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Understanding LTL Freight Transit Times

August 11, 2021
5 min read
Less Than Truckload
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boxes on pallets with a stopwatch in front

Less Than Truckload or LTL freight shipping is an economical way to ship goods throughout the United States. If you depend on LTL shipping, you may be wondering how LTL freight transit times are calculated. Believe it or not, they are measured in days rather than weeks. While cross-country shipments typically take 4 to 6 business days, 1 to 2 business days is standard for interstate moves.

If you live in a state with a small population like Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, or South Dakota, however, you can expect transit times to be anywhere from 7 to 10 days. This is mainly because of the limited number of available trucks.

Are Transit Times Advertised?

When visiting an LTL carrier’s website, you may find that their transit times are mentioned front and center on their homepage. This will likely be the case if quick coverage is one of their competitive strengths.

On the other hand, on another carrier’s website, you may have to dig deep to find their transit times as they prefer to promote other strengths such as low cost. Keep in mind, however, that all carriers, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses, do not feature the day of pickup or weekends or holidays in their transit time calculations.

Can Ground Shipments Be Expedited?

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to expedite a ground shipment that travels exclusively by truck. It’s unrealistic for a truck driver to make it from Cleveland to Los Angeles in one day. After all, they have to adhere to traffic laws and hours of service regulations.

When you learn about a transit time for your shipment, keep in mind that it’s an estimate. Unpredictable factors such as inclement weather, poor traffic conditions, and drivers who call off sick may delay your shipment, making it difficult for carriers to guarantee a transit time.

How Guaranteed Service Can Help

The good news is that there are some carriers that allow you to pay a fee in exchange for guaranteed service. If you pay for guaranteed service, your shipment will be prioritized during the loading and unloading process and the carrier will reimburse you if they do not meet the guaranteed transit time.

In the event you have a shipment that you must receive by a certain date or time, guaranteed delivery is well worth the extra cost as it can help you avoid headaches and provide you with some peace of mind.

Learn About Amware’s Guaranteed or Exclusive Use Services

Amware is a full-service 3PL that works with all of the major LTL carriers. By working with Amware (and Amrate, Amware’s custom LTL management software platform,) you’ll have many more options than you would with one or two carriers. Not only will you be able to select a carrier that offers expedited LTL, but you’ll also be able to choose the most cost-effective option among those. Additionally, through Amware’s asset-based services, you can get guaranteed pickup, delivery, and exclusive use services. It’s just a few of the ways Amware adds value to your LTL shipping experience. Contact Amware today for more information or request a 30-day FREE trial of Amrate below.

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