Less than load, or LTL, is a type of freight in which you send a smaller, partial shipment that doesn't take up an entire truck. LTL shipping lets you send smaller packages and thus lets you diversify where you can send products. If you had to limit your shipments to full truckloads only, you'd end up with a very limited range of places that would need your product, for example, sending products to large supermarkets that could store the extra items that won't fit on the shelf. With LTL, to use the same example, you could send items to a corner market that might not have space for a lot of spare items.
LTL is generally more economical in terms of pricing, too. However, the cost of shipping can go up depending on a few factors like packaging and destination. If you can adjust for those, you have a better chance of controlling your costs.
Wrap Your Freight Very Well
Wrap the freight very, very securely. Place it on a pallet, wrap it tightly, and cushion anything that is remotely fragile. Make sure items that could spill, such as bags of kitty litter, are wrapped so that they are less likely to be torn open if something hits or falls on the packaging. One of the main drivers of higher LTL freight prices is fragile packaging that requires special treatment when loading and unloading. If you can package the goods so that they are not seen as fragile, you've already taken care of one of the bigger issues.
Try to Match Destinations as Closely as Possible
When you have something shipped via LTL freight, the freight service will try to place the products in a truck going to, near, or past your products' destination. However, the more that a driver has to deviate from their main route, the more the shipment will cost you. If your shipment is going to the same town as the driver's main load, but you need your items dropped off across town, then that will cost you more than if your items could be dropped off in the same part of town. If the driver has to stop at a different town that's a couple of hours off the driver's main route, that will cost you more. And so on. If possible, really look at where the driver has to go instead of grabbing the first available space.
Maximize Use of Allowed Space
Each freight company will have set space that your pallets can take up, meaning that each pallet will have a maximum volume that you can work with. Try to maximize that space. Don't prepare two pallets that are partly full if you can rearrange things to fit everything on one pallet. Obviously, this may not always be possible, but try. You're paying a basic rate for a certain amount of space. Use it as best as you can.
Using LTL freight services to ship partial loads is convenient and helpful, and by keeping costs as low as possible, you make it even more beneficial for your business. Knowing how the freight services calculate your costs and what you can do to control those costs is essential.