New "less than load" method could mean big savings!

Could LTL Moving Save You Thousands?

by Chan Plett

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You've probably seen your share of U-Haul trucks driving down the highway, maybe even noticed a few storage containers on your block from companies like PODS or the U-Haul U-Box. The need for more flexible DIY moving options has instilled a serious shift in the way the moving industry looks at potential customers. Today's DIY mover is looking for flexibility, affordability, and transparent costs or flat rates.

With the market shifting to a DIY-friendly business model, it's no surprise that tons of companies are tweaking their products to capitalize on the changing environment. The newest product in home moving is LTL shipping. Companies like U-Pack by ABF or Old Dominion are reworking their traditional operations to accommodate the shift. For those that aren't familiar with the acronym "LTL," it means less than truckload shipments with jobs rated based on the amount of space they occupy inside trailer. So, how do they use an industry-old freight procedure to transport home moves? It's pretty simple. Those using these moving services figure out how much space they need in the trailer, these companies rate the trailer by the foot or amount of space used, install a partition (also called a bulkhead), and use the remaining space in the trailer for other shipments.

Companies like U-Pack, OD Household, and even ULoad are slaying the moving competition by providing instant moving quotes for thousands of dollars less than standard movers for hire. YouTube reviews on the services are even popping up giving personal accounts of what it's like to use one of these companies for a home move.

If you visit a site like which provides rates for hired movers, you'll see that a traditional one bedroom household move from California to Idaho would cost around $3600. However, using LTL shipping, the same move comes in at around $1900 on ULoad's quote calculator. A move of this size would typically be rated at around seven linear feet with around $89 flat rate for additional linear feet (this is the standard unit of measurement for LTL shipments). It's still a DIY moving option so there's definitely more work required than just hiring your traditional mover, but for some, the extra savings may be worth it.

Are they here to stay? Are they right for your next move? It's not incredibly clear, but they're definitely on the road to transforming the moving industry, or at the very least, ready to trip the competition.

Reviewed October 2017

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Chan Plett is a professional content writer for the web and self-proclaimed moving expert, after having moved nearly once or twice every year for the past eight years. She's written for Nordstrom, Eventbrite, and several online blogs.

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