LTL Freight Rates

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LTL Shipping Rates are arguably, one of the most confusing and complex areas when deciding on Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping. Becoming familiar with the driving forces behind LTL freight rates will not only help you set reasonable expectations – you'll actually be able to anticipate and project your shipping costs better than before. 

If you are new to the LTL world, the concept of LTL shipping rates and how they are calculated can be confusing. Unlike Full-Truckload (FTL) freight rates, which are based on per-mile or per-hundred weight, LTL rates are regulated by a myriad of different factors.

How to Calculate Less-Than-Truckload LTL Freight Rates


Make sure the weight is accurate – stick to the actual weight with your LTL shipments. Between any given origin and destination zip codes, LTL carriers publish a “rate per hundred” that establishes the cost per hundred pounds at different shipment weight breaks. So the more a shipment weighs, the less you pay per hundred pounds. So, although the total shipment cost increases, the freight cost per pound actually decreases. LTL shipments usually weigh between 151 and 20,000 pounds. 


Density is used to figure out the freight classification. 

Density is based on the shipment's dimensions and weight.

To calculate density, divide the total weight of the shipment by the total cubic feet. 

  • Step 1: Measure the height, width and depth of the shipment in inches
  • Step 2: Multiply these numbers together to determine the cubic footage
  • Step 3: Divide the total weight by the total cubic feet


Classes are assigned based on a shipment's density, total value, freight stowability, handling and liability. It’s always better to provide the NMFC number if at all possible. Determining the correct NMFC number and freight class might be complicated, especially, if it’s your first LTL quote. 

LTL Freight Rates

Each LTL carrier sets their own base LTL freight rates, which makes price comparison challenging. Talk to one of our experienced freight specialist to see how a freight negotiation can help you.


Almost any additional services are considered accessorials and are subject to certain fees. Make sure to include them in the initial quote to avoid unpleasant surprises on the invoice.


How far an LTL shipment has to travel as well as the geographical reach of an LTL carrier factor into LTL freight rates. The origin zip code and the destination zip code is used to determine the distance the shipment has to travel. 

Our LTL Freight Carriers

Our carrier relationship are bar none, leaving you with the best options and pricing for your LTL needs. The Junction LLC experts are always available to help you with freight class (NMFC) to ensure you are rated and routed appropriately at all times.