What Is Best For You LTL Or FTL?

Written by Business magazine. Posted in Freight carriers, Machinery transport, Overweight freight

What is the big deal between Less Than Truckload and Full Truck Load? What is the difference? First off, it is best to define the two.

Less Than Truckload, or alternatively known as LTL, is when only a portion of the freight is bought for shipping. The rest of the trailer is then filled with other products from other companies. Are you shipping something that only needs a quarter of the trailer? Then, generally speaking, you would pay for only the fourth of the trailer.

Full Truck Load, or alternatively known as FTL or truckload freight, is when an entire trailer is bought and used for just your product alone. Rather than break a shipment up into several different trailers, your product can be ship in a single one if it fits.

Less Than Truckload is great if you are just shipping small quantities of a product. This can certainly be an alluring option for smaller businesses that might take a hit, rather than a gain, if they opted for a truckload freight. Having to pay for only a portion of the trailer, again, offers companies the opportunity to save a bit of money if the entire trailer does not need to be utilize. LTL shipping does have its drawbacks though. Typically, LTL shipping services can take a little longer than truckload shipping. When LTL is chosen, your product is being shipped with other products from other companies. In other words, the truckload is making several stops before finally reaching your desired destination. However, with LTL comes the options for additional shipping services like an expedited shipping service. This option comes with an additional fee, but does offset the slight downgrade in travel time. The LTL market is reaching for $35 billion.

Truckload freights, or FTL, is great for companies that can take advantage of an entire trailer. Unlike LTL, truckload freights only have a single stop and that is your desired location. Also unlike LTL, truckload freight arrives, hopefully, on time and the trailer is not split between several different companies.

Regardless of your choice, you are contributing to a booming industry. Nearly 12 million transportation vehicles of various forms are currently at work within a network, dropping off products before turning around to do it all over again. In 2007, the average worth for every ton of product was sitting at $882 and that value is rising, according to the United States Department of Transportation. They have also estimated that value to increase up to $1,377 by 2040. Many of those goods shipped are machinery, electronics and motorized vehicles, that also just so happen to be the most valuable goods in the United States. The United States e-commerce revenue has been reaching new peaks, recently sitting at $423.3 billion. The retail industry is changing and options like truckload freight, LTL, parcel or carriers are changing with it.

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