What Is a Live Load in Trucking? Learn from McAllen Truckers

A Lean Cargo truck and trailer

When it comes to logistics, time efficiency and management are essential. If you want to optimize your supply chain and minimize lead times, you’ll need to know which type of trucking is right for your unique needs.

Trucking drop-off and loading processes come in two main types: drop-and-hook and live load trucking. Below you can learn about the difference between these two types of trucking, the benefits and challenges of live load trucking, and how to determine which is right for you.

What Is a Live Load?

Live load trucking is when a trucker drops off a load at its destination and the same container stays attached to the truck while it is loaded or unloaded. When the truck leaves, it will leave with the same container it was originally attached to. Usually, truckers will stay nearby while their truck is being loaded or unloaded.

How Is Live Load Trucking Different from Drop-and-Hook

One of the easiest ways to understand live load trucking is to contrast it with drop-and-hook trucking. Drop-and-hook involves a truck dropping off one container and picking up another, rather than waiting for the first container to be loaded or unloaded. When the truck leaves the drop-off point, it will leave with a different container than the one it came in with. 

So, while live load trucking involves a trucker waiting while their container is loaded or unloaded, truckers involved in drop-and-hook trucking will drop off one container and usually leave as soon as possible afterward, making drop-and-hook less time consuming.

What Are the Advantages of Live Load Trucking?

Now that you’ve heard about drop-and-hook, you might be wondering why anyone would bother with live load trucking. Well, drop-and-hook comes with its own disadvantages, and there are a lot of unique advantages that come with live load shipping. Live load trucking has the following advantages:

  • No Shunting Truck Needed – A shunting truck is used to move spare containers from place to place in the storage lot for drop-and-hook trucking. With live load trucking, you won’t need a spare truck.
  • Space Saving – As we said above, drop-and-hook trucking relies on storing containers in parking lots, meaning live load trucking is great if you don’t have that kind of space.

What Are the Challenges of Live Load Trucking?

While live load trucking comes with unique advantages that make it the best solution for countless businesses across the country, it also comes with some challenges that you will need to account for. First, you will need to keep in mind the time it will take to load and unload the truck, as there may be associated fees for times above a certain limit. Live loads can also face delays as truckers wait for their containers to be loaded.

Is Live Load Trucking Right for Your Business?

The good news is that you don’t need to become an expert on trucking to figure out the best shipping method for your business. Instead, you can reach out to a McAllen logistics expert at Lean Cargo Transportation to determine the best transportation options for your needs. We can work with you to find a flexible solution to your shipping challenges.

Meet Your Transportation Needs with Lean Cargo Transportation

No matter which type of trucking will best fit your needs, Lean Cargo Transportation can help you find a solution. We offer top-in-class trucking services in McAllen and throughout the country to help our clients meet their transportation needs. 

If you’re looking for unbeatable customer service and a true dedication to excellence, you need Lean Cargo. Get in touch with our McAllen logistics team today to find a flexible plan to solve your trucking needs.


If you’re in need of exceptional transportation services in McAllen, reach out to Lean Cargo for a quote.

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