What Is The Difference Between LTL and FTL? |

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What Is The Difference Between LTL and FTL?

In front of you is a shipment eagerly awaiting delivery to a lucky customer. One obstacle stands in your way as you ask yourself, “Do I ship Less Than Truckload or Full Truckload?!” Every decision you make while getting your products from point A to point B is an important one in determining your business’ success. This step in the process breaks down into only two options – phew!

LTL Shipping Defined

When using ground freight services as your mode of shipping, Less Than Truckload is the option that caters to smaller volumes, meaning your product will not fill an entire truck on its own. Along with your shipment, a truckload capacity is filled by a variety of customer’s smaller shipments. Essentially, you are sharing the mode of transportation, and in addition, sharing the cost! LTL proves to be a budget-friendly option due to the nature of sharing: rather than pay for unused space, you pay only for the area that your products require, and travel time.

Naturally, choosing LTL as your shipment option can pose several concerns. Sharing a truck means an amalgam of products with different destinations. Delivery times therefore take a hit, in comparison to FTL. LTL freights make multiple stops and experience any number of unpacks and repacks. In addition to extended delivery times, the rearrangement of cargo could mean an unhappy fate for any sensitive or fragile products. If your products can withstand the test of repetitive handling and your delivery times are flexible, then LTL is an option that will leave your accountant smiling.

What about FTL Shipping?

The spoiled cousin of LTL — Full Truckload means that a freight is contracted to one person at a time. The decision to ship FTL could be made for several reasons. Either you have enough product to fill an entire truck, a tight timeline, or you are taking preemptive measures to ensuring the safety of your fragile and high risk products. This option follows a direct route from point A to point B since it is only your product, with one destination. Forget about unpacks and repacks! FTL will get your shipment to wherever it is headed faster than LTL – that is for sure.

Is it worth it to pay more for FTL? I don’t want my products to be damaged.

Any business ensuring their customers safe and speedy delivery of their products is expected to have this concern. Both LTL and FTL are fine options for shipping, and it comes down to your businesses needs and preferences. Different cycles in your business’ year may require LTL vs FTL and vice-versa. While FTL may provide you peace of mind, if it isn’t possible based on your budget, then go for LTL. Do your research on different carriers and make an educated decision on the provider you choose.