Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping: How do I Stack Thee? 

September 24, 2021

How is Less Than Truckload (LTL) different from other freight methods? LTL shipping is the most common and most cost-efficient form of shipping. Messenger Freight Systems two locations take over the logistics and will inventory your product with white-glove service in a fresh warehouse.

The four keys to LTL freight shipping, and all modes of shipping, are: ‘on-time performance’ (or speed), shipping cost, accurate billing, and damage-free shipping. Let’s explore LTL shipping under these four topics.


First, here are the parameters that constitute LTL (pallet) shipping:

Read more about the different kinds of freight in our articles ‘The Difference Between Types of Freight and Shipping’ and ‘What is the Difference Between Freight Broker, a Freight Forwarder, and a 3PL Provider?’

Usually, the number of pallets allowed is from 1-8, depending on their size and the weight required to use an LTL shipping mode is over 68 Kilograms (150 lbs). The maximum height for a pallet is approximately 152cm (60”).


Speed of LTL shipments versus using other modes of shipping:

A parcel shipment does take less time. However, the costs are structured more economically toward LTL shipping if you have more products to ship. 

An experienced 3PL Freight Service gets your products to their destination on time. Messenger Freight Systems also warehouses, inventories and repackages products; however, you need them to be grouped. Read more in our article ‘Warehousing Advantages at a 3Pl Transport Provider’.



Costs of LTL shipments versus using other modes of shipping:

How to reduce your costs; choose a 3PL shipping or freight carrier close to large cities and use the maximum number of pallets allowed. And what’s the most significant thing to do? Discuss your options early to allow the most prolonged time flexibility, logistically.

Delays and added costs are more likely to occur farther from a concentration of LTL trucking firms. 3PL Freight Carriers can better help you achieve the best shipping price if you can be flexible time-wise, so start speaking with freight companies as early as possible. 

Please read more in our article ‘9 Ways to Save Money Transporting Freight’.


Billing of LTL shipments versus using other modes of shipping:

With all freight shipping methods, you are provided two documents: the bill of lading (loading) and a freight bill. The bill of lading (BOL) describes the item by its physically identifying terms, the quantity (number of pallets or products) shipped, weight, and monetary value. This information is your responsibility to provide. 

Shipping and delivery dates, the freight class, NMFC code, purchase order numbers, special instructions and billing details are also noted, making this a legal agreement/ contract between you and your shipper. Signatures are required.

Consignee associated costs, prepaid freight, or customs charges are often made by by others, but are yours to repay. If a logistics company is involved, all payments are made by them. 

The freight charges are specific to the freight bill.

If you are shipping a full truckload (TL) it is common for you to provide the bill of lading, but Messenger Freight can help you with that.



Likelihoodof-damage of LTL shipments versus using other modes of shipping:

If you choose LTL (pallet) shipping, your products are stored on your pallets in a truck’s interior. They are transported together, along with other company’s pallets, all of which may be unloaded to different trucks along the way. All this is magically, logistically determined for each product’s destination. 

Generally, pallets are handled less than parcels, and the whole pallet is typically plastic-wrapped or packaged more safely with straps. Damage is less likely than shipping your products separately as parcels.


A 3PL Provider passes on advantages to help make your business successful.

Use our online contact form or call us at either location:

150 Denis Rd, St. Thomas (519) 631 9604

690 Fountain St. N., Cambridge (519) 623 9604