Less-than-Truckload (LTL) shipping is often utilized either by smaller businesses or businesses that need their freight delivered to a diverse array of final users, perhaps in an unfamiliar geographic area.
Here at Expressit we can meet the demands of many customers, but sometimes we aren’t a good fit for client needs. So we’ve sorted through the multitude of potential carriers in search of high-quality suggestions. In order to provide a shortcut for shippers trying to find a carrier that fits their needs, we’re nominating a shortlist of the top LTL Logistics companies operating in the Golden State.
On Trac is a small packages shipping company that focuses on providing fast delivery times without the cost of added expense for expedited shipping charged by other companies.
Founded in 1991 as the California Overnight division of Express Manager Systems, Inc., the company was formed from several smaller carriers which were integrated in order to provide a faster and more efficient overnight service in California from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Particularly popular initially with lawyers and architects, the company expanded to every zip code in California and then to the major metropolitan areas of seven other Western states – Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. Collectively their area of operation connects a population of 65 million.
Working with local delivery partners connected by their logistics network, On Trac is able to deliver packages faster than national carriers. They provide next-day delivery at ground service rates, and real-time tracking so that their service is transparent to users.
One of the key offers that make On Trac more affordable than competitors is a higher dimensional weight divisor. To determine shipping rates carriers need to capture not only the weight of the package but how much of the limited space in a truck it takes up.
To accomplish this the dimensions of a package are calculated by multiplying its length, width, and height at their longest points. If the result is greater than a cubic foot, the volume is then divided by the carrier’s dimensional divisor and the resulting dimensional weight is compared with the actual scale weight, with the greater of the two being used to calculate shipping rates.
On Trac’s higher dimensional divisor essentially means that it is more likely that light bulky packages will cost less to ship. There are, however, limits on the size and weight of parcels that On Trac will handle. One of the dimensions of the parcel must be less than six feet, and the length and width combined can’t exceed 130 inches. The maximum weight is 150 pounds.
Global Source Logistics
Global Source Logistics (GSL) is a shipping platform that helps its customers automate coordinated multi-carrier shipping. Because Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping depends on a hub and spoke system through which freight is collected, consolidated, and dispersed multiple times, the ability to manage the complexity, make it transparent, and optimize operations is an asset.
GSL also helps to smooth out some of the snarls, risks, and costs that can make multi-carrier shipping difficult. Their tools for accurately categorizing freight class prevent delays and penalty charges due to mistakes. Central reporting allows for the reconciliation of carrier bills and cost accounting.
Unexpected accessorial charges, unauthorized use, and inefficient service selections by carriers are curbed by enterprise-wide controls. Shipping documents can also be stored digitally within their database for compliance auditing purposes.
A network of hundreds of carriers ensures global coverage for inbound, outbound, or drop shipments, and customers can either proactively or automatically select specific carriers based on their costs, transit times, and performance. The established network of relationships with carriers that are accessed through GSL, and the ability to supervise, track and manage the movement of freight, allows for confidence in the quality of the shipping carrier service.
The breadth of their network also ensures that they have a familiarity and pre-existing relationship with carriers who provide specialized services for demanding tasks such as White Glove Delivery at reasonable rates.
A family-owned and operated company that began with one truck in the 1960s, R+L is a transportation provider with a very strong reputation for customer service that boasts a fleet of over 21,000 trucks. R+L offers Full-Truckload (FTL) and Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping coverage for the lower-48 states, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska. Their fleet is extensively equipped with liftgates, allowing for ease of delivery and less damage to end-users at businesses without a loading dock, as well as to residences.
R+L offers several enhanced services to its customers. Multiple levels of guaranteed delivery windows are available, with time failures being at no cost to the client. Preassembled and equipped shipping crates can be delivered to homes and offices for the safe packing of valuable assets.
A further level of security can be had by direct delivering freight in a tamper-resistant bulkhead from pickup to delivery. Trucks are also equipped with in-cab scanners so that delivery receipts and Bills of Lading can be scanned and uploaded, providing instant updates to tracking applications.
The company’s level of experience with cross-border shipping in Mexico and Canada, and their electronic customs brokerage systems, speed up international transportation.
They also offer offshore Less-Than-Container-Load (LCL) and Full-Container-Load (FCL) sea freight transport to the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands and Guam through a partnership with American Fast Freight and Arrowpac. Specialists in local markets provide assistance in reducing barriers created by differing languages and regulations.
FedEx Freight Service
Currently a multi-national giant with a quarter-million employees and $70 billion in annual revenue, FedEx began as a small urgent delivery company in Little Rock Arkansas in 1971. Over the years it has expanded beyond its overnight delivery service roots into a number of areas.
Its branch, FedEx Freight Service, was formed by acquiring and consolidating American Freightways, Viking Freight, and Watkins Motor Lines and is currently the largest LTL carrier in the United States.
FedEx Freight Service ships items that weigh more than 150 lbs throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and competes on simplicity and speed, usually being able to deliver within 1-3 days for priority packages, and 3-6 days for regular service.
Flat rates with predictable pricing are offered for shipments weighing less than 1,200 lbs, entirely cutting out the complicated freight classification system that’s standard in the rest of the industry. Due to their size, FedEx is able to offer a comprehensive service under one roof rather than coordinating a network, advertising “one call, one Bill of Lading and one website.”
Air and sea transport services are also offered, connecting domestic shippers through their LTL service to ports of exit and air and seaports in Europe, Asia, and South America Transportation after arrival abroad must be separately arranged, however.
Expressit Logistics is an LTL White Glove Delivery service based in Rocklin with a service area that covers all of California, offering depth of service rather than geographic breadth. We pride ourselves on the ability to provide reliable customizable, flexible, and high-quality services at competitive rates. High-touch delivery with extra care, real-time proactive communication, pick up and delivery outside of the set service hours of other LTL carriers are our competitive advantage.
As e-commerce has undergone its dramatic expansion over the last five years, LTL carriers have had to shoulder a heavier aggregate load, picking up freight from a more diverse set of locations and delivering it to a wider variety of end-users. Under the weight, individualized service and a sense of urgency have declined across the industry.
We have gone against the grain, specializing in an array of services around customers with needs that don’t fit inside standardized stackable boxes, rigid service windows, automated menus, and “good enough” attention to detail.
Our fleet of trucks are equipped with liftgates, allowing for safe, damage-free pickup and delivery to residences and other locations without loading docks. We offer dedicated delivery, in which one customer’s freight is transported separately, rather than stacked under or atop the pallets and crates of other customers, allowing for irregularly shaped freight and a higher quality presentation upon delivery.
When the delivery experience is a part of the customer’s experience of the brand, we provide a high-quality, reliable alternative for businesses with needs beyond standardized, cursory service.