Consolidated vs. hub and spoke LTL.

Businessmen checking boxes

When determining your preferred LTL shipping method, there are two options that must be considered – consolidation and traditional hub and spoke. Here’s a look at which option might work best for you:


Consolidated shipping.

During this process, LTL shipments heading to similar locations are combined at consolidation warehouses and remain on a single truck until they reach their final destination.


Advantages of consolidation.

  • Less handling and fewer claims.
  • Simplified shipping – no need to worry about complicated freight classifications.
  • Straightforward pricing – pay for only the square footage you use on the trailer.
  • Less expensive for larger and/or denser shipments.


When to use consolidation.

  • Consistent partial load shipments.
  • Loads of 5-20 pallets (8-40 sq. feet of trailer space).
  • Sensitive delivery schedules.
  • High-value of fragile freight.


Traditional hub and spoke shipping.

Freight is combined at a warehouse for shipment to another warehouse. The process repeats until the freight reaches its destination.


Advantages of hub and spoke.

  • Often quicker pickup times.
  • Less expensive for smaller shipments.
  • Can be more efficient over shorter distances.


When traditional might make more sense.

  • Single shipments or ones with irregular schedules.
  • Smaller denser shipments.
  • Delivery schedules are less important.
  • No special requirements.


Final thoughts.

Whether you’re using consolidated shipping or traditional hub and spoke, LTL shipping lets you effectively weigh all your options. The more options you have, the better your chance of finding a carrier that meets your requirements. Shifting through these options to secure the best choice to address timing, budget, and safety needs can be a hassle, which is why you should always partner with an online freight service provider.

A freight service provider can help you filter through options in order to find the single best solution for your situation and be the key to your shipping success. The best providers offer technology to help you track your shipments and experts who are available to answer questions and help you succeed.

Check out our consolidated vs. hub and spoke LTL shipping infographic below for a detailed look at the importance each shipping option can have on your supply chain logistics.


 People and technology

Share this image on your site.


Do you have a shipment to book?

Get Free Quotes

Image credit:




Get Your Shipping Quote