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What’s The Typical LTL Transit Time?

February 13, 2020
5 min read
Less Than Truckload
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For Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping, transit times are given in estimates. To keep freight shipments arriving on schedule it’s helpful to know the variables that can affect, and even increase, transit times.

The Terminal Chain Of Events

From the time your LTL freight shipment is picked up and taken to the carrier’s most conveniently located terminal, is unloaded, then loaded onto the next truck and taken to the next terminal—with this process repeated, depending on distance to the final terminal—your shipment can spend time on three or more trucks. Once at the destination the freight shipment is fork-lifted onto a delivery truck for its final trip, which is generally scheduled for the next morning.

What’s Included In An LTL Freight Shipment Quote?

Typically the estimate for LTL freight transit includes the terminal-to-terminal days, but not the pickup or delivery days, so they must be added to the quoted time. Also, business days are included but not the weekend days, during which time freight doesn’t move.

For example, once freight has been delivered to a terminal, if the first day of transit falls on a Friday it would resume the following Monday, rather than Saturday. Total freight transit time includes the day the shipment is picked up and dropped off at the terminal, the days of transit, plus the delivery day which is generally the day after the shipment arrives at the final terminal. In this example, only Friday, Monday and Tuesday would be included in a three-day freight shipment estimate.

Commercial Vs. Residential Freight Shipping

Commercial shippers are priority when it comes to freight shipping. Simply put, they were in the game first and in the event of a late commercial shipment booking, your residential-to-residential shipment can be rescheduled for the next day.

How Can You Increase the Likelihood Of On-Time Delivery?

Booking and scheduling your freight shipments as far in advance as possible can go a long way in avoiding delays. In addition to variables like your shipment changing trucks at multiple terminals and no weekend shipping, weather can greatly impact your LTL freight’s transit time. Severe weather events like tornadoes, blizzards and fires happen and when they do, often the only option is to delay delivery. Staying ahead of these variables means giving your shipment the best possible chance of reaching its destination on-time.

Working with a 3PL like Amware can also offer additional advantages. By using Amrate, Amware’s cloud-based transportation management system, you’ll be able to use a variety of inputs to select the best carrier and shipment options for your LTL shipment. Click below for your free, 30-day trial of Amrate and start saving on LTL today.

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