At Elder Logistics, we are continuously evolving and offering new services to our customers. We provide custom transportation solutions ranging from cartage, dedicated fleet, pool distribution, expedited same-day delivery, truckload, flatbed, cross-dock, and specialized furniture delivery.

In today’s post, we’ll be looking to answer the following question:

What are the differences between LTL Expedited, Time Critical, and Hotshot Deliveries?

At the heart of things, LTL expedited deliveries are freight loads delivered from point A to point B in a one or two-day window. 

Time-critical delivery services are guaranteed last-minute deliveries or freight loads planned ahead of schedule to arrive on a specific date at their desired destination. 

On the other hand, Hotshot delivery services usually involve a midsize duty truck with a flatbed trailer attached to it. Hotshot deliveries are more time-sensitive and generally smaller than the other two services. They are loads that are often delivered to one or two customers or a single location.

With that stated, let’s look at the specific details that make LTL expedited, time-critical, and hotshot deliveries different from one another.

What Makes LTL Expedited Deliveries Different?

Unlike hotshot delivery services, LTL expedited delivery services are a special case of dedicated and usually large loads that need to reach their destination faster than the usual dropoff time frame. 

Also, unlike time-critical deliveries, LTL expedited services are usually more expensive, require more logistics, and are more complex in executing. LTL expedited is also for high-value products and special handling needs. But the tradeoff with LTL expedited deliveries is that they are premium and have high guarantees your load will reach its desired destination intact and with few errors. 

As an example, imagine you’re a customer ordering a book off of Amazon. You want that book to arrive at your desired destination quicker than average. So you choose the “Prime Delivery” option. As a customer, you know you’re paying a little more for that package to arrive on time. However, you also know that Amazon will get it delivered on the stated date it says the package will arrive. 

In essence, you would choose LTL expedited delivery services if you have a last-minute, huge inventory that also needs special handling. LTL expedited services can accomplish this in a tight time frame and still manage to keep your deliveries intact.

How Do Time Critical Deliveries Stand Out?

Time-critical delivery services are the option to choose if you have a last-minute delivery or even a delivery you know way ahead of schedule.

Time-critical deliveries, unlike LTL expedited or hotshot deliveries, are quicker but are not recommended for fragile or large loads of inventory. Moreover, if you manage to put in your order by a specific time frame (such as 9:00 am your local time), it could very well be delivered same-day.

However, suppose you know a month or so in advance that you’ll need a particular load to arrive at a specific location. In that case, time-critical deliveries can also serve as a guaranteed method to have your inventory delivered on schedule. 

Essentially, time-critical services are last-minute and smaller loads that need to be delivered, or they can be pre-scheduled loads that will arrive at the desired destination on time at the standard rate of transportation.

When Should You Use Hotshot Deliveries?

Hotshot delivery services are the go-to method for a single or a few small to medium-sized deliveries. As described in the opening of this blog post, hotshot deliveries usually involve a midsize duty truck with a flatbed trailer attached to it. 

Hotshot deliveries should be chosen whenever you have a local destination close to your shipment depot or if the product needs to arrive at the desired location before the end of the workday. In essence, hotshot deliveries are a more secure option if you want to minimize the touchpoints your delivery makes through the trip. Hotshot deliveries usually don’t need to go through checkpoints or rest stops as frequently as LTL expedited or time-critical deliveries.

Hotshot delivery services are excellent if you’re on a budget but need expedited delivery for a small or medium-sized load. Or if you know that you don’t want to go through the hassle of having your shipment go through various checkpoints, dropoffs, and delays. 

Well, what do you think? We here at Elder Logistics can help provide you with the best transportation services the industry has to offer at the moment. Our delivery services are incredibly flexible, and we work with you to get each detail right the first time.

Reach out to us here if you’d like to ask some questions or make an appointment to talk about your inventory delivery needs.