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A worker drives a forklift to load packaged boxes on pallets into a truck

Do you have freight too big for a parcel carrier but too small for a full truckload? There’s a cost-efficient way to get that shipped: LTL freight.

If you’re wondering how LTL freight works, what its benefits are, and how rates are determined, keep reading to find out!

What Is LTL Freight and How Does It Work?

LTL freight or less than truckload is a trucking option for shipments that are not large enough to fill an entire truck. These smaller cargoes typically weigh between 150 and 15,000 pounds. 

So, how does LTL freight work? 

Since your cargo can’t fill the entire truck, it is combined with other partial cargoes from different customers to create a full truckload.

For example, if you’re shipping two pallets—LTL shipments are typically packaged in pallets—another company is shipping five pallets, and so on, the LTL company will put them together so the entire truck is filled. 

They optimize the space by combining cargoes that are to be delivered in the same direction. Then, they create multiple stops in order to deliver the cargo more efficiently.

A full truckload of cargo on its way for delivery

How Is LTL Freight Beneficial for You?

It’s Cheaper

LTL freight is cheaper because you’ll only pay for the space you used—the rest is paid by the shippers of the other cargoes in the truck. That means LTL freight is more cost-efficient. 

Reduced Warehouse Costs

You won’t have to stockpile partial cargoes in a warehouse, waiting for weeks, sometimes months, just to have enough to fill a truck. This means you can also save on warehouse costs.

Quicker Delivery Times

Because you don’t have to wait for customers to place enough orders to fill an entire truck before shipping out, you can also deliver your goods at a much quicker pace.

It’s Scalable

Just like other businesses, your shipping demands probably differ at various times. LTL freight gives you the flexibility to book fewer or more pallets depending on what your business calls for.

It’s More Secure

The risk of damaging, misrouting, or worse, losing multiple loose parcels is reduced in LTL shipping. That’s because, with LTL freight, your shipment is consolidated into a pallet and shrink-wrapped into a single load. This way, your cargo has a better chance of remaining secure while in transit.

Better Service

LTL freight shipping companies like Brew Movers have high-security standards. They operate with their cargo’s security in mind. You can be assured not just of professional shipping but other special services such as:

  • Liftgates;
  • Inside pickup or delivery;
  • Freeze protection;
  • Reweighing;
  • Reclassification; and
  • Delivery updates. 

Technology Access

LTL freight shipping companies use some of the latest tracking systems and software so you can keep an eye on the progress of your cargo. They offer tracking capabilities through:

  • Bill of lading;
  • PRO tracking number;
  • Purchase Order (PO) number;
  • Shipment reference; and
  • Pick-up date range. 

Reduced Carbon Footprint

A truck carrying less than its capacity isn’t just inefficient—it’s also bad for the environment. Because LTL freight shipping consolidates cargo, it means fewer trucks on the road, and fewer trucks on the road mean lesser carbon emissions.

A worker scans the code of a palleted cargo in a warehouse

How Are LTL Shipping Rates Determined?

Different factors affect LTL shipping rates. Some of them include:

Origin and Destination

How far do you need to transport your cargo? The farther the cargo needs to travel, the more expensive it would be. It may also be more expensive to ship to a rural area than a city because delivery points are farther apart, among other challenges.


You can expedite the delivery of your cargo for an additional fee.


Does your cargo need special handling? Perishable or fragile goods, hazardous items, and other cargo that requires special equipment to be handled will likely incur higher costs.  


Freight volume normally starts to pick up during the produce season and pre-holiday and holiday seasons.


The dimensions and weight of your cargo determine its freight class—and freight class directly impacts shipping rates. Freight class, which has been established by the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC), is determined by these characteristics:

  • Density

    The dimensions and weight of the cargo determines its density.

  • Stowability

    Stowability refers to how well a cargo can sit with other cargoes in the transport vehicle. It takes into account items with unusual dimensions, which may make it difficult to load other cargoes around them. In addition, it also considers if the cargo is hazardous to be stowed with other cargoes.

  • Handling

    How difficult a cargo is to load and unload from an LTL terminal to another, its fragility, and packaging affects a cargo’s freight class.

  • Liability

    Another characteristic that affects freight class is how likely the cargo is to be damaged, stolen, or cause damage to adjacent cargoes.

There are 18 freight classifications ranging from 50 (the least expensive) up to 500 (the most expensive). The higher the freight class, the more expensive the shipping rate will be. 

If you want to know the freight class code that your cargo belongs to, check the sample table below or order a freight class chart from NMFC here.

50Bulk cargo 50+ lbs
55Paint, hardwood flooring, bricks, cement35 – 50 lbs
60Non-alcoholic beverages, car parts and accessories30 – 35 lbs
65Boxes of books, cooking oil22.5 – 30 lbs
70Food items, boxed paper, automobile engines15 – 22.5 lbs
77.5Tires, bathroom fixtures, garments13.5 – 15 lbs
85Pharmaceuticals, doors12 – 13.5 lbs
92.5Computers, monitors, freezers10.5 – 12 lbs
100Wooden furniture, canvas9 – 10.5 lbs
110Framed artwork, table drill presses8 – 9 lbs
125Small household appliances7 – 8 lbs
150Jet skis, motorcycles6 – 7 lbs
175Stuffed furniture, clothing5 – 6 lbs
200Mattresses, light furniture4 – 5 lbs
250Television sets3 – 4 lbs
300Model boats, kayaks2 – 3 lbs
400Light fixtures1 – 2 lbs
500Ping pong balls<1 lbs

Save Money with Brew Mover’s LTL Freight Shipping

LTL freight shipping is a cost-effective way to transport smaller loads. If you’re looking for a reliable logistics partner to transport your beer, empty kegs, hops, and other things you need for your brewery, reach out to us.

Brew Movers offer top-tier LTL freight services at competitive rates. Contact us today for a quote!