5 Common LTL Myths Debunked

Written by Neal Willis
LTL myths Like any other industry, the transportation industry struggles against a tide of misinformation. The LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) industry is associated with a high number of myths that can be confusing. In an effort to help bring clarity to shippers, we’ve listed 5 myths below that are commonly associated with the LTL industry with our explanation of each misconception.


1. All LTL Companies Are the Same

 This is probably one of the most detrimental myths out there, as service offerings and quality of service differs vastly across the different carriers in the LTL market. When choosing the best LTL company to fit your needs, you’ll need to factor in variables such as geographic coverage, transit times, on-time-performance, liability coverage limits and pricing, among others. 

2. A Bigger Discount Is Always Better

 Bigger discounts don’t necessarily mean better pricing. A higher discount off one base rate may leave you with paying a more expensive freight bill than if you were to use another base rate at a lower discount. For an accurate evaluation, you have to look at and compare net freight bill amounts. 

3. Transit and Delivery Times Are Guaranteed

Normal LTL transit times are only estimates based on the carrier’s historical performance records for certain lanes and are not guaranteed delivery times. In order to get guaranteed delivery times, you have to request the service and it comes with a slight up-charge.

4. All Carriers Calculate Accessorial Charges the Same Way

eCommerce shippingThis isn’t true – the accessorial fees for certain services can vary widely from one LTL carrier to another. In some instances, accessorial charges will be calculated on a cents-per-100-pounds basis. Alternatively, there may be a flat fee. If you want to do a thorough comparison, take a look at the respective carrier’s accessorial fee schedule within their rules tariff, which should give you detailed information about the accessorial services and the fees associated with them. 

5. My LTL Freight Class Will Always Remain the Same

When companies have been shipping the same freight for years, they tend to believe the class isn’t going to change. This is a myth. The National Motor Freight Classification Board (NMFC), which determines freight class meets several times per year and revises classifications on an ongoing basis. A slight class change could have a huge impact to freight costs. Shippers are responsible for staying in tune with any changes enacted by the NMFC. The NMFC is not responsible for providing warnings about the classification changes it approves.