If you want to move something from one location to another, you definitely have options. However, knowing which option is right for you isn’t always an easy task. To top it off, many companies will provide similar sounding services. So which shipping solution is right for your business and your pocketbook? The answer lies in how much do you have to ship and what your budget for shipping looks like.
Freight shipping most commonly refers to “full truckload,” or FTL, shipping. FTL freight regularly caters to companies who ship in bulk and whose cargo can complete; you guessed it, a full truck load. The benefit of shipping FTL is that a large amount of goods being shipped offsets the cost of the truck when the truck is full. This allows customers to get a myriad of goods anywhere safely for a relatively low cost.
Vendors and suppliers usually use FTL freight to ship their goods to retailers or other supply chains, and you will often find unprocessed commodities, such as animals, grains, and chemicals, on FTL freight carriers as well. So if you regularly have large amounts of goods that need to be shipped, consider using FTL. Most likely this solution will be the most cost effective.
Less-than-truckload, or LTL, services are more multifaceted and more accessible than freight services. LTL services may be combined with moving or white glove services, and can be used by small, large, or individual customers. Deliveries will be made to businesses and homes, but the delivery will typically be left in the doorway or, if the delivery goes to a home, it will be left in the garage. Some LTL services will deliver directly inside a business, but that is where the service stops. One of the perks of using LTL services over FTL freight is that customers with fewer goods to deliver or receive don’t have to pay for the cost of the entire truck. LTL customers share the truckload with other customers, which makes the shipping much more affordable.
LTL freight has one of the most diversified uses of any shipping solution. LTL may be used by retailers to bring in restaurant goods such as food, produce, and paper products or by individual customers using LTL to ship a mattress or large furniture item to their door. If you have a small volume of goods you need to ship, there’s a good chance there’s an LTL solution right for you.
White Glove Couriers
White glove couriers can be seen as a type of LTL delivery; however, this type of delivery comes with a few extra perks: White glove deliveries are typically given extra care. Deliveries are professionally packaged and are strapped down to prevent damage during the delivery. Shipments are also delivered to the inside of the property or residence instead of being left in a doorway or garage.
White glove deliveries are most often used for residential deliveries or product launches. In addition to in-home or in-building delivery, white glove couriers are beneficial because they may offer the services of unpacking, light assembly, stair carry, and specialized equipment and product placement. For individuals and businesses that want a no-hassle, no-worry ship, white glove couriers are usually the best option. However, get what you pay for, and when you choose white glove service, you should expect a higher price.
A moving company may be used in conjunction or in place of an LTL service, and is most frequently used by individual consumers. However, there are moving companies that specialize in executive moves, furniture and equipment moves. Moving companies don’t typically provide the same level of care that a white glove courier might, but they do offer a variety of benefits. Moving companies will deliver within a building; haul items upstairs, or place items in selected rooms. They typically use special equipment to prevent damage. Some may even pack up items, which is helpful for customers who don’t have time to do so. Unlike a white glove courier, most moving companies will not unpack items or perform light installations.
However, moving one or two items for an individual customer can come at a premium price. Unlike LTL, many moving companies don’t have several other loads in their trucks to offset the price so an individual would have to cover the entire cost. To help reduce the cost of this type of shipping, consider finding an LTL freight company that also offers moving services. This way your costs are reduced, and you receive the same perks that a mover can provide.
Knowing which shipping solution is right for your needs can greatly reduce strain on your budget and make sure that you receive the service you want. Before choosing a shipping solution, shop around. Ask for quotes, and don’t be afraid to ask shipping companies about their services and common shipping practices. The more you know, the better decision you’ll make.