No matter the size of your business, logistics is an important arm of your day-to-day operation and helps you utilize your existing supply chain more efficiently. At the same time, efficient logistics and transportation can also help you cut costs and avoid wastage of material and time.
Although there are various modes of transportation available, trucking, especially in the USA, is the most dominant form of transport available. With over $650 million in revenue and more than 3 million trucks on the roads, trucking not only helps connect different American states together but also provides a steady boost to the economy.
What do LTL and FTL mean in the transportation industry? And which one should you choose when you’re shipping your products? If you’re transporting large shipments weighing over 100 pounds then you need to start looking for a transportation and logistics company to save on shipping costs. We’ve outlined the 2 different ground freight options available and defined which one is best for your shipping needs.
What is Less than Truckload Shipping (LTL)?
LTL is a type of ground freight transportation that combines shipments from multiple customers. Businesses choose this budget-friendly option when the consumer demand for their products is average or stable. Less than truckload shipping is affordable for small business because you share the transportation costs with other companies, and use a third-party logistics (3PL) company. Each company takes up a portion of the truck for their goods and only pays according to the amount of product shipped and the length of travel.
LTL shipments often make several stops and unpack and re-pack goods. The shipment will take longer to reach the destination but you’ll save on shipping costs. An experienced transportation logistics company will work hard to save you money by matching your shipments with regularly scheduled shipments heading to the same destination.
Advantages of LTL:
- Cost effective freight transportation
- Ideal for small businesses
What is Full Truckload Shipping (FTL)?
Full truckload can mean 2 things; either you have enough products to fill a full truckload, or you have a partial load but you prefer a dedicated truck. Full truckload is often chosen when businesses have 10 pallets or more to ship, when they have high-risk packages, or when the time is an issue (FTL is faster).
Full truckload costs more than LTL, but it will get your shipment delivered faster—At JBT, we’re proud to point out that our FTL pickup and delivery arrives on schedule 99% of the time!
Advantages of FTL:
- Best way to transport large shipments
- Ideal for high risk or delicate freight shipments
- Shipment remains in the same truck from point A to point B
- Considerably faster than LTL; great for high consumer demand
When Should I Choose FTL or LTL?
When selecting to ship a truckload or less than truckload you will, need to consider these things: the size of your shipment, your shipping budget, how fast you need it delivered, and how delicate your shipment is (is it easily damaged? Or is it temperature sensitive?) If the shipment is large, fragile, and it needs to reach a destination quickly, then FTL is the way to go.
What about the weight of your shipment? Shipments around 100 pounds to 10,000 pounds are usually shipped LTL. Shipments that exceed 10,000 often require a full truckload to ship out. R&S EXpress can give you fast and accurate quotes when you have your wants, needs, and product specs defined.