Picking the right service
Consolidated LTL and Hub and spoke LTL
Both are good, both serve their own purpose. Consolidated is feared slower and more expensive way of shipping on an LTL platform. I would agree if your shipping long distances it is. We ship consolidated in a small area roughly 80 mile radius and it works really well. You can really personalize the services. The shipper in most cases can cut down on crating, which saves time and money. The carrier can drive from pick up to destination in a short time and one truck can do multiple stops in one day effectively. Cutting down on hubs and cross-docks as well as damage, because the freight is handled minimally.
Hub and Spoke LTL is by far the most common and lets the carrier move long distances more effectively. The real problem comes in with the multiple movements the freight makes on its journey. From the great lakes to Florida for example is at least 3 if not 4 docks depending on carrier with 3-5 movements at each hub. When shipping anything that is sensitive you really open yourself up for damage, not if but when.