LTL and truckload are two different types of shipping services with a common goal: helping you get your cargo to its destination safe and sound. Read our blog to learn more about LTL vs. truckload to see which one might be right for your business.
What is LTL?
LTL stands for less than truckload and is a popular form of shipping in the United States and abroad. LTL is popular amongst businesses that do not have as significant amount of cargo as would require a full truckload shipment, which is why it is called LTL or less than truckload. It is also seen as a consolidated form of freight and can offer a more cost effective alternative to other options but part of the reason it is cost effective is because you are sharing cargo space with other businesses/clients, complicating and often elongating the shipping process as a whole.
Within LTL shipping, there is consolidated air ride and common carrier, more specific types of LTL that will give you exactly what your cargo needs. LTL shipments can include dry vans and flatbeds as well as sprinters and straight trucks so your shipment will not be restricted in any way by your equipment needs if you opt for LTL.
What is Truckload?
Truckload, also referred to as Full Truckload Shipping or FTL, is the shipping process for one client/business on one truck. Truckload shipments are typically very straightforward, as they almost always just move cargo from point A to B.
Because you are the only client in this type of shipment, it is associated with higher service levels, shorter transit times, and more equipment options including dry van, flatbed, step deck, double drop, landoll trailer, RGN, lowboy, extendable flatbed and super loads. Truckload shipments are used across all industries across the contingent 48 states and Alaska.
LTL vs. Truckload- Differences
Benefits of LTL
LTL is a great option for many small businesses, as they don’t have enough cargo on a frequent basis to fill a truck. This way, they can save some money distributing their cargo as needed without needed to reach a certain threshold until their shipment can go out. Shipping with LTL will allow you to free up storage space in your facility, getting products out the door when they are ready to be sent, freeing up warehousing costs for you and your team (why pay for space you don’t need?!).
LTL is typically going to be your most cost effective option. If you are not in a major time crunch to get your cargo to its destination, LTL can be the most affordable way to get your goods where they need to go while improving your bottom line. Finally, for the environmentally conscious businesses, LTL is the most green form of shipping so you can rest easy knowing you made a great decision for your business while also making a good choice for the environment.
Truckload is often the best choice for high value, time sensitive, high volume and/or higher level of service. For those customers who don’t have flexibility in the delivery time, truckload is the best way to ensure your cargo gets to its destination with time to spare.
Truckload is also a popular shipping method for many business owners because they the benefit of get dedicated services while minimizing overall risk. Risk is an inevitable part of moving any cargo but with truckload, there will be far less hands on your cargo and less moving around, minimizing any potential issues. Finally, truckload will give you the most equipment options to choose from so you can really have the exact type of shipment you want in most cases.
Which is Better for Me?
This is a tough question to answer! The best way to find the answer for you is to speak with a trusted logistics manager about the needs of your shipment. Contact us today for a free consultation on your next shipment and we’ll be happy to advise on which shipment type is best for you!