What Is The Difference Between LTL vs FTL?

Difference Between LTL Vs FTL

With every passing day, the world is getting more interconnected. Over the years, the movement of people, as well as goods, has considerably increased across the world. As road network has expanded across borders and more free-trade are put in place, more and more trucking and cross-border trucking are required to move goods from one country to another inter-connected country. Transporting by Road usually involves either of the two modes when moving goods:

  • LTL
  • FTL


Organizations that need the services of a freight carrier have numerous options for transportation of their products. Two mainstream techniques for transportation by road are LTL delivering and FTL. It’s critical to comprehend the contrasts between these two strategies for transport, so you can adequately choose the technique for transport that will be the most suitable and effective for your business. In this article, we’ll investigate LTL versus FTL transportation, and give knowledge on which might be best for your business.


LTL refers to the cargo that doesn’t need the whole space of a truck to fit in. Conversely, shipments that occupy the room or weight limit of the whole container is called Full Truckload (FTL) shipments.

What to Choose?

The components that may affect the cargo transporting choices to be opted for may include

  1. Freight measurements (length, width and tallness),
  2. Freight characterization,
  3. Special services, i.e. dedicated
  4. time availability
  5. Price

Type of shipment

Below, the fundamental contrasts among FTL and LTL shipments to assist you with choosing which transporting technique works best for you.

What is LTL?

Less Than Truckload (LTL) is a shipment that doesn’t take up a whole truckload and often weighs between 100 to 10,000 pounds. LTL is a sort of ground cargo transportation that consolidate shipments from numerous clients. For instance, a cargo containing any specific items may just take 27% of the space of the truck so you would just need to pay 27% of the expense. The rest of the space may be taken up by other shipments from different companies. This adaptability makes LTL an extraordinary option for small companies that have small investments and are searching for something that is spending benevolent.

When LTL is the Best Choice?

In general, whenever cost and adaptability are your needs, then LTL transport is the best approach. It is shared so that many deliveries can be made at once. But because of the sharing, the delivery time may take longer than other transportation means.

Benefits of LTL

  1. Financially less intensive because of low capital,
  2. Gives adaptability to little and mid-sized enterprises as request changes
  3. Less cost for cargo transportation
  4. Ideal for private companies

In LTL shipping, the cargo that is going to the same destination as other products has to be taken back to the terminals and joined with different shipments. Due to this, LTL shipments regularly take longer to arrive at their destinations. Thus, travel time can be assessed and not assured.

A few highlights and advantages of LTL shipment are:

  1. Security and Tracking
  2. Limited Costs
  3. More Frequent and Regular Service Options

More Time:

LTL cargo shipments will regularly take somewhat longer to arrive at their destination, because of the various shipments onboard making successive stops. If the time is short, then one might need to consider FTL transporting.

LTL shipments regularly make a few stops and unload and re-pack products. The shipment takes longer than usual time to arrive at the destination. However, transportation cost helps save money.

What is FTL?

As previously discussed, Full Truckload shipping is for a shipment that takes up the space of a whole truck. This term alludes to an enormous shipment of products that fills a whole truck trailer that is up to 50 ft long. FTL shipments are commonly used when there are

  1. At least ten pallets
  2. If the pallets are larger than average and additionally overweight.

A full truck which hasn’t met its weight limit can assist one to use a dedicated truck and transport the shipment following a specific timetable. FTL shipments are additionally utilized

  1. When the products are at high danger risk of harm
  2. When time is an issue.
  3. As private trailer

Other than that, you can pick TL so as to have your own private trailer if there is a time delicacy and can hardly wait for other deliveries to be completed.

Less Time

FTL shipment takes less time as the shipment remains on the same truck the whole time and isn’t moved during transport. As there is no transferring, the risks of damage due to mishandling are reduced.


As opposed to LTL transportation, FTL is ideal for bigger shipments whereby a whole cargo load from one business consumes the space on a semi-trailer owned by one customer. A few advantages of FTL shipping are:

  1. Security and Tracking
  2. Offers a lot quicker transportation speed than LTL
  3. Ideal for fragile cargo
  4. No mishandling of cargoes
  5. Shipment stays in the same truck fro point of origin to its destination
  6. The ideal approach to move large shipments
  7. Quick deliveries.

It’s commonly entirely simple to know when your shipment should be transported by means of FTL, yet here and the smaller shipments can profit by FTL cargo shipping too. In the event that your shipment is fragile, FTL might be the better choice.

What is the Difference Between LTL VS FTL?

The differences between the two are explained below:

Size and Weight

One of the most important things you should think about when transporting cargo is the size. Full Truckload and Less Than Truckload are simple and mean what they state.

LTL shipments are smaller shipments that are consolidated along with other shipments.FTL shipments fill most to the entirety of a whole truck and will, in general, be a lot bigger.
LTL shipments mostly have of 1 to 10 pallets that can weigh from 100 to 10,000 pounds.FTL frequently weigh 20,000 pounds or more


Since LTL shipments are smaller and leave space for different shipments, they are less expensive in light of the fact that you will just pay for the space that you use. FTL shipments utilize the majority of the whole truck and cost more since you are paying for more space in the truck. The cost of these shipments depends on the following things.

Shipping Cost Determinants

Distance travelled
Shipment size
Commodity shipped
Several other factors
Shipping Cost Determinants

FTL rates are not dependent upon models like LTL, however, and are market-oriented. Other factors include:origin
size and weight
Product type
Equipment required, etc.
LTL can prove to be a budget-friendly option as the transporter can share shipping costs with different organizations. The shipper can also team up with a 3PL company for a cost-effective solution.


Alongside how rapidly you need a shipment to go out, you should likewise consider how fragile or high-hazard the shipment is.

LTL shipments may switch trucks or be moved on numerous occasions before conveyance, expanding the danger of harmed or missing things.With FTL shipping, your shipment will remain on a similar truck and won’t be moved anyplace else.
The risks are increased.This makes less danger of harmed or missing things when dispatching FTL.
LTL transporters use exact timetables to run trucks between various areas. These timetables can include numerous stops and treatment of cargo to arrive at the destination.The main time the cargo is touched or handled is at the point of origin and destination areas when the cargo is stacked and emptied from the trailer.
This allows them to utilize the space on their trucks productively.FTL shipments are selective to a solitary client and are driven from start to the final place.


The products that need to transport rapidly, FTL might be the best approach.

Since LTL shipments include other shipments too, they frequently require different stops and moves before they arrive at the last objective.FTL shipments get and convey on a similar truck prompting a speedier delivery time.


When gauging LTL versus FTL, consider that FTL is appropriate for more delicate products. Since products stay on one truck for a whole excursion (without being moved during transport) with FTL, there is less danger of breakage or harm. On the off chance that, then again, your shipment is tough, LTL might be the ideal choice to moderate expenses.

In Conclusion

When deciding about the most suitable type of shipment for your cargo, consider the following things

  1. Remember the size of your shipment,
  2. Your budget,
  3. How delicate the cargo is

How fast you need your shipment to arrive at its destination? If you have a large shipment that is fragile and needs to reach rapidly, FTL is your smartest option. In case that your shipment is little, though, and not in a time crunch, LTL will meet your requirements.


This post was originally published on Qafila.