What is common carrier shipping?

Start a Quote

Enter a US city or postal code

The role of a less than truckload (LTL) common carrier

LTL common carriers facilitate the transportation of smaller shipments efficiently, cost-effectively, and with greater flexibility.

How does common carrier shipping work?

With common carrier shipping, the LTL common carrier will make multiple stops on their journey. Accordingly, the shipments might be picked up and dropped off at the final destination by different drivers on their route—making it possible to serve both commercial and residential customers.

LTL common carrier definition

An LTL common carrier consolidates and deconsolidates freight for multiple companies or brands while offering a set route and rate. They are often motor carriers, trucking companies or freight service providers that operate on a similar schedule with a strict set of guidelines.

Compare common carrier rates

Leverage the vast Freightquote common carrier network

Confidently support your common carrier shipping strategy with our expertise. Your journey begins by finding the right LTL common carrier for your business. When you choose Freightquote by C.H. Robinson, you gain access to over 96,000 vetted high quality common carriers.

Watch the video below to better understand the differences between your carrier options.

Tips for choosing the right common carrier

When it’s time to choose a freight carrier, the seemingly endless options can be overwhelming. Get tips from our experts to help you make the right carrier choice for your freight.

Get top 4 tips

Is LTL common carrier shipping right for you?

Shipping large or heavy items? Shipping to a variety of destinations? Common carrier shipping may be a good option for your business. Let us oversee the details for you.

At Freightquote, shipping is simple:

  1. 1. Get free quotes from carriers using our online tool.
  2. 2. Provide accurate shipment—weight, dimensions, and destination
  3. 3. Compare carrier rates, book instantly, and track your shipment—hassle free.
Freightquote carrier ratings

Find top LTL common carriers

When selecting a common carrier in our online quoting tool, you can review and compare star ratings for each carrier. This, along with a category breakdown of what influences the overall star rating, helps you make easier, more informed carrier decisions.

Understand how carrier ratings can help

Strategies for better common carrier rates

LTL shipping often requires special packaging, multiple stops, and other added services. As a result, there can be specific fees associated with using a common carrier—especially if they need to remeasure or reweigh your freight to ensure a proper fit.

Providing accurate shipment information up front helps avoid the added time and money involved in rechecking. See what other best practices can keep you on track.

Boost carrier performance

Ready to ship freight with an LTL common carrier?

Compare rates instantly—and for free—with our online booking tool.

Compare carrier rates

Receive marketing and promotion updates.