The emergence of e-commerce shopping has increased consumer demand for 2-day, next day or even same day delivery. This has given rise to a fast technological innovation era in the logistics and transportation field. As shippers try to keep up with the increase of consumer expectations, the transportation and logistics industry try to keep pace by developing technologies, strategies and techniques to get goods from one place to another.
The 2 shipping methods that carriers use to offer high level of customized service to shipper are Full Truckload (FTL) and Less Than Truckload (LTL). So what are the advantages and the disadvantages of each method and how they can be used more efficiently and save the shippers time and money?
LTL shipping is shipping loads between 150 to 15,000 lbs. The loads are combined with shipments from other companies. LTL shipping fills up the unused space in trailers and containers to maximize profit. Fewer drivers are needed because the goods are consolidated. The downside of LTL freight is that shipment can take a lot longer to reach its destination because multiple stops have to be made as not all of the cargo go to the same destination.
FTL shipping is different from LTL shipping. FTL shipment tends to be large and usually over 10,000lbs. The load does not combine freight from multiple shippers. This option is less cost effective for small shipments but more cost effective for full truckloads. FTL is the best way to transport large shipments and can be a very convenient option. This option offers cost savings over multiple smaller shipment. The cargo does not leave its vehicle from the origin to its destination and thus it reduces the risk of damage. FTL is also faster than LTL.
There are specific times when you should use LTL or FTL. There are certain situations where FTL might be more appropriate. Do click here to learn more. If you plan to ship more than 12 pallets at once, then FTL is the best option. It is especially so if your product is fragile and excessive handling by multiple carriers may damage your goods. You can have peace of mind if you use FTL option because your fragile cargo are the only items within the truck. If you require a firm delivery and pick up dates, choosing this option is better because you can reserve a single carrier to transport your cargo.
For smaller shipment that is anything less than 12 pallets, then using the LTL method will benefit you financially. By combining your shipment with another shipment, you can benefit from the savings.
One shipping method is not necessarily better than the other. Shippers can benefit from using both Less Than A Truckload and Full Truckload service in many situations. LTL can help to save money if you have smaller shipment that is very sturdy and has flexible shipping and delivery dates. This can help counter the cost associated with the times you have to ship a more delicate cargo and you need to utilize the FTL method.
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