LTL and FTL Shipping: Which is best for you?
by Murray Phillips, 6 April 2021
Freight can be shipped as Less Than Truckload (LTL) or Full Truck Load (FTL). People sometimes confuse these terms, and it helps to understand them when you’re making business decisions.
Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping
When what you’re sending is too large for the mail, but it’s too small to fill a whole truck, it’s called a ‘less than truckload’ shipment, or LTL. These loads leave a lot of wasted space in trucks. Carriers don’t like shipping small loads ‘empty miles’. It’s not cost effective, so they’ll often ship several LTL shipments together. It’s environmentally and economically savvy — for both the carriers and the shippers, who benefit from consolidating their freight with loads from other companies. They only pay for the weight of their goods and the space they take up in the truck. It also helps them keep warehouse stocks at manageable levels.
Full Truckload (FTL) Shipping
This is usually the most economical and fastest choice if the shipper has enough freight to fill a truck. It means fewer stops and less likelihood of freight being damaged. Delivery times are better, because the whole thing is more straight-forward.
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