LTL stands for Less Than Truckload. LTL Transport refers to a shipping or ground freight transportation service that makes use of a single vehicle (typically a truck or a trailer) to deliver goods from different customers. It is the practical option for businesses whose product demand is on the average side only because they get to share transportation costs with other companies. Each company that takes up a portion of the truck for their goods will be charged based on the space they occupy and the time it takes to deliver the goods to their destination.
Because the goods carried by LTL trucks come from different sources and have different destinations, it is typical for LTL shipments to pass through several different stops before eventually reaching their final stop.
What is LTL Refrigerated Trucking?
Following the definition of LTL Transport, LTL Refrigerated Trucking refers to the process of shipping or transporting temperature-controlled cargo that does not require the space of an entire vehicle.
Slightly more complicated than regular transport, a refrigerated truck or trailer (also referred to as a reefer) has the added capability of being able to maintain internal temperature within a specific range to ensure that the goods being transported do not spoil, deteriorate, or get damaged. For frozen goods, the required temperature range is 0° – 10° Fahrenheit. For chilled goods (including beverages), the required temperature range is 32° – 36° Fahrenheit.
Goods that require regulated temperature include food and beverages, flowers and plants, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, and some types of electronic equipment. Although LTL means that your goods are on the same truck as other customers’ goods, being in a refrigerated truck means that the goods being transported together should require the similar temperature range. This means that frozen goods can’t be in the same truck as chilled goods, and vice versa.
Consolidation of similar goods (in terms of temperature requirement) is a big factor that affects the pickup and delivery schedule of LTL refrigerated trucks. Unlike regular LTL trucks which typically have daily pickup and delivery schedules, it’s more difficult for LTL refrigerated trucks to do the same because they’re not as plentiful as regular trucks. More often than not, LTL refrigerated trucks can only do pickup and delivery on specific days of the week, depending on the region or location.
Is Refrigerated LTL More Costly Then Dry Van?
Yes, refrigerated LTL is definitely more expensive than regular dry LTL. Why? Mainly because of the special equipment that makes it possible to keep the refrigerated trucks cold within. And because it costs higher to produce and maintain a refrigerated truck, there are less of them available. With less refrigerated trucks around, it makes sense that it’s more expensive to rent one. The challenge is to find the LTL refrigerated company that offers the best rates, and of course, has a pickup and delivery schedule that coincides with your freight shipping needs.