Understanding the Difference between FTL and LTL Shipping

GlobalTranz pic
Image: GlobalTranz.com

A freight management company, GlobalTranz serves more than 25,000 shipping clients from its base of operations in Phoenix, Arizona. To meet the diverse needs of its client base, GlobalTranz offers both full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) shipping options. Shippers should understand these two key transportation industry terms and know when to use each alternative.

Typically, FTL is the best choice for large, heavy shipments that weigh more than 10,000 pounds. However, shippers should know that there are two types of FTLs: full truckload, which fills up an entire truck, and partial truckload, which nearly fills up a truck. Shippers may find it economical to consolidate several shipments to create a single FTL load.

When FTL is not a viable choice, shippers should use an LTL shipment approach. Best for shipments weighing between 150 and 10,000 pounds, LTL combines freight from multiple shippers into a single load. While this approach allows shippers to ship items more quickly since they do not have to wait to accumulate enough goods to fill a truck, shippers should know that carriers may unload and reload LTL shipments on several trucks during transport.

In most cases, weight is the determining factor in selecting between LTL and FTL shipping alternatives. For freight weighing less than 50 pounds, shippers can use standard ground shipping.

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