On the shipping spectrum, partial truck load (PTL) shipping exists at the midpoint between less than truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL) shipping. It’s not as common as the other two, but spotting opportunities for it can save you a lot of money. Here’s what you need to know about this safer, faster, and cheaper method.
Freight Class doesn’t matter
- Unlike with LTL and TL, freight class doesn’t usually need to be identified on a PTL shipment. This means no NMFC codes, class calculations, and nasty reclassification charges!
- The truck that delivers your shipment is the same truck that picks it up. There are no unloads and reloads. Fewer hands mean fewer opportunities for damage.
- Because these shipments don’t typically have to stop at distribution terminals during their journey, they’re more likely to arrive on time than LTL and LT shipments.
So, when is partial truck load shipping right for you?
- If your shipment falls between LTL and TL requirements, PTL might be the way to go. More specifically, PTL should be considered if you are moving between 6 and 18 pallets or between 8,000 and 27,500 pounds.
- PTL is also ideal for light but large shipments; cargo that doesn’t weigh much but takes up a lot of room. Shipping such loads via LTL can be extremely expensive, so you may want to explore PTL as an alternative.
- Finally, if your shipment requires careful handling and meets the size requirements, PTL can give you enhanced peace of mind without the enhanced price tag.
The best way to go about coordinating a partial truck load shipment is to go through your third-party logistics provider; they’ll be able to assess your shipment and find the best place for it.