shipping makes the transportation of cargo cheaper, eco-friendly, and organizable. Sometimes, LTL freight can be a slower shipping form, but it is cost-efficient. Let us have a look at the benefits of using LTL shipping.

Reduced Shipping Cost

Reduced freight cost is the main benefit of LTL shipping. It is the best shipping method for small cargo, and online business owners can reduce their overall shipping cost. LTL freight is fuel-efficient, and the shipping companies can manage and ship smaller loads together. Thus, the number of vehicles can also be reduced to transport the load.


Lately, most people have turned towards eco-friendliness, be its product packaging or mode of transportation. LTL shipping is the best eco-friendly shipping solution. As the shipping companies can ship more than one cargo together, the amount of fuel used for transportation vehicles is reduced, allowing shipping companies to go greener and eco-friendly.

Safe Shipments

LTL freight increases shipment safety. How? LTL freights are checked for packages’ safety for both physical and environmental harm. Individual loads are packed on a secured parcel and put in protective containers. This lets the shipping company put all cargo with maximum safety during transit.

LTL shipping uses modern tracking technologies that ensure that the entire cargo is well looked after. In addition, the freight goes through several stops that further ensure that the package is safe and secure. Also, with LTL shipping, the chances of misplaced freight are reduced.


Online businesses with regular shipments can maximize shipping efficiency by using the LTL freight option. While shipping, LTL freight follows limited routes and only takes necessary stops. This leads to reliability and better organization of shipping.

Several shipping companies also use automation features for tracking and optimization freight throughout the transit. With the automation, the online sellers are notified about their packaging with live updates.

Multiple Carrier Support

LTL shipping can be done with more than one carrier. Some of them are:

  • Expedient Shipping: online sellers who wish to ship and deliver their cargo faster than standard time can use this option. This method might be costly but is ideal for products to be shipped urgently.
  • Liftgate: Liftgate is an ideal option if the freight weight is more than 45 kilograms.
  • Limited Access: Limited access LTL is for shipping products to areas with limited access for safety reasons. This option is particularly beneficial for rural locations where shipping companies might find it hard to reach.


LTL freight is the best option for online sellers who wish to ship their cargo cost-effectively. To choose LTL shipment, it is crucial to know about it and its benefits. And now that you know everything about LTL shipping, you can make an informed decision about it.

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