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There are a lot of options when it comes to deciding between less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping and full truckload (FTL) shipping. Factors like freight dimensions, freight classification, and special services are all things to consider when choosing a shipping method. The following outlines some of the fundamental differences between FTL vs. LTL freight…

What are (LTL) adn (FTL)?

Less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) freight shipping may appear to be similar but they are two very different shipping services. Many shippers exclusively use one or the other, but they can be used together. The transport of freight that does not require the entire space of a truck is also known as less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, whereas full truckload (FTL) shipments take up the space or weight limit of an entire trailer. Your specific freight requirement will make you decide which option is best suited for your freight.

Less-than-truckload (LTL)

Less-than-truckload, also known as or less-than-load (LTL), is a shipping service for relatively small loads or quantities of freight. Less-than-truckload services are offered by many large, national parcel services as well as by specialized logistics providers. These services can accommodate the shipping needs of countless businesses that need to move smaller batches of goods frequently. Less-than-truckload shippers offer economies of scale so that freight costs of individual shipments are minimized. LTL shipping allows multiple shippers to share space on the same truck. It is the more cost-efficient option of the two with multiple companies paying for their portion of trailer space. LTL is also ideal for businesses that have freight shipments of less than 15,000 pounds. LTL takes longer to plan, to organize, and to prepare goods for shipping, and of course, the shipment may take longer to arrive since the truck has to be filled before it leaves, and may not take a direct route to a particular destination. Depending on how many stops or transfers there are, LTL may involve more handling of goods, so to protect items while in transit, it is essential to consolidate goods into large crated or palatalized packages. It is important to prepare the shipment to endure handling during transfer.

Full Truckload (FTL)

Full truckload, commonly referred to as (FTL), is a type of shipping whereby a truck carries one dedicated shipment. In other words, the journey is reserved for one shipment only. FTL trucking has several advantages over the alternative trucking shipment mode, (LTL) or less than a full truckload shipment.

  • For shipments that are large enough to fill or nearly fill an entire shipping container, full truckloads work out cheaper.
  • Full truckloads are much less encumbered by size and weight restrictions.
  • TL shipments get to the destination sooner, as the truck is making no other pickups or drop-offs along the way.
  • TL transport means less handling (there is no transferring between trucks mid-transit), the shipment is likely to get lost or damaged

The chance of possible damage to items during transit also decreases since there is less handling of the freight at multiple stops. When the truckload weighs more than 15,000 pounds or has more than 10 pallets worth of goods it makes more sense to us an (FTL) truckload

Today FTL shipping companies and LTL carriers offer a lot of options to their customers, so it is important to do the research to find competitive quotes on both modes.

Contact Us (859) 824-4177 for more information or to get a quote!

About American Lighthouse Transportation

American Lighthouse Transportation has been serving shippers with honesty and integrity throughout the United States, since 1998. You can depend on our experienced and knowledgeable management team, drivers, and support for all your shipping needs. We communicate effectively to make sure your shipment arrives safely, accurately, and on-time! You can count on us for personalized customer service, expert guidance, accurate anticipation of potential setbacks, and possible workarounds and solutions.
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