Understanding the main distinctions between LTL and parcel shipping.
21 Jul
Francesca Leila Riego
21, Jul 2023

For a long time, LTL shipping has been a major force in the shipping sector. For shippers with freight weighing 150 pounds or less, parcel delivery has recently also emerged as a profitable option.

Given that they are comparable, it can be difficult to decide which option best suits your needs.

The key difference between parcel and LTL shipping is size, which is where we'll start. Parcels are often smaller in size. As a result, they are lighter, can be transported in greater quantities, and may be raised by themselves.

LTL goods are usually palletized because of their size, which makes them less likely to be damaged and subject to fewer checkpoints.

We'll look more closely at both shipping methods in this article. Once you completely get how LTL shipping differs from package shipping, you may be able to save time and money on shipping for your business.

Parcel Shipping

Prior to this, only packages under 150 pounds that can be lifted unassisted have been shipped as packages. Because the size of the packages is frequently smaller than what LTL shipping can handle, this has benefits and drawbacks.

Larger packages have a higher chance of being lost or damaged during shipping, so there is normally a higher amount of risk involved.

There are furthermore extra checkpoints and potential transfers because of this. The fact that customers can trace their packages more closely may be a benefit for more checkpoints for parcel delivery services.

If you're mailing several tiny, light packages, parcel shipping is an affordable option.

Scheduling pickups is also another benefit of choosing parcel or freight delivery. Use parcel shipping if you don't want drivers to come to your place of business. There are many drop-off locations available for parcel carriers, most of them are open during regular business hours. If you don't want trucks coming to your business, simply deliver your shipments to these locations.

LTL Shipping

LTL shipping often handles bigger packages as opposed to parcel transportation. This means that with LTL shipping, large and occasionally oddly shaped freight can find a way.

LTL shipments are typically palletized and kept in a non-damaging environment, making them a safer choice for carriers. Because of their size, there are fewer checks, which may or may not be advantageous for carriers. Additionally, fewer check-ins mean fewer people handling the parcels, which lowers the possibility of loss or damage in general. Shippers who have more cargo than parcel carrier services can manage ultimately opt for LTL shipping because they occasionally don't have enough to request a full truckload services.

LTL is a great choice if you want all of your packages delivered to the same location. Despite the fact that the boxes are small and light, LTL shipping allows you to ship more items at once and costs less each shipment.


Checkpoints and tracking
The simplicity of tracking is another important distinction between LTL and package transportation. Since parcel shipments pass through numerous checkpoints, parcel carriers receive shipment location updates more frequently than LTL shipments. LTL, on the other hand, enables more security with fewer checkpoints.

What makes parcel delivery more inexpensive is the higher volume it offers. LTL packages take up more space and cost a little bit more because they are larger.

This advantage might not always be offered by package delivery. There are extra charges for parcel carriers.

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