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Dead set on shipping via LTL? Here’s why you should choose Flock Freight over the competition

10.28.2021 | By Todd LaFond | 5 min. read

Our LTL solution gives you everything you love about the mode, with the possibility of moving via shared truckload.

In this blog:

If you’ve ever shipped small quantities of freight, you’ve likely had firsthand experience with less-than truckload (LTL) shipping. Although this mode offers some perks, it can come with a myriad of pitfalls that make shipping with LTL a less-than-ideal experience. 

The good news is not all LTL is created equal; Flock Freight’s LTL shipping solution serves as an upgraded version of this small-load mode. Before diving into what makes our solution different, it’s important to understand what LTL means and how it generally works.

Less-than truckload is a mode of freight shipping for businesses looking to ship small freight quantities. Unlike other shipping methods that employ an entire truck for your shipment, LTL allows you to pay only for the space you use, sharing the remaining freight space with other LTL shippers. Think of LTL as a jigsaw puzzle where several shippers’ pallets fit together to form one complete truckload. Because LTL accounts for multiple shippers, it’s a better fit for shippers with flexible delivery dates.

Shipping via LTL offers two primary benefits:

  • Conveniently deliver small shipments. LTL freight gives small businesses access to the convenience of freight shipping without the enormous costs. With LTL, you can focus on scaling your business, ship freight as needed, and preserve your resources.
  • Ship in a cost-effective way. LTL freight shipping rates are just a fraction of what a full truckload (TL) would cost. With LTL, you only pay for the space you’re occupying and avoid the high costs of TL. 

LTL isn’t a solution for every shipper. Businesses that would reap the most benefits from less-than truckload shipping are those that can only fill a portion of a trailer, and cost-conscious businesses that need to transport products at lower rates. 

If your business is determined to ship with LTL, read on to learn what differentiates traditional LTL from Flock Freight’s innovative take on the service. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll understand why Flock Freight’s LTL solution better suits your shipping needs.

 

Traditional LTL

A broken box sits in a pile of cardboard boxes

Traditional LTL has been performed the same way for decades: combining shipments using antiquated methods. 

When done traditionally, LTL can consist of the following pitfalls:

  • Transloading, which causes high damage rates. Its use of the antiquated hub-and-spoke system can lead to high rates of freight damage and loss, which means shippers may need to pay for product replacements and additional shipping.
  • Fragmented driver accountability. Traditional LTL creates dependencies on multiple parties, making transit issues harder to resolve.
  • Unreliable tracking updates. Traditional providers tend to have poor shipment visibility (and, as a result, an unsophisticated LTL tracking system), which can leave you in the dark when it comes to your freight’s whereabouts.
  • Slow transit times and delays. LTL carriers don’t tend to be active every day of the week. If capacity is tight, they might ship your freight on a timeline that works best for them, which can make it difficult for you to meet OTIF requirements and satisfy customer demand for speedy delivery times. 
  • Excessive and unexpected accessorial fees. Traditional LTL providers often subject freight that differs from the conditions set in the agreed-upon tariff to the carrier’s standard rules, regulations, and accessorials.
  • Unsustainable practices. While they sometimes may offset their carbon emissions, traditional modes are not inherently sustainable. If a greener supply chain is one of your corporate sustainability goals, traditional shipping modes might not help your efforts.

Because LTL trucks haul several shippers’ products, LTL carriers make multiple stops, and your shipment goes through more processing as a result. If you need expedited delivery, a liftgate, residential delivery, or any other special freight service, you’ll pay an accessorial fee.

You pay for LTL freight based on your shipment’s length, width, and height, rounding up to the nearest inch. The more accurate your measurements, the more efficiently the freight provider can move your shipment.

Something else to bear in mind is that LTL freight carriers rely on weight and dimensions for pricing, so it’s important to get all of the details correct on your bill of lading (BOL). Your team needs to be precise to avoid any delays with your shipment.

It’s no secret that traditional LTL, while beneficial for smaller businesses, causes hiccups throughout the shipping process. The good thing is Flock Freight empowers you to reap the benefits of LTL while steering clear of its pitfalls.

 

Flock Freight’s LTL solution

Worker in neon yellow jacket and hard hat holds clipboard in warehouse. Smiling and giving a thumbs up

At Flock Freight, we understand that LTL is an essential mode for many shippers. That’s why we offer LTL freight service with an innovative twist.

We try to upgrade every LTL load to a shared truckload (STL) at no extra cost to you. Let’s delve into what that means.

Shared truckload is a tech-driven freight mode that enables several shippers to share trailer space in one multi-stop full truckload. By algorithmically pooling loads together, we’re able to provide an efficient, seamless shipper experience you can’t get with traditional LTL.

Upgrading to STL offers benefits you can’t find with other modes, including:

  • Minimized damage rates. By cutting hubs and terminals out of the equation, your freight won’t leave the truck between pickup and delivery, which means significantly less damaged product for you to replace. 
  • Increased driver accountability. One driver is held accountable for your load with STL, whereas traditional LTL creates dependencies on multiple parties.
  • Real-time tracking info. LTL carriers don’t always have excellent visibility into load locations. TL, on the other hand, has much better visibility because ELD telemetry can track any given truck throughout its entire route. Because STL shipments travel via TL carriers, Flock Freight’s STL shippers gain access to specific, real-time tracking updates. 
  • Lightning-speed transit times. When your LTL-size freight gets pooled in a shared truckload, you experience faster transit than normal LTL because they drive seven days a week. And unlike traditional LTL, STL trucks don’t zigzag your freight through the antiquated hub-and-spoke system; they drive your loads directly to their final destination.
  • Fewer accessorials. Flock Freight’s pricing structure is somewhat similar to dimensional pricing but doesn’t take height into account unless the unit stacks. We also don’t use tariffs or discounts. Plus, STL shippers never see their rates change due to reweighs, reclassifications, over-length issues, cubic capacity issues, linear-foot issues, or any other accessorials that traditional LTL carriers charge for. We eliminate added LTL accessorial fees (including freight class indications) entirely when you book STL and ensure your upfront freight quote doesn’t change after your items ship.
  • Carbon neutral shipping. When your freight ships via our STL solution, we offset its carbon emissions at no extra charge to you. Flock Freight eliminates the eco-unfriendly impact of traditional freight services by maximizing deck space with freight from multiple shippers and purchasing carbon offsets for all shared truckloads.

With post-COVID capacity issues plaguing the freight industry, some providers have started imposing surcharges on shippers with overlength LTL loads. With Flock Freight, you have peace of mind knowing we won’t impose exorbitant surcharges. 

Enjoy zero surcharges, zero terminals, and zero emissions when you ship with Flock Freight. We provide LTL shippers with perks and a high standard of service you can’t find anywhere else. 

 

Change the way you ship with LTL for the better

As you can see, shipping with LTL doesn’t have to be inefficient. Making the switch to Flock Freight’s LTL service opens the door to increased visibility, less damage, and an eco-friendly shipping experience. 

Make the switch from traditional LTL today and feel the Flock Freight difference.


Upgrade to a reliable shipping experience with Flock Freight.