What Are Your Best Shipping Options?


If you are reevaluating your shipping procedures and weighing your options, there are a few things to consider. Parcel shipping and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping both have advantages. Many businesses now are using a combination of the two. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of each one.

LTL Shipping

Traditionally, LTL shipping has been more economical. Large, heavy, bulky packages could all be fit into a tightly packed space and loaded onto pallets, and shipped to a central location. This would have obvious benefits for the right type of cargo. However, sometimes these packages have special requirements that make this a less cost-effective method. For example, some delicate packages can require that above storage be left empty, resulting in fewer packages that can fit in the available space. Another factor has made quite a difference in the past two years – fuel costs are higher for LTL shipping: 12.5% versus 2.5% for parcel carriers.

Parcel Shipping

There is a concern that more opportunities exist for smaller packages to get lost or damaged, due to the fact that they change hands many more times than larger ones. It’s possible that this can happen. However, parcels are easier to locate and reassign when necessary. Often, more care is given to them. The level of technology involved in the parcel shipping process requires more scans and applications. Parcel shipping should be considered for the following:

  • Packages of less than 150 pounds, assuming the following criteria are also applicable to the package.
  • Packages of less than 165 inches in combined length and girth.
  • Packages of up to 108 inches in length. If the length is 108 inches, the girth must not be more than 67 inches.

More and more businesses are shifting away from LTL shipping in favor of parcel shipping, but business owners must decide for themselves what is right for their needs. To read more about parcel vs. LTL shipping, see the full article.