What is the difference between LTL and FTL shipments?

LTL stands for less than truckload. This mode of freight is for orders that will only fill part of a 48 foot or 53 foot trailer. In this case, multiple shippers utilize one trailer, and your firework order will be riding along with merchandise from other shippers.

FTL stands for full truckload. This shipping method is used when customer orders will occupy more than half or up to the full capacity of a 48 foot or 53 foot trailer. This method is commonly used when shippers have enough items to fill a truck, want their shipment in a dedicated trailer, the freight is time sensitive, or it is the most cost effective option. There is also slightly less chance for damage to occur while in transit.

However, if a lift gate is required for delivery, then your order will be sent via LTL.

Understanding LTL Firework Shipping Documents, Terminology, and Cost

Important Documents

Bill of Lading (BOL): A detailed list of the product shipped in the form of a receipt given by the carrier to the person consigning/receiving the product. The shipper will present this completed document to the carrier at the time of pick up.

Delivery Receipt (DR): Also referred to as a POD (proof of delivery). This is a receipt that confirms the delivery has been made. It will show date and time of delivery. It is also where the consignee/receiver should make notations if the freight is damaged.

Inspection Certificate: This is a legal document that indicates when a carrier changes the weight or class on a shipment. Other names for this document include: Weight & Research Certificate or Weight and Inspection.

Progressive Rotating Order (PRO) Numbers: PRO numbers are numbers assigned to shipments that are generally used for tracking. Typically, a 7-10 digit number will be assigned to your shipment. It is what most LTL shippers use to track your shipment. Some shipments can be tracked by other means– BOL number or pickup number. Many PRO numbers will include a check digit at the end that will allow different parties to be able to verify the integrity of the number and barcode associated with it.

We pre-pro all LTL shipments and that number is reflected on the BOLs and shipping labels for the carrier to scan at pick up. That makes tracking and sharing tracking information easy.

Assessorials/Additional Charges

LTL assessorials is an additional service that is provided to a customer beyond the base linehaul and fuel charges. If required assessorials were not included on the original BOL, you will be billed for the additional costs incurred. Examples of assessorials include services that require any or all of the following:

Hazardous Materials (HazMat): A type of commodity, which is a substance or material that has been defined by the secretary of transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported.

Call to Notify: Needed if you require the LTL freight company to contact you to set up a delivery appointment.  Call to Notify is required on all residential deliveries.  Please note that including a Call to Notify will delay your delivery by one day.

Detention: This additional charge applies to carrier’s vehicles with power units that are delayed or detained on the premises of the consignee.  Free time to unload the shipment ranges from 30 minutes to 180 minutes, based upon the weight of the shipment.

Liftgate: A hydraulic or electric platform that installs onto the rear of a vehicle and which may be raised or lowered in the loading/unloading of heavy cargo.  This will be necessary if you do not have a dock for the truck to back up to and unload or if you do not have a forklift to unload the merchandise.

Liftgate service does not automatically designate the carrier to unload the freight. Carriers will transfer freight to the top of the liftgate or off of the trailer, at which that time delivery is complete. If equipment is used, consignee must unload freight. Carrier will not be liable for damage occurring during unloading after delivery is complete, even if Carrier’s driver unloads or assists with unloading.

Residential Delivery: A residential delivery is defined as delivery to a location that is a home, including a business operating out of a home.  If there is a residential area in the vicinity of your delivering address, LTL will consider the delivery residential.  If your shipment is going to a residential address, this will add at least one day to the estimated delivery time to allow for scheduling. Trucking companies typically provide a time estimate of 4 – 5 hours in which they will attempt to make the delivery.  Residential deliveries must be signed for.  Any deliveries which cannot be made due to no one being available for receipt will be charged a “Redelivery Fee”.  This fee varies across trucking companies.

Hand Unload: When a driver is requested or required to hand unload merchandise off the truck.

Limited Access: A limited access fee is an additional charge added to your freight bill based on the carrier’s discretion of extra service time needed to complete the delivery. Delivery location and setup are typically the deciding factor. Deliveries made to churches, schools, government buildings and storage facilities may incur this fee.

LTL Freight Quotes & Notifications

 LTL Freight Quotes

Winco Fireworks works with three LTL carriers – Saia, Old Dominion and XPO.  All LTL shipments, unless otherwise requested, will be quoted through all three carriers to ensure the customer receives the lowest freight rate possible.  There are times when it is beneficial to split the shipment into two shipments for extra savings.  If this occurs, you will be given the opportunity to make the decision to split the order.

Freight rates are determined by the following criteria:

  • Destination
  • Assessorials Requested/Required
  • Number of Pallets
  • Weight

Notifications: Your Order Has Shipped

When your order has shipped, you will receive an email from your salesperson reflecting the carrier and tracking information.

There will be an attachment to the email including the following important documents:

  • Winco Fireworks Shipment Inspection Policy: Review and keep for your records. If you need to file a claim, all policy rules must be followed in order to recoup requested funds.
  • Bill of Lading: Depicts all shipping information including tracking number.
  • Delivery List: Reflects information for product shipped.
  • Packing List: Reflects quantity shipped for each product and our substitutions.

Damage Claims

If the shipment appears to be damaged upon receipt, the driver must make a notation describing the damage on the actual Bill of Lading itself.  Do not sign the Bill of Lading upon delivery until you have thoroughly visually inspected your shipment for damage.

All damage claims must be made within 72 hours of receipt of your merchandise. Any notification delay may result in a loss to you. Winco is not responsible for damage or loss caused by the freight company, however we will work with you to help resolve the issue and file a claim on your behalf. The following criteria must be met in order for Winco to help file the claim:

  • A detailed description of the damage must be documented on the Bill of Lading
  • Bill of Lading must be signed by the driver
  • Pictures of damage must be submitted to Winco

Product Claims

Product Overage or Shortage Claims

All product discrepancies – overages or shortage claims must be made within 72 hours of receipt of your merchandise. Claims must be made through your Winco Fireworks sales representative.

If no claims are made within 72 hours, you will not be issued any form of credit.

Do not check your shipment for accuracy during the unloading process.  This could result in detention/demurrage charges and Winco Fireworks is NOT responsible for this additional charge. Customers will be billed for any additional charges incurred by delaying the delivery process.

Payment Terms

Understanding Payment Terms

Understanding how your fireworks will be delivered, freight options, pricing structure, claims and terminology is one aspect of the fireworks business. This basic information can help you feel more knowledgeable and confident about the freight process. Below are specific terms you will see on the Bill of Lading and Delivery Receipt.

  • Prepaid: The charges are paid by the shipper and billed on your order.
  • Collect: The charges are paid by the consignee (recipient of the freight).
  • Third Party: The charges are paid by someone other than the shipper or the consignee.

As previously noted, Winco Fireworks works with three LTL carriers – Saia, Old Dominion and XPO. We work hard to negotiate the best price and constantly reevaluate shipping options to meet demand for our customers.

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