If you are just getting into the world of logistics, or if you have been here for a while, but have some doubts about the concepts, this article is for you.
The first thing you should know is that FTL, or Full Truckload, refers to shipping a full truckload that takes up all the space in a truck, while LTL, or Less Than Truckload, refers to shipping smaller shipments that do not fill all the space in a truck.
Both options have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the needs and budget of the shipping company. That’s why in this article, we’ll quickly explore the differences between FTL and LTL, their benefits and how to choose the right option for your company.
As we have already seen, the term FTL refers to the shipment of a cargo that occupies all the available space on a truck, either by weight or by volume.
In other words, the cargo fills the truck completely and is transported directly from the place of origin to the final destination, without intermediate stops for loading or unloading other shipments.
- Because there are no intermediate stops to load or unload other shipments, FTL can reach its final destination more than LTL.
- Since the cargo is not shared with other shipments, there is less chance of damage or theft.
- FTL freight is better suited to the specific needs of both the sending and receiving company.
- There is greater capacity to transport larger and heavier loads.
Do I need FTL?
Now that you know the advantages of this type of freight, you just need to decide if it is the right option for your company. FTL is a popular choice for companies that have large quantities of goods to transport or for those that need urgent, direct shipments.
You can choose FTL if:
- You need to ship more than 12 pallets at a time.
- Your goods are fragile
- When your delivery times must be precise
- When the delivery date is urgent
Now, LTL is used to denote the shipment of a load that does not fill all available space on a truck, meaning that the shipment is shared with other shipments on the same vehicle.
Each LTL shipment is identified with a unique tracking number and is loaded and unloaded several times during transport, which means that there may be intermediate stops before reaching the final destination.
- LTL shipments are more economical than FTL because the cost is shared among several shipments.
- For smaller loads that do not require the use of a full truckload, LTL shipping is more space efficient.
- With more scheduling and routing options, LTL allows for greater flexibility in scheduling shipments.
- By sharing transportation space with others, LTL shipping can be more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Do I need LTL?
LTL shipping is a frequent choice for companies that have smaller loads, as they need to save, since they can share the cost of transportation with others.
You can choose LTL if:
- You need to ship fewer than 12 pallets
- Your goods are not fragile
- There is flexibility in delivery times
- You need to save costs