FTL or LTL Shipments. What are they and how are they different?
If you’re shipping domestically, truck shipping is one of your best options to get your cargo to its destination both economically and quickly. But what type of truckload shipment you go with will depend on a lot of factors that impact the price, such as the type of shipment, size, speed, and product. It can be a complicated process, so today let’s break down the difference between the two shipment types and give you everything you need to know to start shipping. There are two dominant types of shipping used in the trucking business: full truckload – FTL, and less than truckload – LTL shipments. Both work well to get your shipment from A to B.
Less Than Truckload – LTL Shipping
As the name implies, less than truckload (LTL) shipping is used for orders that are too big to fall into the “small package” category, but not so big that the shipment takes up an entire truck’s worth of space. Less than truckload shipments typically are less than 10,000 lbs in size.
If you ship an LTL shipment, you’re paying for the amount of space on the truck that your order takes up; the rest of the truck is occupied by other packages from other businesses. This will typically be a more cost effective shipping method for certain businesses because you are sharing the cost of the overall truck shipment with the other businesses.
The additional shipments mean that LTL is slower than full truckload shipping, because every order in the truck needs to be delivered to different stops. There are sometimes transfers between trucks, which increases the risk of damage. But if your shipment is compact, low volume, and sturdy, LTL shipment is a great option that should be more cost-effective. But if your product has a short shelf-life or is very fragile, this might not be an ideal option.
Full Truckload – FTL Shipping
A full truckload shipment takes up an entire truck, typically ten or more palettes at one time. When you go with full truckload shipping (FTL), your shipment has the entire truck to itself. The shipment stays on the same truck for the entire delivery process, so there are no transfers or other stops for multiple delivery destinations. This means there’s less risk of damage or loss, making it a great option for sensitive cargo.
As you’d expect, FTL is great for large volume orders, but it’s also ideal for high-risk or time-sensitive orders that need prompt delivery. Sometimes businesses with smaller, fragile orders will choose FTL shipping just for the reduced damage risk, even if they can’t fill the whole truck.
When you’re making a decision about which type of shipment to use for your cargo, remember that each situation is different. Many businesses use both delivery methods to move their shipments around the country, so consider your budget, shipment type, and speed when picking the best option for you.
If you’re looking for a partner in the freight business, NEDRAC has the expertise to give you a great experience at the best price. We ship throughout the entire United States and offer both full truckload and less than truckload shipping to serve you. Contact us by calling us at (800) 366-1204 emailing us at email@example.com. We look forward to serving you.