Sheet Metal Shipping: How to Choose Between LTL and FTL Freight Shipping?

Sheet Metal Shipping: How to Choose Between LTL and FTL Freight Shipping?

Shipping metal is a common freight shipment type. And while this good is frequently transported from one point to the next, there’s one question that continually stumps those interested in moving sheet metal - how do I choose between LTL and FTL shipping for sheet metal plates?

Shipping sheet metal plates don't have to be a daunting task, especially when working with the right team. Cowtown Express makes shipping sheet metal a breeze and is budget-friendly with expert logistics services. To help you prepare and feel confident in your next shipment of sheet metal, we are breaking down how to decide between FTL and LTL shipping, and all the important facts to know about shipping this freight. Let’s dive right in.

Important Things to Know About Shipping Metal Sheets

While the shipment of flexible metal sheets is a commonly completed task, there are a few things to know before embarking on this task.

When we talk about shipping sheet metal, we are referring to everything from flat sheets to coils to pre-fabricated gutters - offering quite a wide range of equipment to be shipped. Large aluminum sheet plates can be used for a vast range of projects, from flat roofs to barrel rods, domes, finials, conductor heads, and more.

With so many uses, it’s no wonder this material is so commonly shipped. And at Cowtown Express, we work diligently to offer an affordable price to ship a vast range of sheet metal types with incomparable service. To do this, we typically rely on LTL, or less than truckload, freight.

However, if you’re shipping sheet metal that is uniquely shaped or especially long, it may exceed the maximum length permitted by shippers for LTL shipments. In this case, we turn to full truckload freight shipping - a great way to transport larger goods safely. Not sure which is right for you? Cowtown Express will lead the way.

Choosing the Carrier for a Full Truckload Shipment

If your mild sheet steel or rolled tin sheet is particularly long, we will turn to full truckload shipments to carry your goods. Unlike other carriers that outsource their full truckload shipping and pair you with another company, our team at Cowtown Express will handle it ourselves.

With extensive experience with full truckload shipping, we excel in shipping uniquely shaped and sized goods across the country. Whether your goods require a flatbed, step deck, or RGN to ship your sheet metal plates, our experts will guide you through the process to select the best shipping method as your trusted carrier.

Getting Sheet Metal Ready for the LTL Shipping

flexible metal sheets

If your sheet metal fits within the LTL shipping dimensions, it’s time to consider how to prepare it for the journey.

With LTL shipping, you can save money due to the fact that your shipment will share a truckload with other shipments. However, since your metal will be in a truck with other goods, you must package it properly to ensure it doesn’t incur any damage in the process.

Over the years, we have noticed that more decorative, delicate sheet metal shipments are more likely to be dented by other objects in the truck. That being said, this is damage that we can easily avoid. To help keep your flexible metal sheets in the best shape, wrap and crate them for the best protection.

Comparing the Sheet Metal Freight Shipping Costs

There’s a reason Cowtown Express is one of the most respected freight carriers in the industry. Handling everything from rolled tin sheet metal to distressed sheet metal, Cowtown Express has experience shipping it all. And while we know just how to transport your goods safely, we also do so at an affordable rate - but this final cost depends on your unique goods.

For your sheet metal transportation quote, follow these steps to receive an online quote from our team.

  • Enter your name and your company name.
  • Share all relevant contact information so we can contact you.
  • Enter the freight type.
  • Select a pickup date, as well as a starting location, including both the city and zip code.
  • Lastly, enter the destination with both the city and zip code.

Shortly after submitting this information, a team member from Cowtown Express will contact you to review the details. Once this is all scheduled and you’ve received the bill of lading and all the paperwork, check it for accuracy and we will be ready to begin!


From shipping larger sheet metal plates to FTL shipping, to properly packaging and shipping flexible metal sheets using LTL, Cowtown Express is a trusted partner to handle it all.

Whether you’re still deciding which shipping method is best for you, or have questions about the packaging or shipping process, our team is here to help. For more information on shipping metal, contact us today at 817-398-5649.

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