FTL Freight vs LTL Freight – What’s the Difference?

FTL Freight vs LTL Freight – What’s the Difference?

Shipping with a freight service may seem like a complicated process at the start, but there isn’t really too much to it. Once you learn the lingo and understand what you are looking for, freight and logistics services become super easy to understand. One of the first things you need to know is the difference between FTL and LTL freight.

You might have heard these two terms used interchangeably, but they actually refer to very different processes. FTL stands for Full Truckload shipping, and LTL stands for Less than Truckload shipping. Of course, the differences go farther than just that. Here are a few of the key differences in these two types of freight shipping, so you know what to look for in both.

FTL Freight Size

FTL Freight SizeFTL and LTL freight shipping are meant to handle different sizes. LTL shipments are much smaller – generally from around 100 up to 5,000 pounds. This type of shipping can be great for smaller companies or individuals shipping smaller, single load deliveries.

FTL shipments, on the other hand, are much larger – they can range all the way up to 10,000 pounds. FTL freight shipping is generally used by big companies that have multi-package deliveries or larger supply shipments to handle.

Pricing of FTL Freight

Because FTL shipping uses the full truckload, it is much more expensive than LTL shipping. Exact prices vary, of course, depending on the shipping company, but it is safe to say that LTL freight is always cheaper. That is why it is important to know the exact size and weight of your shipment to see if it is compatible with an LTL service.

If you are paying for FTL shipping for a smaller delivery, you may end up paying for extra truck space that is not being used.

The time it takes to ship FTL Freight vs LTL Freight

The time it takes to ship FTL Freight vs LTL FreightDespite being more expensive, there is one huge benefit to using FTL freight as opposed to LTL – time effectiveness. With an LTL shipment, your delivery is not the only one on the truck. There will be multiple stops along the way that will delay your package’s delivery to its final goal.

If you are pressed for time or on an urgent schedule to make your delivery (i.e. delivering perishables, medical supplies or other time-sensitive materials) FTL freight shipping might be the best way to go. You will pay a little more, but it will be worth it for the assurance that your package will be delivered on time.

Handling of FTL Freight shipments

Delicate handling is another advantage of choosing FTL over LTL shipping. Because an LTL shipment handles multiple packages, there is no guarantee that your package will be handled carefully or given special regard.
For fragile packages that require special care, FTL shipping is the safest option.

Final Thoughts on FTL Freight

Here’s the bottom line: between the two types of shipping, LTL is cheaper, but FTL is more reliable and efficient. If you are willing to pay a little more for the best quality delivery, we recommend choosing an FTL freight service. Choose the absolute best in the freight business, American Manufacturing Solutions today to get your FTL Freight done right!