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LTL vs FTL - What is the difference?

Views: 21     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-11-04      Origin: Site

More and more consumers are shopping online since COVID-19 affected consumer buying behavior. As consumer demand increases, so does the popularity of freight trucking in the global market.


The global cargo truck market grew to $2.1 trillion in 2020 and is expected to reach $2.7 trillion in 2026, accounting for more than 80 percent of total revenue across all modes of transportation.


Trucking is a barometer of the U.S. economy, and truck shipments are a very good leading indicator of economic activity, with 65 percent of North American freight capacity being transported by truck.


Here is the list of contents:

· LTL vs FTL: Definition

· LTL vs FTL: What is the difference and How to Choose?



LTL vs FTL


LTL vs FTL: Definition

Truck delivery in the United States is the main method of ground transportation in the United States, which is divided into two methods: "Full Truck Load" (FTL) and "Less than Truck Load" (LTL). Compared with express delivery, it has more advantages in price and timeliness. Truck delivery in the US is an important delivery method for the end of the journey. After customs clearance at the port is completed, the container is towed to the local overseas warehouse for demolition, sorting, and then delivered by local truck to the Amazon FBA warehouse or private address.


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FTL (Full Truckload): usually the owner is the only one. If the goods are not loaded in one truck, the transportation fee of the whole truck is still required. The most common type of equipment is a Class 8 tractor with a 53' dry van trailer. Schneider National, Knight-Swift, Landstar System, CRST International, JB Hunt, and others were among the best.

LTL vs FTL-3


LTL (Less Than Truckload): This means that a single owner's cargo does not take up the entire truck. These types of shipments usually weigh between 100 and 10,000 pounds and require carpooling with other shippers to reduce shipping costs. They are generally more suitable for multiple shipments to the same address, as well as oversize and overweight shipments or oversized shipments. Business, private address delivery. Federal Freight, XPO Logistics, YRC Freight, ODFL are the leaders in the LTL market.

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LTL vs FTL: What is the difference and How to Choose?    


FTL and LTL, although in different ways, have four common characteristics:

· Mainly by road

· Both use level 8 Tractor

· Professional drivers who are required to hold a commercial driver's license (CDL)

· Major shipments of palletized goods



LTL Freight Process

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For e-commerce sellers, the most dealt with Kapie shipping method is LTL.


The core value of LTL is cost saving. If you're only shipping a few pallets, it's often cheaper to use LTL than to pay for a fully loaded truck.


To support their economical pricing strategies, LTL operators need to maintain optimal efficiency at all times.


Long delays, empty miles, non-standard service, and underutilized trailer space disproportionately affect LTL carriers compared to FTL carriers, all of which create some key differences between the two models.


Many shippers face LTL challenges, but if you fully understand how LTL works, you can save even more with LTL!


LTL freight processing is more cumbersome

FTL: The shipper loads the finished product at the origin, puts a seal or freight lock on the trailer, and the driver sends the product directly to the destination for delivery.


LTL: Throughout the shipment, your product may be loaded and unloaded several times in trailers and warehouses before reaching its final destination.


While the vast majority of LTL shipments are delivered in good condition, the increased handling compared to FTL means greater exposure to potential product damage or freight claims.


It is important to properly package and protect your product for LTL shipping.


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Surcharges are more common in LTL shipping

FTL: From pickup to delivery, sellers can basically get the full attention of the driver. Since a single load typically requires several days for the driver to work, carriers of fully loaded wagons tend to be a little more lenient with surcharges -- a 15-minute delay or need for driver assistance isn't much of a problem during a three-day transit.


LTL: Sellers only pay for a fraction of the van capacity, and rideshare deliveries may be spread across locations. As mentioned earlier, LTL operators need to maintain optimum efficiency to support an economical pricing structure - anything that causes delays or outages usually results in additional surcharges.


When this happens, it's important to remember: the total cost savings of LTL is greater than that of FTL.


LTL vs FTL-8


Understanding Cargo Density Classes (CLASS)

FTL: Generally, carriers are not overly concerned with accurate cargo density classes. Knowing whether a product is palletized, hazmat, and legal weight is often sufficient to provide accurate pricing.


LTL: The price of different cargo density classes can vary considerably, even on the same route with the same number of pallets, the price of the cargo is entirely dependent on the cargo class of the cargo.


To classify cargo density and determine pricing, all LTL carriers use the NMFTA (National Motor Freight Association) standardized freight classification system.

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There are 18 different levels of cargo density, ranging from class 50 (cheapest) to class 500 (most expensive).

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Goods are re-weighed to ensure accuracy

FTL: After loading, the driver can stop at the weigh station to verify that the truck is below the legal limit of 80,000 lbs. Otherwise, there is little further inspection of the product before the consignee breaks the seal at the delivery dock.


LTL: Once the product arrives at the originating station, the carrier will recheck the product. Most shipments will pass a professional sizer that automatically scans the pallet to determine weight and size. If the dimensional measurements differ from the product specifications listed on the bill of lading, the LTL carrier will re-determine the freight, which may result in a rate change.

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Non-direct transport

FTL: The driver picks up the product at the shipper and delivers it directly to the consignee. Traffic is predictable as long as the driver picks up the car in time. Unless the device malfunctions, the driver will calculate the arrival time based on a simple equation of total mileage, hours of service, posted speed limit and expected traffic volume.


LTL: Usually shipping is rarely direct, which means shipping takes longer than FTL. Also, the delivery date fee is accurate (unless you pay extra for guaranteed shipping quotes). Many LTL operators report service levels in excess of 90%, but may vary by line and operator.


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First Come First Served (FCFS) is the industry standard for LTL

FTL: Drivers will accept confirmed appointment times.


LTL: Drivers almost always complete multiple pickups and/or deliveries per trip, flexibility is important. For LTL, two hours (or longer) "first come, first serve" is the industry standard and pickup is not guaranteed.


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Trailer specs vary slightly

FTL: Most transport companies have 53' trailers with revolving doors. Trailers are typically 102" wide and 110" headroom.


LTL: Most haulers also use 53' trailers that are 102" wide, but most have rolling doors that reduce headroom to 96".


Compared with FTL, LTL needs to understand and pay attention to more key matters, but it still does not prevent LTL from being an important method in the final delivery of cross-border e-commerce, and it is also a good way to save freight.


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