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Do you have an international shipment? We believe we can cut your risks and costs, while freeing your time to focus on your core business, where you deliver the most value.
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Even in the freight industry, technology is at its finest to get your LTL rates online! Today you can not only track your shipments, but you can get rates for both FTL and LTL shipments online and book them too.
Here at FreightRun, we know that freight acronyms can be confusing when it comes to how to calculate LTL freight rates. We want to make it as easy for you as possible with some explanations of freight lingo used when getting an LTL rate quote:
How to calculate LTL freight rates
LTL stands for less-than-truckload and there are many different factors that determine the rates. First, we start with the weight of the shipment.
LTL shipping rates are based on ‘per hundred pounds’ and the more freight you have, you get a price break. Each carrier will have their own determined price breaks, so if you can hold your shipments to get goods included, the cheaper the shipping rate will be.
Next factor is the density, which is the dimension and weight of your shipment. Density is determined by dividing the shipments total weight by the cubic feet total. How is the density of a shipment determined?
Multiply the depth by the height by the weight in inches to get the cubic footage. Then divide the full weight by that number. Once you have the density determined, you’ll need to determine the freight class.
Freight classification is the next factor in determining freight rates. These have been established by the NMFTA (National Motor Freight Traffic Association), a governing body for the freight industry.
There are 18 unique classes that range from 50 to 500, which are based on several factors:
- Density: Determined by the total weight and cubic measurement;
- Total Value: Determined by the customer’s information;
- Stow Ability: Determined if shipment need to be kept refrigerated or frozen;
- Handling: Determined if there are special instructions for delivery or are the commodities fragile;
- Liability: The value and the fragile factors are considered and if interlining will be required.
Shipments that contain items that aren’t easily damaged and are easy to handle are assigned a lower class, thus charged a lower rate. Larger items and items that are fragile are assigned a higher class and are charged a higher rate for your LTL freight estimate.
The next factor is distance and mileage and as expected, the further the shipment, the more it will cost, but it isn’t a cut-n-dry factor. Shipping isn’t quoted for LTL rates per mile as it is when you rent a truck to deliver your own commodities.
Often, LTL carriers are regional and deliver only within a specific area. And that is where ‘interlining’ comes into play. This is where you book your LTL shipment with one carrier, but they take the shipment to another carrier who will deliver the shipment. This will add to your shipping cost and it puts your shipments at a greater risk because it is being handled by more.
Use our Freight Rate Calculator for shipping estimate
All this sounds complicated, and it can be confusing. Fortunately for anyone shipping commodities, FreightRun has made this easier by using today’s latest technology with our online LTL freight cost estimator!
Simply complete our form with the required information, and our LTL freight calculator will provide you a freight quote. We offer one-stop-shopping where you can get your quote, schedule your shipment, and track it too.
Factors that determine LTL shipping rates
Above, we discussed the main factors for determining LTL rates. The following are all factors that are what determines the rate charged. Each of these factors has an impact on the next factor.
Those factors are:
- The Weight: Average LTL shipments weigh between 51 pounds to 20,000 pounds;
- The Density: Is the dimension and weight of your shipment combined;
- The Class: The NMFTA has established 18 classes for freight shipments;
- The Distance/Mileage: The further the shipment goes, the more it will cost.
Within each of these factors are sub-factors. Then there are other factors that are included in determining LTL Rates in addition to those we’ve discussed.
Base Rates: Every carrier will have their own established base rates, which start with per 100 pounds, known as CWT. The freight class will determine what CWT is used because every carrier will adjust their base rate, so they can achieve a balance between freight and trucks.
FAK: Synonym for "Freight All Kinds" is the arrangement between the carrier and the client so that they are able to carry different products within the same freight class and billed accordingly. One example of this would be if you need to have a mixture of commodities shipped that range between class 50 to class 100, you may be able to negotiate with a carrier to ship FAK under one class, such as 70, to get the best LTL rates. FAK is a source that can provide significant savings on higher class items.
Minimums: AMC is the absolute minimum charge for pricing that falls within LTL rates, meaning that an LTL carrier will not quote anything lower than an established amount.
Negotiated rate tariffs: LTL carriers will negotiate with customers based the various lanes. The customer that analyzes their freight data and gets a better understanding for per lane activity is better informed to negotiate with an LTL carrier for better tariffs for the different lanes.
Negotiated Discounts: To ease the shipping cost, companies sometime will work with a 3PL (third party logistics) provider. This can often save a company up to an additional 25% off a discounted rate, lower than the average LTL shipping rates when they have several shipments each week, month, or annually. This 3PL will have relationships with several carriers that give them this discount privilege because they will collectively through their own clients have those multiple shipments.
Accessorials and Surcharges. Accessorial charges are for any extra services a carrier performs beyond dock to dock and business to business transportation. Those surcharges are for things like lift gates, residential areas or locations with limited access such as churches, jails, prisons, schools or storage units. Inside delivery will also be a surcharge. Some carriers may charge more for LTL pallet rates Fuel surcharges are already factored into the rate quotes.
How much does it cost to ship LTL Freight
When it comes to freight costs to ship LTL varies on many different factors, one price does not fit all. All the factors that we have covered earlier in this article can affect the quote you get from any carrier. And as we mentioned, every carrier has their own base rate – that is the rate they start with, they all have an absolute minimum charge.
The factors that will affect how much an LTL shipment will cost are:
- The Weight: Average LTL shipments weigh between 51 pounds to 20,000 pounds
- The Density: Is the dimension and weight of your shipment combine
- The Class: There are 18 classifications as set by the NMFTA
- The Distance/Mileage: Carriers that are regional will interlining with other carriers
- Base Rates: All carriers have an absolute minimum base charge
- FAK: Arrangement between the carrier and client to carry different products within the same freight class and billed accordingly
- Tariffs: Depending on the freight class, tax or duty may be added to the invoice
- Negotiated Discounts: Customers with frequent shipments can negotiate better rates
- Accessorials and Surcharges: Additional charges that are not included in the base rate and freight rate
- Freight All Kinds is the arrangement between the carrier and the client so that they are able to carry different products within the same freight class and billed accordingly.
When shipping with FreightRun, we work at providing the best LTL rate quote possible while incorporating all those factors. While we don’t have control over the weight and density of your shipments, we will try to find the best fitting classification that covers the contents while getting the lowest rate possible. We have taken steps to streamline our process and come up with a low base rate so that we can pass those savings on to you.
FreightRun offer the lowest LTL pricing
By working with each customer on a one-by-one basis, FreightRun is able to FAK more shipments than most other carriers to get the lowest LTL freight rates.
We analyze the various lanes so that we can find you the lowest tariff possible as well. And many of the accessorial and surcharges that other carriers will charge you, we have worked into our base rate allowing us to quote the lowest LTL pricing possible.
We have explained the freight lingo for LTL shipments and explain how LTL freight rates are determined, hopefully, we explained it in a manner that the every-day-person can have a better understanding. And if there is any doubt or question, we have an expert staff on hand to answer questions and provide the explanation you need to help you make the best choices in your shipping decisions, saving you money.