FTL vs LTL Shipping

It is a difficult task to get a product where it needs to be at the best pricing. Given the variety of options offered, deciding which is best frequently depends on how much freight needs to be carried. This is particularly valid for shipment that involves less than and full truckloads. Here is a comparison of these two services, along with instances in which choosing one over the other is preferable.

Full truckload (FTL) shipping comes first. The most widespread mode of transportation is FTL, also known to as OTR (over the road). In reality, a 2019 government report found that FTL shipping made up 46.4% of the U.S. transportation sector and LTL made up 11.3%. Even if the entire space is not needed, the FTL shipping technique simply loads one shipper’s freight onto the hauler. Although open deck and refrigerated trailers are also frequently used, dry van trailers are the main transporter.

Companies typically choose FTL when the cargo is large enough to fill it as the client is paying for the entire space. FTL is suggested for fragile or dangerous shipments because there is less chance of harm. With high-value commodities, it is also thought to be the preferable option, particularly when utilizing a dedicated vehicle would be more expensive. Companies also choose FTL for time-sensitive shipments because it is often much faster than LTL.

This gets us to shipping of less than a truckload. This type of transportation, also known as LTL, can be compared to a ride-sharing arrangement because it transports shipments from many businesses using the same carrier. The transporter could be a train, a railway car, a semi-truck pulling a mixed trailer, or even a train. It is important to make multiple stops in order to load and unload goods because the freight it transports can come from a variety of shippers, customers, or consignees.

When freight simply needs one to a few pallets, LTL is frequently the best option for smaller firms. Consolidating merchandise with shipments from other businesses using LTL might possibly result in significant cost savings when done through a partner network. However, because the contents of the carrier may be moved more frequently than they would if they were only delivered as a whole, there is an increased danger of freight damage.

The FTL and LTL shipping services market is anticipated to be valued at $19.91 billion by 2028, demonstrating the considerable money that the U.S. trucking industry generates. In order to make better informed and cost-effective selections, firms should consult experts with experience in the sector when determining which shipping method provides the best value.

Please refer to the attached infographic for more details on FTL and LTL shipping.

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