LTL and FTL Freight
Q: When Should I use a Common Carrier?
A: If your package weighs more than 150 lbs, it is too heavy for a parcel service and you will need a common carrier. LTL (Less than Truckload) carriers will transport shipments weighing anywhere from 100 to 10,000 lbs and on 6 pallets or less. If your shipment weighs more than 10,000 lbs, it may take up an entire truck which means you will need a FTL (Full Truckload) carrier.
Q: What is the Standard Procedure of a Common Carrier?
A: The standard procedure is a truck driver backing up to a loading dock for the shipment to be loaded by the shipper then driving the shipment to the destination loading dock to be unloaded by the consignee. Any additional services required outside of this standard procedure, may require additional fees called accessorials. Examples of additional services needed could be: liftgate required, residential delivery, or limited access delivery.
Q: How will my shipment be transported with a LTL Carrier?
A: Your shipment will be transported via truck along with other customer's shipments so that the costs of transportation are shared which makes LTL transportation economical and affordable.
Q: How will my shipment be transported with a FTL Carrier?
A: If your shipment is large enough to take up the entire truck space, it is a "full truckload" and will be transported via truck all by itself. If your shipment does not quite require the entire space, it is considered a "partial truckload" and will be transported via truck along with another partial load. Partial or Volume loads are normally anywhere from 7 -14 pallets, or 801 - 1799 cubic feet. Full truckloads are over 15,000 lbs. and anywhere from 1800- 3200 cubic feet on 15 or more pallets.
Q: What is freight class?
A: Freight Class refers to the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) and it is the category of your freight as defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA).Your shipment's freight class determines the carrier's shipping charges. There are 18 freight classes ranging from class 50 (the least expensive) to class 500 (most expensive). The class of your shipment is determined by its contents and NMFC item number. The density of the shipment is the main factor that determines the freight class, but some other factors can affect it such as value of freight, oversize, or perishability.
Q: What is a NMFC Number?
A: This is the item number that specifically identifies each type of product that can be shipped by a LTL carrier. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) assigns NMFC item #'s to all products along with a freight class. The NMFC # identifies what you are shipping and it's freight class.
Q: How does Freight Class and NMFC # affect my shipment?
A: Your product NMFC # identifies the freight class and the freight class determines your shipping charges. For this reason, it is critical that you know the correct NMFC # and freight class in order to receive accurate freight charges and to ensure that the carrier does not re-class your shipment which could result in a higher shipping charge.
Q: How do I find out my Freight Class and NMFC #?
A: All classes and NMFC #'s are catalogued in the NMFC Tarrif for freight carriers. Any freight carrier can look this information up for you. You may also call the NMFTA direct at: (703) 838-1810 for more details.
Q: What is the Bill of Lading?
A: The Bill of Lading (BOL) is a required document to move a freight shipment. It is a legal document between the shipper of a particular good and the carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the good being carried. The bill of lading also serves as a receipt of shipment when the good is delivered to the predetermined destination. Everyone involved should have a copy, (buyer, seller, and carrier) and it is important to give a copy to the truck driver when he makes the pickup.