LTL vs Truckload: Best Freight Shipment Mode

The two most common types of road freight shipment include less than truckload (LTL freight) and full truckload (often simply referred to as ‘truckload’) shipping. Trying to decide between LTL vs Truckload Freight Shipment options can be tough, especially if you are new to over the road freight shipments. There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration to determine which option will best suit your needs.

Best Freight Shipment Mode: LTL and Truckload Shipping Explained

LTL shipping refers to the shipment of freight that is larger than anything that can be considered a small package, yet doesn’t take up the entire space of a truckload; in other words, it takes up less than a truckload (hence the name). Full truckload shipping refers to the shipment of any freight that encompasses the entire space of a trailer, or that reaches the weight capacity of the trailer.

How LTL vs Truckload Freight Shipment Works?

With LTL shipping, a trailer is usually made up of a combination of freight from different shippers,. As such, the truck will stop at several locations in order to pick up and drop off packages for the different shippers. With truckload shipping, an entire trailer is usually contracted to one shipper, which means that the truck only stops at the individual shippers destinations.

Cost Effective of LTL Carriers and Truckload Shipping

As expected, the pricing for each type of shipping varies. With truckload shipping, you would simply pay for the expense of moving your freight from one point to another. Generally, the cost of this type of shipping is a flat rate; in other words, it doesn’t’ matter if you’re shipping 15,000 pounds of feathers or if you’re shipping 500 pounds of stone, the cost of truckload shipping will be the same; however, if the freight is overweight or if there are special handling instructions, it may cost more.

With LTL shipments, on the other hand, the cost is directly affected by what you are shipping. The reason? – Freight is loaded with the packages of other shippers and the cost is divided amongst the shippers, meaning that each customer pays for the space that their freight takes up, the amount that it weighs, and any complexities that may be involved with the shipment. Therefore, if your goods take up more space and are heavier, you’ll pay more than a shipper whose goods are lighter and take up less space.

Which Should You Choose?

It really comes down to your personal needs; there really is no right or wrong answer. In order to determine whether LTL vs  truckload shipping is a better option, consider the freight you are shipping and your specific needs.

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