What Are the Different Types of LTL Carriers and When to Use Them for Cross-Border Shipping from Canada to the United States

LTL Carriers for Cross-Border Shipping, Most Canadian small business owners would love to tap into the American market, simply because it represents such a huge opportunity for sales growth and ultimate business success.

However, shipping across the border can get complicated, because both sides have their own laws and requirements, all of which must be observed by the business owners. Right off the bat, any shipment will be faced with Customs clearance, and that hurdle is one which can disqualify the whole process.

By working with a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider such as Radius Freight Inc., you can generally ensure a smooth crossing, since they handle all the necessary paperwork. However, the requirements don’t stop there. For instance, you have to be aware of the types of goods which are restricted in the U.S., and you can expect to pay a much greater cost than you would for domestic shipping. Still, using an LTL carrier can be the most effective way of shipping goods across the border, so you just need to know when to use them, and which companies are LTL carriers in Ontario


The types of LTL carriers

There are considerably fewer LTL carriers than there are in the full truckload market, and they will generally be based on a different kind of business model. Depending on whether they feature service, cost, or speed, the business model will be adapted to one or more of those aspects. In order to have an ideal balance of capacity and rates, many business owners work with several different LTL carriers. Here are the types you can choose from, and when you should use each:


  • National LTL carriers – these carriers provide coverage from border to border and coast to coast, and they are the largest type of LTL carrier. The best times to make use of national LTL carriers is when you need to ship to someplace off the beaten path. Since a national carrier provides shipping service practically everywhere, you can be sure they service the destination you have in mind.


  • Multi-Regional carriers – this type of carrier will service two or more regions and provide coverage to destinations within these regions. They fall in between a regional carrier and a national carrier. The opportune situation to use a multi-regional carrier is when you have shipments that span several different states or provinces, but do not require coast to coast coverage.


  • Regional carriers – regional carriers have a strong presence within some group of states, but only within a single region of the country. The best time to make use of regional carriers is when you have shipments which must all be delivered to states within the region of interest covered by a particular carrier.


  • Sub-Regional carriers – carriers in this category will only service specific areas within a given region, so their coverage area is somewhat limited. Using sub-regional carriers becomes advantageous when it’s not necessary to travel long distances and the shipment destinations all fall within the area of interest for the sub-regional carrier.


  • Asset-light LTL carriers – these carriers will generally complete the long-haul portion of a shipment using other full-truckload services, then finish up the delivery by using regional or sub-regional LTL carriers. Transit times are generally a bit longer using these providers because of the transfer connections necessary. Use this type of carrier when you’re looking for the most budget-friendly shipping option.


  • Load-to-Ride carriers – the specialty of these types of carriers is on bulky shipments and sometimes very long-range shipments as well. There is generally less product handling required in this kind of shipment, because of the long-range nature of the shipment. When you need to ship something long distance, i.e. across several regions, this could be a good option for you. If you can fit into the provider’s schedule, you may realize some benefits in the areas of quick service, less handling, and competitive rates.


  • Reefer LTL carriers – these are similar to Load-to-Ride providers in that they offer long-distance shipping, and do not generally transfer any product at terminals. One thing to be aware of with reefer carriers is that all shipped products must have the same temperature requirements. The best time to use reefer LTL carriers is when you have a long-distance shipping requirement, and you have some temperature-sensitive freight that needs to be shipped.

Armed with this knowledge about the various types of LTL carriers, and when best to use them, you should be able to create an advantageous mix of shipping providers for your business. It may take a bit of experimentation to find just the right mix, but when you do, it will be a huge benefit to your business, and you should derive all the benefits you’re looking for.

Radius Freight makes Cross Border shipping to the entire United States easier and affordable. Contact our freight services team at 1-888-468-0210 today or visit our website to book a free consultation here: https://www.radiusfreight.com

What Are the Different Types of LTL Carriers and When to Use Them for Cross-Border Shipping from Canada to the United States
Scroll to top
1-888-468-0210 Call Us Now!