How to Decide Between LTL Freight Carriers

What To Consider When Choosing an LTL Freight Carrier

When you need to ship freight that is too large for a parcel carrier but not enough to justify full truckload shipping, turn to LTL freight carriers. These companies offer a variety of services, each with its own benefits. So how do you decide which one is right for your business? Learn more about the types of LTL carriers, and what each one can do for your business in this article.

different LTL freight carriers

What is LTL Shipping?

LTL shipping stands for “less than truckload.” As the name suggests, LTL carriers transport smaller loads that don’t require an entire truck. These shipments are usually between 150 and 20,000 pounds.

Types of LTL Shipments

There are several different types of LTL carriers, and choosing one will generally depend on how big your shipment is, and how far it needs to go.

National Carriers:

National LTL carriers have a large network of terminals across the country. This means they can pick up and deliver shipments to almost anywhere in the United States. However, national carriers are usually more expensive than other options because they can get your shipment directly to its destination anywhere in the U.S. and can take longer, with more stops between pick up and delivery.

Regional Carriers:

Regional LTL carriers have a smaller network of terminals, but they typically provide faster service than national carriers. This is because they tend to have a high density of trucks within their region.

Multi-regional Carriers:

Multi-regional carriers have a network of terminals in multiple regions. This means they can offer the speed of regional carriers with a reach closer to national carriers.

Asset-light Carriers:

Asset-light carriers don’t own their own trucks or terminals. Instead, they partner with other companies to transport their shipments. This can be a good option if you’re looking for a lower-cost solution, but it’s important to make sure that the asset-light carrier you choose has a good relationship with its partners.

How to Choose an LTL Carrier

Now that you know more about the different types of LTL carriers, it’s time to choose one for your business. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:


One of the most important things to consider is how easy it is to work with the company. You want a carrier that will be easy to communicate with and that will make shipping your freight as simple as possible. Some carriers offer online portals where you can see the status of your shipments and not have to worry about a thing.

Cost vs Quality:

Another important consideration is cost vs quality. You’ll want to find a carrier that offers competitive rates, but you also want to make sure that they provide good quality service. Low cost is not always the best option.


Another thing to consider is the locations of the carrier’s terminals. If you’re shipping freight to and from multiple locations, you’ll want to make sure that the carrier has terminals near you and where your shipment needs to go.

Available Equipment:

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the carrier has the equipment you need for your shipment. For example, if you’re shipping large or hazardous materials, you’ll want to make sure that the carrier has trucks that can accommodate those items.

Choosing an LTL carrier doesn’t have to be a chore, consider these factors and you’ll be sure to find the right carrier for your business. When looking for a Midwest trucking company, turn to a carrier that will deliver your package on-time and intact.