FTL vs. LTL: What is the Difference?

FTL vs. LTL: What is the Difference?

Total truckload shipping or FTL and shipping or LTL less than truckload are the two most common ways of shipping. LTL uses semi truckloads for shipping; however, FTL refers to semi-transportation with semi-trucks. Both the concepts are identical but different in the type of loads they carry. In this article, we will focus on the difference between FTL vs. LTL.


Both the truckloads have pros and cons; LTL shipments range from 100 to 5000 pounds and tend to carry loads that occupy space but not all the room in the truck. However, the FTL trucks have loads above 20,000 pounds, and the goods occupy all the area in the car. Several differences in price, size, time, weight, etc., will be discussed now.


This is a crucial point of discussion. FTL trucks are more expensive than LTL trucks, as, in FTL trucks, you use more space and have to pay for the room accordingly. However, in LTL, you only use less space and pay for that. 


LTL shipments are more time taking than FTL. FTL shipments have a smooth journey as they are independent of other cargo. On the other hand, in LTL, since there are segments of loads, they have different stops, which means your shipment is delayed. If you are short on time, you should prefer FTL services.


If you aim to transport delicate material, it is recommended that you use the FTL method instead of LT. The reason remains the same, LTL service includes stops at various points; however, FTL services have one stop only: the final destination.


Another essential factor to keep in mind is the size of the shipment. This point carries immense importance; for example, if your goods weigh more and have a bigger size, you should go for FTL; however, in the other case, you should opt for LTL if your shipment is small. 


Along with size, the factor of weight comes hand in hand. If your shipment is above 20,000 pounds, you should prefer FTL, but if the weight of your shipment is below 5000 pounds, then LTL is your way to go. 


The delicacy of your products matters a lot at this point. If your goods are fragile, then it is recommended that you use the FTL service as it does not involve much stopping and checking; moreover, the shipment is intact as all the space is yours. On the other hand, if you are using LTL service, the load inside the truck will have to suffer as additional shipments being carried in the car would cause issues as they will have many stops.


Q: Is FTL more expensive than LTL?

Yes, since FTL carries more weight, it is more expensive. 

Q: How many pallets is an FTL?

FTL is usually 24 pallets and carries a weight of over 20,000 pounds.


Both the terms carry their significance. However, the customer’s eyes need to be sharp to notice which service is better for the type of goods. For more information, visit Gillson Trucking.

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