LTL refers to less-than-truckload. LTL is when multiple shippers’ Freight is on the same trailer rather than having a single company’s Freight exclusively on an individual trailer. Several LTL shipments are combined into one truck to fill it as near to capacity as possible. This is a great option for shipments that are between one and six pallets, because it makes the most out of the available Shipping space on a given truck. This is a beneficial for the Shipping needs of small businesses. FTL refers to full truckload freight. FTL Shipping is commonly used for large shipments that require taking up the entire truck, or at least close to it. With FTL, your Freight is the only Freight moving on an individual truck so you have exclusivity to the entire truck and theoretically are filling the truckload. You can reserve the truck with its full capacity even if you don’t require filling up the entire available space. Doing so would ensure that you won’t have to worry about your goods changing hands at any time or your goods being stuck with other products. The main difference between LTL and FTL is that LTL gives you higher cost savings when you ship only a few pallets at a time. This is cheaper for you because you are only paying for the space you are using, rather than paying for a full truck that isn’t filled to capacity. LTL carriers have to maintain efficiency by filling the excess space with other shipments, so they get as close as possible to maximizing the available space on their trucks. LTL and FTL have a key difference when providing carrier transit times. If you have a full truckload your carrier will pick up whatever you are Shipping and drive it straight to the receiver. This makes transit very predictable. The transit for LTL however, does not go directly to the end customer because of all the different stops they have to make, so the actual delivery date may be very different than the estimated delivery date. FTL carriers will arrange a firm delivery time since they are only picking up one shipment. Since trucking carriers handling LTL shipments have to pick up and deliver at multiple locations, their  pick-up times will occur in a broader window and will require more flexibility on your end. Another difference is that with a full truckload the Shipper will load your product at the point of origin, seal the trailer, and take it straight to its delivery destination. With an LTL shipment, your product will typically be loaded and unloaded in and out of trailers and warehouses not just once but several times before reaching its final destination. This means there is an increased amount of handling and exposure which means a greater chance that your products could incur damages, especially if they are sensitive or fragile.

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