What Is A Straight Truck And What Are It's Advantages
Updated: Apr 21
Choosing the best shipping method for your goods and needs can make a significant difference in terms of costs, speed, and the safety of your product, all of which we know is important to you and your business. Here we will help you understand the when and why to choose straight trucks over LTL shipping for your shipping needs.
What is a Straight Truck
A straight truck is a single cab and body vehicle, as opposed to tractor-trailers that have a cab that can separate from the trailer. Straight trucks are generally one-half the size and capacity of a tractor-trailer, ranging from 16 to 26 feet. They are most commonly used for local deliveries, as they can easily navigate through narrow streets and make deliveries to businesses that have limited space for loading and unloading. While there are different types of straight trucks, most straight trucks have become commonly referred to as box trucks, cube trucks, U-Hauls, & cube vans.
Benefits of Straight Truck Shipping
Isolation and Safety of Goods: One of the major advantages of using a straight truck for your shipping needs is that they often have dedicated loads. This means that the entire vehicle is loaded with one shipment, reducing the chance of damage, mix-ups, or loss. This is because goods are not being loaded and unloaded several times, unlike LTL (“less-than-truckload”) shipping where items from multiple shipping orders are consolidated to fill the truck's capacity. Thus, straight truck shipping can provide greater peace of mind for businesses shipping valuable or fragile goods.
Speed and Efficiency: Another advantage of using straight trucks for shipping is that they can be faster than LTL shipping. Since straight trucks ship direct from the source to the destination, there are no stops along the way to pick up or drop off other shipments. This can result in faster delivery times and a more reliable shipping experience. For time-sensitive shipments, using a straight truck is often the best option.
Price: Cost is always a consideration for businesses when it comes to shipping. Depending on the size of the shipment, using straight trucks can actually be more cost-effective than LTL shipping. One of the advantages of LTL shipping should be a reduction in cost for the shipper, since the load is being shared and therefore the cost of transportation theoretically split by multiple shippers. However, LTL charges are typically calculated based on the weight and volume of the shipment as well as the distance it will be transported. Since the distance for LTL shipping is often further, including additional drop-offs and pick-ups for the additional items, it can actually increase or even out with straight truck costs. So, for smaller shipments, the cost of using a straight truck may be less than LTL shipping since they are charged based on distance alone.
Flexibility: Using a straight truck for shipping can also provide greater flexibility for businesses. Since straight trucks are smaller than tractor-trailers, they can often access areas that larger vehicles cannot. It can be easier to schedule a pickup for a specific time that works best for the shipper using a dedicated straight truck vs an LTL carrier that is coordinating multiple pickups and shipping schedules. This can be particularly advantageous for businesses located in urban areas or areas with narrow streets. Straight trucks can also be more easily maneuvered and parked, making them ideal for deliveries to businesses with limited space for loading and unloading.
How to Decide?
When it comes to choosing the right shipping method for your business, it's essential to consider the specific needs of each of your shipments. For smaller shipments, using a straight truck can be the most cost-effective option that also ensures that goods arrive at the destination safely, quickly, at a lower cost, and with fewer variables along the way. For larger shipments, using a straight truck can still offer benefits such as dedicated loads and greater flexibility, while also taking advantage of the economy of scale.
It's no wonder that more and more businesses are turning to straight trucks for their shipping needs. However, it's important to keep in mind that each business and shipment is unique, and the best shipping option may vary depending on the circumstances. It's always a good idea to work with a trusted shipping provider who can help you determine the best solution for your specific needs.