Common LTL Freight Terms

Written by Neal Willis

iStock_000043716278_Medium_Boxes_on_PalletIf you’re involved with freight and shipping on a regular basis, chances are you’ve seen these terms before, but making sure you’re familiar with the basics will help you understand and navigate the LTL environment a little better.


Referring to a shipment that usually takes up less space than a full truckload, it stands for “Less-Than-Truckload”.  LTL shipments move through a hub and spoke type network of trucks and terminals.

Freight Class

There are 18 different freight classes for LTL shipments ranging from a class 50 – 500 and, in general, the higher the freight class, the more it costs to ship.  All LTL shipments move under a freight class and, if not written on the BOL, the payer of the freight bill could be charged additional fees that weren’t originally planned for. 

BOL (Bill of Lading) iStock_000049368530_Medium_Forklift_with_Boxes

As it relates to common carrier motor freight, a bill of lading is the document submitted to a carrier, usually by the shipper at pickup.  It contains commodity, class, shipper and consignee information, and it serves as a pickup receipt to prove the carrier took possession of the freight. 

Pro Number 

An acronym that stands for progressive random order (number), a pro number is a tracking or identification number that’s assigned by the motor carrier and is used to track a shipment while it’s in transit.


The term for the person or party that receives a shipment.


A reconsigned shipment is one that’s been redirected from its original intended destination and routed to another one.  There’s generally a fee for reconsigning a shipment and it is usually based on the new delivery requirements and how far apart the new destination is from the one for which it was originally bound.  For example, a reconsignment to another warehouse across the same state would normally cost less than a reconsignment that redirected a shipment across the country. 


These terms are somewhat interchangeable, as both are obtained at the time off delivery.  POD is an acronym that stands for proof of delivery.  Proof of delivery is normally obtained when the consignee signs a DR, or delivery receipt, at the time of delivery.


An accessorial is the term for an additional service performed by a carrier at pickup or delivery, or both. It is also commonly accepted as the term for the charge associated with the additional fee(s) assessed by the motor carrier for performing the service(s).

Need help? Contact ReTrans Freight today for more information. Fill out the form and someone will contact you shortly.  For immediate assistance please call us directly at 1-800-426-8896 Ext. 329 or send us an email at

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