FTL and LTL shipping: What is the difference between 3PL transport services?

The stability of the supply chain and customer satisfaction with the delivery quality and speed primarily depend on the streamlined logistics system. However, not every company is able to develop its own transport infrastructure on its own. FTL and LTL shipping is a solution that will both prevent additional costs and increase delivery speed.

What is FTL and LTL shipping?

FTL or Full Truck Load means loading a vehicle up to the maximum permissible weight. This transportation mode is usually used to deliver freight only from one customer. LTL stands for Less Than Truck Load. Literally, it means that a vehicle is loaded not in full. This transportation mode implies loading transport with small consignments of goods from different customers.

The difference between FTL and LTL shipping

FTL is based on the preliminary development of the optimal route for the delivery of goods to the right place. Efficiency is one of the advantages of this transportation mode. The vehicle is loaded once and drives to the end consumer without stopping.

Choosing LTL shipping, the customer rents only a portion of the vehicle, not the entire vehicle. Its main advantage is economic feasibility. This is due to the fact that the transport rental is shared among all customers. Delivery takes place to a temporary storage facility, where the goods can be picked up or additionally delivered to the end consumer.

Advantages of FTL shipping

The advantages of FTL transport are as follows:

  1. Convenient transportation of specific cargo. If the cargo has atypical dimensions or is not too safe for conventional transportation, shipping the entire consignment in one trip will be more appropriate.
  2. Short delivery time. The FTL scheme does not involve additional loading of the body, hence cargo will arrive faster.
  3. Possibility of optimal transport selection. Outsourced logistics companies make it possible to select a vehicle for delivery according to the required list of characteristics.

FTL is best suited for companies that constantly deal with large volumes of the same goods.

Advantages of LTL shipping

LTL shipping has the following advantages:

  1. All transport issues are resolved by the logistics company. The customer does not need to choose the transport and unloading operations on his own, but only specifies the type of cargo and its dimensions.
  2. Possibility to choose the most suitable delivery option. The cargo can be sent either to a temporary storage facility or directly to the end recipient.
  3. Cost reduction. The cost of transportation will be significantly lower, since the transportation mode implies the rental of space in the body, rather than the entire vehicle.

Today, a large number of companies are opting for LTL shipping precisely to optimise their budgets.

What to choose between FTL and LTL shipping

There is a stereotype that FTL shipping is the prerogative of large companies, while LTL is only suitable for businesses that handle small shipments. This is not entirely true. Each option has its own peculiarities, and each individual delivery may have its own specifics. In any case, when ordering freight shipping, the services of only proven and experienced logistics organisations should be used.



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