Using LTL Freight in Residential Areas

Cardboard boxes

Choosing a method to ship your freight gets complicated when you are picking up or dropping off in a residential area. Small carriers (FedEx for example) are set up to be able to deliver single or small packages to residences, but what if you need something slightly larger. That is what Less than Truckload (LTL) freight carriers are for, right?

Well, before you go hiring an LTL carrier for a residential pickup or delivery, keep in mind some of these small details that may make it more complicated than you had originally thought.

Residential Streets Can be Narrow

The first major obstacle for using an LTL carrier in a residential area is the streets. Freight carriers typically have much larger trucks than your typical domestic residential delivery carrier. Getting these large trucks into tight residential areas may be difficult. In some cases, they may end up blocking an entire street while they load or unload your freight. Worst case is that a large LTL carrier just won’t be able to access the home or residence that you need them to get to. It is best to make sure that there is access beforehand. If you are unsure, talk to the LTL line and have them give their opinion.

Are your Items Palletized?

Unlike small carriers, LTL loads are generally picked up on pallets. To use standard pallets, you will need to have your freight attached by shrink wrap, bands or other means used to secure it to the pallet. Most LTL carriers just won’t be able to pick up items that are not able to be moved using a pallet jack or similar equipment. Make sure that you have enough freight to be palleted and that pallets can be moved to the street where the trucking line can pick them up.

Lift Gates

Most LTL carriers do not offer door to door service. This means having a pallet jack or fork truck at the curb to get your freight into the LTL line’s truck. You will probably need to have a truck equipped with a lift gate (unless your residence happens to have a loading dock) in order for the freight to be lifted up off the street into the truck. Many LTL carriers will charge extra for lift gate service, so make sure to check with them before having a carrier come to your residence for a pickup or delivery.

Residential Pickup and Delivery Charges

Because of the specialized nature of having items picked up or delivered into a residential area, many carriers will charge extra for both a residential pickup and a residential delivery. Remember to check with your carrier to see if this is the case and to charge (or pay) accordingly.

Cratex Group can help you get your shipment ready for pickup with custom packing and crating services. Contact us today for all of your industrial packing needs!