Parcel vs. LTL: Which Is Best?

September 26, 2019 11:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It used to be that any package under 150 pounds shipped via less than truckload (LTL) service, but now, consideration is moving toward parcel service in Houston, TX. When you are considering shipment, it’s good to know you have options, and there really is not a one-size-fits-all approach to shipping. If you are attempting to decide between parcel and LTL, here are five factors to consider:

  • Customer preferences: An educated customer instructs a delivery service whether to send a shipment parcel or LTL. However, if the delivery service is making the decision, they must consider the customer’s needs and unique expectations. Parcel service works for smaller items that must travel quickly and economically. A shipment arriving on the front door via FedEx is often well within customer expectations. Larger items that challenge parcel service do better with less-than-truckload.
  • Dimensions: It used to be that anything with odd dimensions would immediately ship LTL. However, parcel companies learned to handle these shipments even when they are as heavy as 500 pounds. Even if it seems easier to have your parcel service pick up an item, you need to consider cost. You will pay for that convenience.
  • Cost and time: As indicated above, if your item is large and heavy, you will pay UPS and FedEx premium fees to handle it. For those fees, your item will arrive at its destination faster. But if you are not in a huge hurry, consider LTL. The general rule of thumb is that if the shipment requires a pallet, weighs more than 150 pounds and does not require delivery within seven business days, consider less than truckload service. Otherwise, you may pay premium fees for no reason.
  • Volume: If you or a customer ships in bulk, LTL offers further cost savings. But if the emphasis is on speed and volume, parcel service could be the better option. It usually depends on the regularity of the volume shipments. If a customer ships a certain volume of items on a timeframe, and their customer pays for the shipment, parcel service is often more efficient. However, if you are shipping to a manufacturer who tends to order ahead of time and looks for the lowest cost, shipping in bulk via LTL is often the better choice.
  • Insurance and damage: Many customers choose parcel service for their guarantees. These include on-time delivery and compensation for any damages. Most LTL companies offer freight protection and insurance for their shipments, too. It is a matter of finding a reputable one. However, keep the focus on good quality service and excellent online reviews. Even if a parcel service or LTL company carries the insurance and guarantees, it can take a while to receive compensation. A good third-party logistics manager can help you make a choice, or you can hire a reliable delivery service and let them worry about the best way to transport your items.

Pro Delivery LLC offers a full fleet of vehicles to tackle less than truckload service in Houston, TX. If you need something shipped, call us today to receive a free estimate!

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