July 9, 2021 - By :

Less Than Truckload (LTL): What Is It?

Less than truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) shipping offer different benefits. For many shippers, it’s a difficult choice when you don’t know much about either. When it comes to freight shipping, it’s important to weigh many factors.  With an assessment of your options, you have a guide towards the best method for your needs. This ranges from the dimensions and classification of your cargo to any special services you require. Below, we outline some of the fundamental differences. Read on to book with confidence.

The Difference Between LTL and FTL

Full truckload and less than truckload are both great choices. Oftentimes, the transport of freight simply does not require the full space of a truck. In this case, we refer to this as LTL shipping.  On the other hand, FTL shipments take up either the full space or weight limit of a trailer. What you choose depends on the specific requirements of your freight.  Often, these specifications guide your decision.  

A Closer Examination of LTL Shipping

Less than truckload shipping allows multiple businesses to share space on a single truck. Oftentimes, this makes it a more cost-effective model. Since multiple companies pay for a portion of the space, there’s no requirement to spend on an entire trailer.  Typically, this is the ideal solution when a business needs to ship cargo under 15,000 pounds. However, protecting the freight requires an organized truck. Specifically, it’s essential to consolidate your goods into crated or palleted packages.  With adequate preparation, your shipment endures handling during transfers between trailers. As such, it arrives at the destination in good condition. 

What About FTL Shipping?

When LTL shipping does not meet your shipping needs, full truckload shipping is your best option. Oftentimes, businesses utilize this model in specific situations. 
  • The shipment fills the entire trailer. 
  • Their freight is time-sensitive. 
  • The client prefers a dedicated vehicle for their shipment. 
  • The freight hits a weight limit that makes FTL more cost-effective. 
With FTL shipping, cargo travels on a single trailer directly to the destination. As such, the delivery time is more accurate and expedient. Moreover, the potential for damage to cargo decreases drastically. This is because the direct shipment requires less handling. 

Less Than Truckload or FTL?

There are pros and cons to both methods. Typically, one option better suits your needs based on your cargo. When you need to determine what option is best for you, trust in the logistics company Houston relies on.