What You Need to Know About LTL & FTL Shipments

July 05 2021

There are varieties of options that come with shipping freight and narrowing it down to the best option can often be confusing. There are many things to consider. These include shipment type, product sensitivity, price, freight size, weather pattern, fluctuating fuel cost, speed of delivery, and others. Optimizing strategies to control these factors is very important and can only be achieved by understanding the LTL and FTL shipments. They are the perfect solution for different situations, and it is essential to know the differences between both modes, especially if you are new to the trucking business. Read on as Deol Freight Lines discuss what you need to know about LTL and FTL shipment to help you determine which shipping method is the best fit for you.

What are LTL and FTL shipment?
Less than truckload (LTL) refers to the shipment of freight of different companies on a single truck. This type of shipment is ideal for shipping less than 12 pallets or freight that weighs less than 15,000 pounds. LTL shipment is the best option for companies that want to transport small freight. With multiple shipments on board, LTL freight shipments often take a longer time to reach their destinations.

Full truckload (FTL) refers to the shipment of freight exclusive to one company and requires taking up the whole truck. FTL shipment provides you with exclusivity, which means you do not have to worry about your goods stuck with other products or delivery delays.

 Similarities between LTL and FTL shipment
Although LTL and FTL are different modes of freight transportation, they have several characteristics in common. Their similarities include:

  • They both transport freight on the road, but LTL carriers capitalize on an intermodal rail to move your shipment in rare cases.
  • They both use class 8 semi-trucks that require a professional driver who has a commercial license.
  • They both ship primarily palletized freight.

Difference between LTL and FTL shipment
The main difference between LTL and FTL shipments are categorized into the following:

Freight size
LTL shipments are for transporting freight that ranges between 100 to 5,000 pounds. On the other hand, FTL shipments often weigh above 20,000 pounds. Additionally, freights that weigh between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds are also transported with LTL or FTL. The shipments are called “volume LTL shipments” when transported by LTL and “partial FTL shipments” when transported by FTL.

Transportation price
LTL shipments leave room for other shipments, and they are cheaper because you will only pay for the space you use. FTL shipments cost more because they use the entire truck and pay for the whole truck. The decision between choosing an FTL or LTL is essential because making the wrong decision can cause harm to your freight.

Delivery time
LTL shipments involve more than one shipment. Therefore, they require multiple stops and transfers before they reach their destination. FTL shipments, on the other hand, pick up and deliver the same freight. These lead to a quicker delivery time.

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