Less Than Truckload (LTL) is a type of ground freight transportation that combines shipments from multiple customers. Businesses choose this budget-friendly option when the consumer demand for their products is average or stable.
LTL shipping is affordable for small business because you share the transportation costs with other companies, and use a third-party logistics (3PL) company. Each company takes up a portion of the truck for their goods and only pays according to the amount of product shipped and the length of travel.
LTL shipments often make several stops and unpack and re-pack goods. The shipment will take longer to reach the destination but you’ll save on shipping costs. An experienced transportation logistics company will work hard to save you money by matching your shipments with regular scheduled shipments heading to the same destination.
Full truckload (FTL) means you have enough product to fill a full truckload, or you have a partial load but prefer a dedicated truck. FTL is often chosen when businesses have 10 pallets or more to ship, when they have high risk packages, or when time is an issue since FTL is faster. Full truckload costs more than LTL, but it will get your shipment delivered faster and safer.
When deciding between LTL or FTL you will need to consider the size of your shipment, your shipping budget, how fast you need it delivered, and if it is delicate or temperature sensitive. FTL is best for shipments that are large, fragile, and/or need to reach a destination quickly.
As a very general guideline, shipments around 100 pounds to 10,000 pounds are usually shipped LTL. Shipments that exceed 10,000 often require a full truckload to ship out. Contact us now for an accurate quote along with our expert advice on the best option for your business.
Advantages of LTL
- Cost effective freight transportation
- Ideal for small businesses
- Safe, efficient and the usual mode of transportation majority of the time
- Much more cost friendly for shipments not requiring a full truck
- Ability to ship small shipments
- Cheaper for recurring shipments.
- Can offer discounts for companies using LTL shipments consistently.
The cost for LTL shipments depends on the distance, volume, weight, type of freight, and additional services such as internal pickup, refueling, and arrival notifications, besides the driver’s salary.
Advantages of FTL:
- Best way to transport large shipments
- Ideal for high risk or delicate freight shipments
- Shipment remains in the same truck from start to destination
- Considerably faster than LTL, good for high consumer demand
- The shipped goods never leave the unit until they arrive at destination, which keeps them safe.
- Faster because there are no transfers.
- More load capacity.
- Exclusive use of the unit, not subject to the needs of other companies sharing the space.
FTL rates usually include the complete rental fee of the unit, the distance, refueling, and the driver’s salary.
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