LTL vs Parcel Hundredweight – Which Service is Right for You

LTL vs Parcel Hundredweight – Which Service is Right for You

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping and parcel hundredweight services both have their advantages. This article looks at the differences between these two services to help you decide which method to choose and when.

But First, What are Parcel Hundredweight® and Multiweight® Programs?

Parcel Hundredweight® is a service offered by the United Parcel Service (UPS), whereby shippers can ship non-palletized, multi-package shipments to all 50 states and Puerto Rico for less than it would cost to ship all the packages individually. Multiweight® is a similar program provided by FedEx, which allows shippers to ship multi-package shipments weighing 200 pounds or more to the same location on the same day throughout all 50 states.

As you can imagine, these services are often used as an alternative to LTL shipping, especially by shippers who already have accounts set up with FedEx or UPS and who may not be as familiar with the LTL shipping options available. That being said, they’re not always the best option for every shipment.

So how do you know which service to choose? Consider this …

LTL Shipping & Parcel Package Shipping Pricing

ltl shipping parcel shipping parcel package

For most businesses, price is the biggest factor in choosing a shipping service. In general, LTL shipping become more affordable as your shipment travels further and/or weighs more. Conversely, multi-package parcel services are usually less expensive when shipping lighter loads at shorter distances.

It stands to reason then that if you’re shipping a heavy load across the country, an LTL service is the safe bet. Likewise, if you’re shipping a light load across state, parcel services will likely offer lower rates.

The calculations become more difficult when you need to ship something light to a far-away location, or something heavy to somewhere close-by. If your shipment falls in this “gray area,” make sure you get quotes from both kinds of carriers. And don’t forget to factor in additional costs that may apply to LTL shipping. Look out for accessorial charges (things like lift-gate requirements, residential delivery, fuel surcharges, etc.), as well as extra packaging expenses (pallets for shipping, shrink wrap, and straps or bands to help secure your freight).

Other Considerations

Factors other than price can also play a part in helping you choose the best transportation method for your shipment. We’ve listed some major benefits provided by each service below:

Benefits of LTL Shipping:

• Less material handling needed (fewer opportunities to damage freight)

• Less restrictions on package size (large or oddly-shaped goods are easier to ship)

• Better for larger shipments (shipments requiring one pallet or more)

• All packages arrive at the same time

Benefits of Hundredweight® and Multiweight® services:

• More consistent transit times (better guaranteed delivery windows)

• No extra charges for residential or inside delivery

• No freight classifications required

• No need to schedule pickups

• More accurate, up-to-date package tracking

• Can be more affordable for small shippers (shippers without LTL discounts)

Which Service is Right for You?

The next time you need to decide between an LTL shipping service and one of the multi-package or parcel package services offered by UPS and FedEx, consider the pricing information and benefits we’ve provided here. If you’re still on the fence after weighing your options, just remember, it never hurts to get a quote. Further, if you’re new to high-volume shipping and haven’t yet talked to the various LTLs about contract discounts, it may be time to explore your options.

Learn More about LTL Shipping with FreightSnap here!

For more articles like this, subscribe to our newsletter!

Was this article helpful?

Michael Eichenberg is the co-founder and CEO of FreightSnap, allowing the supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, distribution and transportation industries to measure, weigh, photograph and ID pallets and parcels in just seconds. Learn more and share your ideas on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Stay up to date with our latest news, receive exclusive deals, and more.

In this video, we answer some of FreightSnap’s most frequently asked questions. We also go into further detail on some unique services and capabilities FreightSnap offers to improve your dimensioning process.   Want more videos like this? [button href=”#popmake-738″]Subscribe to our Newsletter[/button]


Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs and run lighter; and reducing packaging waste is one area where many companies can improve. When you reduce packaging waste, in most cases, you’re also shrinking the footprint of your freight, which helps you save space in your warehouse or distribution...

Like parcel and air freight carriers, LTLs are looking less at what you’re shipping and more at how big it is. Space is the name of the game, and carriers are doing everything they can to make sure they’re getting paid for the amount that’s being used on their trailers....

Carriers and shippers might be the most prolific users of parcel and pallet dimensioning equipment, but they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from an automated measuring solution. Recently, freight forwarders have started to jump on board, and they’re seeing benefits they may or may not have planned for....

Subscribe to our Blog

Stay up to date with our latest news, receive exclusive deals, and more.

By now, we’ve all heard about the shift to density based pricing in the LTL industry. With major carriers like FedEx Ground, UPS, Old Dominion Freight Lines, Estes Express Lines, SAIA and others making the shift, it’s only a matter of time before DIM pricing becomes the norm. And although...

Lenexa, KS – FreightSnap’s FS 5000 pallet dimensioner has officially earned OIML certification after passing the established testing criteria for multi-dimensional measuring instruments. Having previously passed certification standards in the United States (NTEP) and Canada (Measurement Canada), the FS 5000’s recent OIML certification means that the dimensioner has now earned...

The Importance of Dimensioning Systems In the world of shipping, unexpected costs can quickly spiral out of control, putting a significant dent in your profits. One common source of these unforeseen charges is freight reclassification. But what if there was a way to drastically reduce these costs and improve your...

How you implement a dimensioning program can determine the level of efficiency your program ultimately achieves. Over the years, we’ve seen dozens of companies invest in dimensioning technologies, and truth be told, some have been more successful than others. Why? Most of it can be boiled down to three simple,...

Product Sheet - FS Parcel Dimensioner

2023 DimReimag LP - FSParcel PS Dwnld

Product Sheet - FS 5000 Dimensioner

2023 DimReimag LP - FS500 PS Dwnld

Request a Quote!

2023 DimReimag LP Pricing Request Form