June 5, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Saving Money on LTL Shipping with Trinity Logistics, a Burris Logistics Company 

What do you do if you have a shipment that is too heavy to ship on a parcel carrier but not big enough to warrant brokering a full truckload? 

Ship LTL, or less than truckload, with Trinity Logistics, a Burris Logistics company.  

What Is LTL Shipping?  

LTL shipping stands for Less Than Truckload. To understand LTL shipping, you must first understand truckload shipping.    

Truckload shipping is the most common type of shipping where a truck is dedicated to one shipment from one company. Truckload shipping is used when freight takes up anywhere from half to the entirety of a truck’s capacity. Simply put, truckload shipments are for large quantities of an item. Typically, these shipments fill a trailer that is anywhere from 48 to 53 feet in length, carries between 24-30 pallets, and holds up between 5,000 to 45,000 pounds.  

However, it is very common to ship items that don’t require the use of a full trailer. This is where LTL shipping comes in.  

LTL shipping combines multiple shipments on a truck to reach its truckload capacity. Often, these shipments are from multiple shippers headed towards a similar geographical area or along a congruent truck route.  

LTL shipping can often be more cost-effective, specifically for lighter freight that is compact. LTL shipments typically range from 1-10 pallets and are generally under 20,000. Learn more about the difference between shipping truckload vs. shipping LTL here: 

What Challenge Does LTL Shipping Solve for?  

LTL shipping provides shippers with a simple, cost-effective mode of transport for those orders or shipments thatdon’t require a full truckload. A great example of this is our redistribution company, Honor Foods. As a foodservice redistributor, Honor Foods, by nature, aims to provide customers with smaller quantities of items from multiple food suppliers. This often results in the need for LTL shipping to customers. For example, each day, Honor Foods delivers a truck with shipments anywhere from 2-6 different distributors to the New York area. This LTL shipment style allows those customers a more cost-effective delivery option in lower quantities than if every delivery had to be via truckload shipping, even when the order didn’t require the size of a full trailer.  Whether you are shipping food products, basketballs, production equipment, furniture, or almost any product, shipping LTL offers shippers another way to ship smaller quantities of products to multiple places at less cost.  

How Are LTL Shipping Rates Calculated?  

LTL shipments are calculated based on absolute minimum charge, accessorials (such as lift gate service or residential delivery), base rates set by the carrier, lane, freight classification, and weight. In the simplest form, it looks like this:  

Absolute Minimum Charge + Accessorials + Base Rates + Lane Distance + Freight Class + Weight = Your Cost  

Not familiar with these terms? Check out more details Trinity Logistics shares on their blog here.  

What Do You Need to Ship LTL?  

The biggest thing you need to know when shipping LTL is the weight and dimensions of your shipment. This helps determine your shipping class and plays a huge factor in determining your LTL shipping rate.  

How Can You Save Money by Shipping LTL?  

There are 10 basic steps you can take to reduce the cost of your LTL shipmen  

  1. Maximize Density. LTL carriers make money by putting as many shipments as possible on one truck. Simply put, the less space you take up in the truck, the less it will cost you.
  2. Avoid Peak Shipping Times. It’s the simple economics of supply and demand. If you ship when demand is the greatest, you will pay more for it. While sometimes this can’t be avoided, do your best to plan ahead, allowing you more flexibility to avoid peak shipping times and the cost associated with it.
  3. Look at Product and Packaging Design. How you box or pack your product matters, especially when it comes to shipping costs.  When you are looking at product or packaging design, it is a good idea to involve your logistics professionals if you can. They will have great insight on how to design it in a way that saves on shipping, as well as storage space and warehousing space.
  4. Use Economy Class LTL Carriers. Using economy class is a wonderful way to save money on LTL shipping when you are not operating on an urgent deadline or quick turnaround.
  5. Ship Larger Loads Less Often. It’s cheaper to ship several pallets at once as opposed to one pallet every few weeks. Many shippers use part of the logistics cost savings this method offers to create incentives for customers to buy large quantities less frequently when possible.
  6. Consolidate. Would your LTL shipment be better as a multi-stop truckload shipment? Eliminating a shipment completely is a surefire way to reduce your shipping costs. Depending on where your shipments need to go, this may or may not make sense. A Trinity Logistics representative can walk you through the process of determining which shipping method will save you the most money.
  7. Negotiate with Carriers. It never hurts to ask for a discounted rate from your LTL carrier. Sometimes, they may waive a fee or offer a discount based on shipment frequency.
  8. Avoid Accessorials. While accessorials are common in LTL shipping and sometimes unavoidable, removing a piece of the equation when you can is a great cost-saving measure. The best way to avoid accessorials is to plan ahead and get to know your carrier’s guidelines and fee structure. Try to avoid weight, dimension, and oversizing adjustments, and ensure your Bill of Lading (BOL) is accurate.
  9. Provide Accurate Information. Don’t underestimate your weight, dimensions, or size. It will just cost you more money. Most carriers double-check that the weight and dimensions on the Bill of Lading are accurate. If the Bill of Lading is inaccurate, you will be charged for the accurate sizing and fees for reweighing and inspection. This can also affect your pricing on future shipments.
  10. Use a TMS. Using a TMS or transportation management system offers visibility into your shipments, giving you a clear view of your freight spend, insight into your logistics, and comprehensive reporting capabilities.

To learn more about these 10 ways to save money on LTL shipping, check out the full blog by Trinity Logistics here:   

How Do You Arrange a Carrier for an LTL Shipment?  

The best way to arrange a carrier for an LTL shipment is by working with a freight brokerage company like Trinity Logistics, one of our Burris Logistics companies. By working with a freight broker like Trinity Logistics, they can provide you with insights on how to ship LTL in the most cost-effective way possible. In addition, they have relationships with reputable LTL carriers who have been extensively vetted, and because of their large shipping volumes, are able to pass on lower rates directly to your company. Using their experience, technology, and carrier relationships, a freight broker like Trinity Logistics can find and arrange for a carrier that understands how to properly handle your product, especially if it has specific requirements such as cold chain shipping, one of Trinity Logistics’ specialties. In addition, they can see what routes are available and find the perfect match that helps you save money on your LTL shipping.    


Shipping LTL can be a cost-effective way to move freight, but it can be daunting if you are not familiar with the LTL mode of transport. If you have a shipment that doesn’t need a whole trailer all to itself, is packed densely, and is currently costing you more than you want to pay, it might be time to let a logistics professional like Trinity Logistics step in to offer you other potential shipping options like LTL shipping that could save you money.

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About Burris Logistics

Established in 1925, Burris Logistics has evolved in the supply chain industry, building expertise in a variety of services. We gained a reputation for expertly operating a wide network of temperature-controlled warehouses and distribution centers from Maine to Florida and as far west as Oklahoma. As a fifth-generation family-owned company, we have provided leading-edge logistics, transportation, direct-to-consumer fulfillment, and more. In 2024 we offer two brands: Honor Foods (a redistributor of frozen, refrigerated and dry foodservice products), and Trinity Logistics (a global freight solutions provider). For more information about our dependable supply chain solutions, please

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