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Full Truckload (FTL) vs. Less than Truckload (LTL) Shipping: A Comprehensive ComparisonIn the world of freight and logistics, the choice between Full Truckload (FTL) and Less than Truckload (LTL) shipping can significantly impact the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your transportation needs. FTL and LTL are two of the most common methods for shipping goods, each with its own set of advantages and ideal use cases. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of both FTL and LTL shipping, providing you with valuable insights to make informed decisions for your freight shipments.
Understanding Full Truckload (FTL) Shipping
What is FTL Shipping?Full Truckload (FTL) shipping, as the name suggests, involves the transportation of goods that fill an entire truck trailer. In this mode of shipping, the entire trailer is dedicated to a single shipper, customer, or consignee. FTL shipments are typically used for:
- **Heavier Freight**: FTL is the go-to option for heavy shipments that require the full capacity of a truck, often exceeding 15,000 pounds.
- **Time-Sensitive Shipments**: When time is of the essence, FTL provides the advantage of faster transit as the goods are not delayed by multiple stops.
Benefits of FTL Shipping
1. Speed and EfficiencyOne of the primary advantages of FTL shipping is its speed and efficiency. Since the entire trailer is dedicated to your shipment, it moves directly from the pickup location to the destination, minimizing handling and potential delays.
2. Reduced Risk of DamageWith FTL, your goods are less susceptible to damage. There is no mixing of cargo from different shippers, reducing the risk of in-transit damage significantly.
3. Precise SchedulingFTL allows for precise scheduling, making it suitable for time-sensitive deliveries. Shippers have greater control over pickup and delivery times.
Is FTL Right for Your Business?FTL is the preferred choice for businesses with substantial freight volumes or shipments that require special handling due to their size, fragility, or value. It offers reliability, speed, and reduced risk, making it an ideal option for meeting strict delivery deadlines.
What is LTL Shipping?Less than Truckload (LTL) shipping, on the other hand, consolidates shipments from multiple shippers into a single truck. Each shipper's freight is assigned a portion of the trailer's space, with the unused space often utilized by other shippers. LTL shipments are typically chosen for:
- **Smaller Shipments**: LTL is the economical choice when shipping goods that do not fill an entire trailer and weigh less than 15,000 pounds.
- **Cost Efficiency**: Sharing truck space with other shippers results in cost savings, especially for smaller businesses.
Advantages of LTL Shipping
1. Cost SavingsLTL is cost-effective for smaller shipments since you only pay for the space you use. This cost-sharing model makes it budget-friendly for businesses of all sizes.
2. Environmental ImpactBy consolidating shipments, LTL can be more environmentally friendly, reducing the number of trucks on the road and carbon emissions.
3. Flexible OptionsLTL providers offer flexible pickup and delivery options, making it convenient for businesses with varying shipping needs.
Is LTL the Right Choice for Your Business?LTL shipping is ideal for businesses looking to optimize costs without sacrificing shipping reliability. It's a versatile option suitable for a wide range of industries and products, especially when volume and size don't necessitate a full truckload.
Commonalities between FTL and LTL ShippingWhile FTL and LTL have their unique features, they share several characteristics:
1. **Freight Transportation**: Both modes serve the primary purpose of moving freight from one point to another efficiently and reliably.
2. **Paperwork Requirements**: Whether you opt for FTL or LTL, you'll encounter similar paperwork requirements, including bills of lading, invoices, and shipping manifests.
3. **Carrier Selection**: In both cases, choosing the right carrier is crucial to ensure the safe and timely delivery of your goods. Evaluate carriers based on their experience, reputation, and service offerings.
4. **Tracking and Visibility**: Modern technology has improved tracking and visibility for both FTL and LTL shipments. Many carriers offer real-time tracking options to keep you informed about your cargo's status.
In conclusion, the choice between Full Truckload (FTL) and Less than Truckload (LTL) shipping hinges on your specific shipping needs. FTL is the go-to for larger, time-sensitive shipments, while LTL offers cost-efficiency for smaller loads. Understanding the differences and similarities between these two shipping methods is essential for optimizing your logistics and ensuring the successful transportation of your goods.
Trucking is what we do, we are one of Lexington, KY top trucking companies. If your look for a trucking company that’s not schneider trucking we should be the choice when searching for trucking companies near me or trucking company near me on Google.
ShipWithJason offers FTL (Full Truck Load) and LTL (Less Than truck Load) long haul trucking in Lexington, KY and out of Lexington, KY.
With so many flatbed trucking companies coming and going every year ShipWithJason (dba Action Transportation Inc) has been a leading flatbed trucking company In the industry.
ShipWithJason handles trucking for both small companies in Lexington, KY and large corporations in and out of Lexington, KY. So if you are looking for one of the industries top flatbed trucking companies we look forward to helping you transport your freight from Lexington, KY or too Lexington, KY.
ShipWithJason also offers Hotshot trucking in Lexington, KY and out of Lexington, KY. Besides hot shot trucking we also offer Van, Stepdeck and RGN trucking in Lexington, KY and out of Lexington, KY.
Flatbeds are extremely popular and are widely used because they exude a great sense of versatility. Generally, a flatbed is used to load freights on its tip, sides, and rear. With these capabilities, flatbeds have truly become the primary and leading assets of the trucking industry.
This kind of trailer has the capability to carry a maximum legal freight dimension and weight which are as follows:
Flatbed Trailers Maximum freight weight of 48,000 pounds. Flatbed Trailers Maximum freight dimensions: Maximum Flatbed Trailer Length- 48 ft – 53 ft Maximum Flatbed Trailer Width- 8.5 ft Maximum Legal Freight Height- 8.5 ft
Step Deck – Stepdeck Trailers are otherwise known as drop deck types and they are in fact a version of the flatbed trailer design that mainly consists of a bottom and top deck.
These trailers are specifically designed to carry and haul freights that cannot be carried or transported on a standard type of flatbed, which is usually due to height restrictions.
The maximum legal dimensions and weight for a Stepdeck – Step Deck Trailers are as follows: Stepdecks Maximum freight weight is 48,000 pounds. Stepdecks Maximum freight dimensions: Maximum Stepdeck Trailer Length- 48 ft – 53 ft Maximum Stepdeck Trailer Width- 8.5 ft Maximum Legal Freight Height- 10 ft
Hot shots are extremely popular and are widely used because they exude a great sense of versatility. Generally, a Hotshot is used to load freights on its tip, sides, and rear.
With these capabilities, Hotshot have truly become the primary and leading assets of the trucking industry.
This kind of trailer has the capability to carry a maximum legal freight dimension and weight which are as follows: Flatbed Trailers Maximum freight weight of 12,000 - 20,000 pounds. Flatbed Trailers Maximum freight dimensions: Maximum Flatbed Trailer Length- 15 ft – 40 ft Maximum Flatbed Trailer Width- 8.5 ft Maximum Legal Freight Height- 10.5 ft
53ft Box Van
Dry Van trailers are generally enclosed and are commonly used to carry and protect the freights from the harmful elements of the weather or the roads.
Freights can be loaded on the rear and are commonly loaded using a loading dock.
It is similar to a curtain van and it can be loaded from its side too. Legal weight and dimensions are: Dry Van Maximum freight weight is 42,000 lbs to 45,000 lbs. Dry Van Maximum freight dimensions: Maximum Dry Vans Length- 48 ft – 53 ft Maximum Dry Vans Width- 8.2 ft Maximum Dry Vans Height- 8 ft
53ft Refrigerator Van
Refrigerated trailer is a temperature-controlled type of trailer. It is generally used for transporting chilled or frozen products. The temperature inside this trailer can be controlled whatever the outside weather is.
Freight Rate Central has the refrigerated trailer you need, regardless of the size of your load or the type of cargo you need shipped. Legal weight and dimensions are:
Refrigerated Trailers Max freight weight is 42,000 to 45,000 lbs. Refrigerated Trailers Maximum freight dimension: Maximum Refrigerated Trailers Length- 48 ft – 53 ft Maximum Refrigerated Trailers Width- 8.2 ft Maximum Refrigerated Trailers Height- 8 ft
The power only trailer is a special type that is generally used in towing various types of trailers, and it usually comes with a fifth wheel hitch, pintle hitch, and ball and hitch.
Only four axles are allowed when the freight is overweight.
Maximum Power Only freight weight and dimensions depend on the type of trailer that is being towed / hauled (state requirements should be strictly followed).
Conestoga trailers come with a rolling tarp system that is used to cover and uncover the trailer and gives protection to the freight.
Conestoga Trailers Max freight weight is 42,000 lbs to 45,000 lbs. Conestoga Trailers Maximum freight dimensions: Maximum Dry Vans Length- 48 ft – 53 ft Maximum Dry Vans Width- 8.2 ft Maximum Dry Vans Height- 8 ft
RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailers are excellent for carrying tall and long freights. It comes with a detachable front, allowing the trailer to be dropped on the ground in order to create a ramp. It is capable of hauling and carrying freights weighing up to 150,000 pounds. It can go from 3 axles up to 20 plus axles for heavier shipments.
RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailers are more specialized so they render a more expensive usage. Legal weight and dimensions of a RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailers are as follows:
RGN’s Maximum freight weight is 42,000 pounds. Removable Gooseneck – RGN Maximum freight dimensions: Maximum Removable Gooseneck – RGN Well Length- Main Deck 29 ft Maximum Removable Gooseneck – RGN Well Width- 8.5 ft Maximum Removable Gooseneck – RGN Legal Freight Height- 11.6 ft
A Stretch Double-Drop Trailer is generally used for carrying oversized shipments. Its lower deck allows you to load products that can be as tall as 10 feet. It also comes with a so-called “well,” a longer piece at the trailer’s back deck and middle portion.
The well usually measures from 25 feet to 29 feet. Legal weight and dimensions are as follows:
Stretch Double Drops Max freight weight is 45,000 pounds. Stretch Double Drops Maximum freight dimensions: Max Stretch Double Drop Trailer Length- Main Deck 29 ft – 65 ft Max Stretch Double Drop Trailer Width- 8.5 ft Max Stretch Double Drop Legal Freight Height- 11.6 ft