Who is shipping LTL?
September 18, 2009 2:59 PM   Subscribe

What kind of US companies ship LTL?

I am working on a research paper about LTL (less than truck load) shipping in the United States. What industries ship product daily on pallets? I am looking to contact some companies and see what their personal experience has been with the major LTL carriers in the US.
posted by ieatwords to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
I worked for an LTL carrier, Old Dominion, several years ago. From what I remember, our biggest corporate customers were cardio workout equipment manufacturers and auto parts retailers.
posted by HotPatatta at 3:12 PM on September 18, 2009

Life Fitness and 4 Wheel Parts are the only company names that come to mind.
posted by HotPatatta at 3:20 PM on September 18, 2009

I work in the DC for a retail fashion company and we use many, many LTL carriers. We use LTL carriers to ship to our retail stores as well as department store DC's.
posted by nulledge at 3:24 PM on September 18, 2009

I ship everything out of our warehouse LTL. Any industry you can think of will ship LTL. It is all dependent on what the customer orders. I've had a truck show up at our dock dropping off cardboard boxes also loaded with medical equipment, hazardous materials, glass, tires, fabricating equipment, movie canisters for the theaters, etc..

Companies that ship LTL:

Any company that sells a physical product. i.e every stinkn blue collar business out there. :) If they don't ship LTL, the most definitely receive their retail product LTL.

In Colorado, LTL carriers include Bill Clark Freight Line, HVH, RAC, Yellow, Old Dominion, R & L Carriers, Noble Logistics, Brown Trucking, NTC, Con Way, and about a million others that I will not try and remember.

Most of the time you can call the carriers and they will turn you on to trade partners that they deal with were you to give them the information you just posted here. They always want exposure just like any other business.
posted by Gravitus at 3:25 PM on September 18, 2009

I had to fill in on our shipping dock for a week, and dealing with Yellow was a pain in my ass, I am so very glad that's not my actual job.
posted by nulledge at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2009

I work for a logistics company and half to two-thirds of our shipments are LTL. We hardly use TL/FTL, the rest is all small parcel.

The main difference is volume. Most of our small parcel shipments tend to be products shipped directly to the end customer whereas LTL is usually used for retailers (Best Buy/Future Shop, Office Depot, Wal-Mart, etc). You're not going to ship 75 printers to Fry's using FedEx, and you're not going to ship a single shirt via Yellow or JB Hunt.

To directly answer your question (sort of), I can't provide names (confidentiality and all that) but among our clients we have consumer electronics (printers, copiers, cameras, etc), automotive parts, and sports equipment/apparel.

You can memail me with specific questions if you like but I can't post details here (both because I don't want it public knowledge and because I am not authorised to speak on behalf of my company).
posted by geckoinpdx at 4:13 PM on September 18, 2009

I worked for a furniture store that used this to ship large pieces of furniture.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:45 PM on September 18, 2009

Food service companies, and their suppliers, depending on the volume of the product.
posted by suburbanrobot at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2009

Ingram Micro and Tech Data occasionally. They are two large computer related distributers.
posted by BryanPayne at 5:31 PM on September 18, 2009

Any wholesaler of Furniture ships LTL to dealers.
posted by Megafly at 6:34 PM on September 18, 2009

Take a look at the companies that Freightquote uses - they are a LTL aggregator.
posted by setanor at 6:42 PM on September 18, 2009

I worked for a company that made paperboard packaging (toothpaste boxes, music inserts, DVD sleeves, etc.), we used LTL for most orders, daily.
posted by Laura in Canada at 7:19 PM on September 18, 2009

printers use LTL to ship the finished printed pieces.
posted by apostrophe at 9:18 AM on September 19, 2009

I sued to work for a trucking company. Our biggest LTL customers were manufacturers of electric parts (like the stuff you would see in the electrical department of a hardware store, only for large-scale professional use, not consumer use) and car parts.

We also shipped parts from a company's main warehouse to its remote locations when those items were needed for repairs/maintenance. So you could look for large companies, like utilities, that might store items required for repairs/maintenance/upgrades in one centralized location and ship them out when needed.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:42 PM on September 19, 2009

I *USED* to work for a trucking company. Gah.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:43 PM on September 19, 2009

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