How does Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight work?

Hiring a full truck is expensive and would be inefficient for moving a single pallet. LTL services work to aggregate freight moving from one specific city or region, to another specific city or region. When you order a single pallet from, say, The Annex Warehouse in Alameda, CA, for delivery to a roastery in Bend, OR, the carrier will move the freight multiple times, in multiple trailers. A local driver will transport the pallet from the Annex to the carrier’s local terminal, or warehouse, in the Bay Area. Here, the pallet will be combined with freight from other shippers also wishing to move product to Oregon; enough to fill a single trailer, which will then move to the carrier’s destination terminal in the Portland, OR metro area. At the destination terminal, the pallet will once again be sorted and staged to move with other shippers wishing to move product to a more specific city or region, like that of Bend, OR. At this point, the receiver will be contacted for notification or appointment services, if requested. Then, the final delivery will be made. It’s important to remember that a single pallet is touched and moved many times throughout this process. More often than not, you get what you pay for! The lowest-cost carriers typically have much higher risk of damage or loss, which is important to keep in mind when selecting a provider.