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What is Less-than-Truckload Shipping and Why is it Important to Corporate America?

Less-than-Truckload plays a pivotal role in the smooth operation of the supply chain, and companies that play the game well by aligning with the right carrier and technology partners know that LTL shipping is an extremely valuable transportation option.

Less-than-truckload shipping is a complex, but integral, tool in the array of freight transportation options available today.

Not as widely used as truckload shipping – which requires retailers and other corporations to fill an entire 48- or 53-foot truck with their goods – LTL shipping moves only average about 1,000 pounds.

But this means that instead of using an entire truck for a single, cross-country shipment, there could be six or eight different bundles of goods from different shippers going to different places, all in a single truck. What a logistical headache!

On the scale of over-the-road transportation providers, LTL carriers sit between small package providers like UPS and FedEx and carriers that provide point-to-point truckload services. And shipment size isn’t the only difference.

Myriad variables – shipment size, the classification of goods, complex pricing structures, routing optimization, etc. – mean LTL shipping is the single most complicated transportation option out there today.

But LTL plays a pivotal role in the smooth operation of the supply chain. Companies that play the game well by aligning with the right carrier and technology partners know that LTL shipping is an extremely valuable transportation option.

External forces also add to the complexity of LTL transportation.

As freight shipping continues to morph from a mode-specific undertaking to a mode-agnostic activity that is more about the interplay between delivery cycles and price, shippers have an ever-increasing choice of options when deciding how to best use their transportation dollars.

As the transportation industry undergoes a transformation that has played out in other industries, C-level executives are becoming more involved in the decisions regarding these transportation dollars - decisions that were historically under the purview of a company’s transportation professionals.

Technology has steadily improved to the point where there is a great opportunity for transportation technology advancements to improve business processes for even the smallest company.

Decision making has also become more critical because corporate America has concentrated on consolidating and automating the supply chain.

SMC³ helps members of the supply chain optimize their LTL decisions to simplify the lives of shippers, 3PLs, and carriers by developing benchmarking standards in the LTL arena.

The company also continually innovates to deliver differentiated technology solutions that simplify the complexity of freight transportation.

With proven business stability and a history of excellence, SMC³ has thrived through multiple generations of content delivery – from distributing paper tariffs via the mail system to delivering API technology solutions via the secure SMC³ cloud.

During its history, SMC³ has demonstrated time and again its ability to adapt to changes in business practices and lead the way as far as advancements in technology that concern the supply chain industry. This long association with industry stakeholders – shippers, 3PLs, carriers and technology providers – means that customers trust SMC³ with their data and information.

The supply chain has become an area of rich exploration by retailers and other companies looking to improve performance and provide better services for customers. SMC³ technology is used across the spectrum of supply chain participants and the technology companies that serve them.

SMC³ solutions travel beyond simple connectivity and empower shippers, 3PLs and carriers to collaborate and optimize decision making throughout the entire LTL lifecycle. Learn how these solutions can benefit your organization by visiting our knowledge hub.

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Article Topics
Best Practices   Transportation   Transportation Management   Less-than-Truckload   LTL   Shipping   All topics


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