Understanding Partial Truckload and Volume LTL Will Make You More Competitive

September 20, 2017 at 10:35 AMJerry Spelic

It’s sort of like the “Twilight Zone” of freight: the murky gray area between less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload shipping. Many shippers only use either LTL or full truckload, but sometimes a load is bigger than LTL but not as large as a full truckload. When this happens, you can ship your freight partial truckload or volume LTL.

Do you know the difference between partial truckload and volume LTL shipping? Or when you should use these services? Understanding partial truckload and volume LTL shipping and when to use each will make you a smarter, more competitive shipper.

In the LTL world, these in-between shipments are called volume LTL, and in the truckload world they are called partials (for partial truckload). For many shippers, the choice between services depends on transit time, rate and service level required.

First of all, let’s define the services and explain the difference between partial truckload and volume LTL shipping.

Partial truckload
Shipments that are larger than LTL but less than a full truck trailer are considered partial truckload. Partial truckload shipments usually range from 8 to 18 pallets, 8,000 to 27,500 pounds, and occupy more than 12 feet of linear space in a trailer.

Volume LTL
Large shipments that do not require a full truck trailer and that are typically 6 or more pallets, weigh over 5,000 pounds, or occupy more than 12 linear feet in a trailer can be considered volume LTL.

Clear as mud, right? The reality is that in many cases partial truckload and volume LTL freight is the exact same thing, but the differences are in its pricing, classing, transit time and handling.

The main differences between partial truckload and volume LTL shipments:

  • Partial truckload shipments do not require a freight class; volume LTL shipments do
  • Partial truckload rates are established by the market and are determined by mileage, specific lane, weight and space required; volume LTL quotes are obtained from an LTL carrier and are based on a carrier’s published LTL rates
  • Partial truckload carriers usually do not stop at hubs or terminals, leading to a higher percentage of on-time deliveries, less handling of freight and less damage
  • Partial truckload carriers typically offer freight insurance, which is often greater than the freight liability LTL carriers offer
  • Volume freight must be crated or on pallets in order to move through an LTL carrier’s system; truckload freight does have the same requirement

To illustrate the potential difference between partial truckload and volume LTL pricing, we priced out a sample shipment.

The freight:

  • 8 pallets, 48”x40”x96”
  • 12,530 lbs.
  • Non-hazardous, non-flammable petroleum oil in plastic bottles (Class 65)
  • Ship from: Macedonia, OH 44056
  • Ship to: Laredo, TX 78040

Volume LTL cost - $1,593.00

Partial truckload cost - $1,195.00

LTL networks are generally optimized for shipments less than 12 linear feet and one to six pallets, and because this shipment example falls outside of those parameters, the volume freight cost is higher than the partial truckload cost.

Some helpful partial truckload shipping tips:

  • Shippers must be more flexible on the pickup and/or delivery dates than for LTL shipments
  • Loads traveling less than 250 miles are usually not good candidates for partials
  • Floor-loaded or loose items are not ideal for partials
  • Partial truckload shipping rates are contingent on available capacity, lanes and distance
  • If pickup or delivery appointments are required, there is a high probability that appointments will be missed and layover fees may apply due to the variables involved with partials

Partial truckload services aren’t offered by every carrier but a freight broker like PartnerShip can help you find partial truckload or volume LTL capacity. We work with a large network of LTL and truckload freight carriers and will find you the best rate and service level for your needs. Contact our shipping experts at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com whenever you need to ship smarter.

Get a free quote on your next LTL freight shipment or truckload freight shipment!

PartnerShip Provides Free Shipping for Hurricane Harvey Relief

September 13, 2017 at 2:35 PMJerry Spelic

Hurricane Harvey was one of the most devastating storms of the past century and the cleanup is underway in Houston, Texas. PartnerShip wanted to do its part to help recovery efforts and has partnered with several local Westlake, OH community organizations to provide drop-off locations for items needed to help Houston and its residents get back on their feet. PartnerShip will pay the cost of shipping donated items to the Houston Food Bank.

“We wanted to help,” says PartnerShip President and COO, John Finucane, “and the best way to do that was to arrange and pay the cost of shipping the most needed items, like non-perishables, paper products and cleaning supplies, so that they could be distributed to those that need it most.”

The needed items list includes:

  • Canned, ready-to-eat items with pull tops, like vegetables and fruit
  • Protein in pouches or pull-top cans, such as tuna, beef stew, chili, and canned chicken
  • Peanut butter
  • Snacks, like granola bars, breakfast bars, etc.
  • Toiletries, paper goods and diapers
  • Bug spray
  • Garbage bags and cleaning supplies, like mops, buckets, brooms, bleach wipes, and bleach

Donations can be made at these Westlake, OH community drop-off locations:

While we appreciate any act of generosity, we ask that these items not be donated: clothing, used items, fresh fruit and vegetables, and perishable food items.

Our neighbor SJT Enterprises will store, sort and palletize the donations until they are ready to be shipped to Houston.

If you would like to help in the recovery, monetary donations can also be made to your choice of organization:

Drop-off donations will be accepted until Saturday, September 30, 2017, but financial donations can be made at any time to the organizations listed above.

PartnerShip Sends a Big “Thank You” to Truck Drivers

September 8, 2017 at 9:42 AMJen Deming

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is nearly here and PartnerShip would like to recognize the men and women truck drivers who dedicate themselves to moving our freight where we need it to go. “Our truck drivers work safely and efficiently to deliver America’s goods and deserve this recognition all year round. We set aside this week to pay special tribute to their continued work and excellence for America,” said American Trucking Associations (ATA) COO and Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna.