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FTL and LTL Shipping: Which Is Best For You

Delivering a product at the best price to its location could be challenging. The best choice will depend on how much freight needs to be transported often given the range of possibilities. This is particularly valid in the case of deliveries that include both half- and full-truckloads. The differences between these two services are discussed, along with situations where picking one over the other makes sense.

We prioritize shipments that are a full truckload. FTL, also referred to as OTR, is the most widely used mode of transportation (over the road). According to a 2019 government review, FTL shipping made up 46.4% of the country’s transportation business and LTL made up 11.3%. Even if the entire area is not required, the FTL transportation technique just requires that the cargo from one shipper be loaded onto the transporter. Dry van trailers are the most popular, while open deck and refrigerated trailers are also frequently used.

Because the client is responsible for paying the full cost of the space, businesses frequently pick FTL when the cargo is significant enough to fill the space. FTL is advised for sensitive or dangerous commodities because there is a lower possibility of injury. It is also regarded as the best choice for high-value goods, especially when using a specialist truck would be more expensive. Businesses also prefer FTL for shipments that must arrive on time because the service is typically faster than LTL.

Additionally, less cargo than a truckload may be transported. Because it transfers freight from many businesses while using the same carrier, this mode of transportation, also known as LTL, is comparable to a ride-sharing arrangement. The carrier could be a semi-truck towing a mixed trailer, a train, a railroad car, or even another train. Because the freight it transports can come from a variety of shippers, customers, or consignees, it is crucial to make several stops in order to load and unload items.

LTL is frequently the best choice for smaller businesses when one to a few pallets are required for freight. When done through a partner network, LTL consolidation of goods with shipments from other companies can result in significant cost savings. However, there is a higher chance of freight damage because the contents of the carrier might be moved about more frequently than they would be if they were solely delivered as a whole.

The market for FTL and LTL transportation services, which is anticipated to be worth $19.91 billion by 2028, is one indicator of how much money the American trucking sector generates. In order to make more informed and cost-effective decisions on the shipping method that offers the highest value, businesses should speak with industry experts.

Please refer to the infographic below for more information on FTL and LTL shipping.

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