Differences Between LTL and FTL Freight Shipping

Amongst the many modes of transportation, LTL and FTL freight shipping have both proven to be useful and efficient. Less-than-truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) are sportingly named as they are intended to be applied. The one you choose will have to depend on a few variables that ultimately suit your needs. In order to pick the right transportation method, it’s important to have the differences between the two completely laid out.

What is FTL and LTL?

FTL is referred to a truck trailer that is used for larger shipments. The entire truck container is used up, so only you have access to it. This feature allows you to reserve the truck at its full capacity. However, you are not required to fill it up completely if you do not desire to. Your products are safe with only your own products. You do not have to share with anyone or worry about your goods being tied to anyone else’s goods.

On the other hand, LTL means less than truckload. In this type of truck, you share storage space with other companies. Your freight is home to a section of the truck’s container while the other space is given to other shipper’s freight. One container combines the products of different companies to reach the full capacity. This option is usually for those that have a limited amount of pallets that need to be transported at a given time. Many small businesses benefit from this kind of shipping.

LTL and FTL capable truck going down highway

The Key Differences

First, the biggest difference you will find between FTL and LTL is the amount of cost savings. When you ship only a few pallets at a time using the LTL option, you are using only a section of space which means you are spending less. When you choose full truckload, you are paying for the full container of the truck whether you are using it all or not. So if seen in the perspective of space the content is using, you are paying quite a bit of money on each shipment.

Another big difference between the two shipping methods is the amount of time it takes within transit. LTL carriers must be as efficient as possible to fill up their truck and transport the truck in a timely fashion. In a full truckload, a carrier has to pick up the one freight container and deliver it to one final destination. Less than truckload has to make multiple stops to pick up the pallets of an order and then deliver them each one by one. This process certainly adds time to the overall shipping operation. The delivery date then could vary and requires a certain amount of flexibility.

Finally, when you deal with LTL shipments, you products are subject to be exposed more often before reaching its destination. The products could be unloaded and loaded onto the truck multiple times, which means there is more handling of the items. You could incur more damage in this process if the products are fragile. In contrast, FTL shipments are loaded once and sealed until it’s delivery.

If you are currently looking for a LTL or FTL shipping partner, then Becker Logistics may be the right fit. We have been in the industry for over 26 years and have built relations with over 70,000 carriers. You can view our contact information by clicking here. Get started today by requesting a quote, you won’t regret you did! 

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