Parcel and LTL Shipping: What’s the Difference?

parcel and LTL shippingA parcel refers to any small package. How small does a package have to be to classify as a parcel? At what size does a package require LTL shipping? We’ll go over the difference between parcel and LTL shipping.

When to Choose Parcel Shipping

Every carrier has its own classification for defining a parcel. Typically, the package cannot exceed 150 pounds, though some services cap that weight at 70 pounds. Dimensional limits apply as well. The parcel must also be small enough for a single person to haul it by hand.

For parcels, you can make shipping arrangements with nationally recognized carriers, such as UPS and FedEx. These companies also offer overnight and weekend delivery. LTL shipment usually doesn’t offer expedited services since your freight is one of many in the truck.

If you have a small and time-sensitive freight, see if you can reduce its weight and size so it falls under the parcel designation. If this is not possible, then consider a dedicated truck transport or carrier van.

When to Choose LTL Shipping

LTL is the economical option if you have multiple small packages headed in the same direction. In this case, consolidate the packages into a single pallet. This is far more cost effective than sending multiple parcels individually. Select this option if the packages all have the same destination or destinations along the truck’s route.

If you have leftover space in an existing pallet already scheduled for delivery, see if you can fit a few more parcels into the pallet without exceeding weight and dimension limits.

We’ll Help You Decide Between Parcel and LTL Shipping

Our freight brokers normally deal with line-haul shipment for machinery tools and related freight. However, we know the best strategies for optimizing cost and timely delivery. Machine Transport can determine whether parcel or LTL shipping is better for your needs.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Brokers for Optimized Shipping Solutions

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico