Reports show that the demand for goods is growing across the United States. That includes items being shipped to consumers and store shelves as well as materials being delivered to manufacturing companies to create their own goods. According to the latest figures, nearly 12 billion tons of cargo were shipped by truck across the United States last year alone, and that was a fairly light year. Overall, the volume of goods and materials being transported throughout the country is on the rise and will be for the foreseeable future.
Finding the Best Way to Ship Your Goods
Table of Contents
Several shipping options are available to businesses. Some shippers use third-party logistics companies. Those companies handle all the packaging, warehousing, and shipping needs their clients may have. That takes a great deal of time and effort off the shoulders of the businesses that hand over their logistics requirements. On the other hand, some companies prefer to take care of their own shipping needs. For them, deciding between an FTL Trucking Company and a carrier that offers LTL shipping is a major concern.
Understanding the Difference Between FTL and LTL Trucking
With that in mind, many people may be left wondering what FTL and LTL mean. FTL stands for full truckload whereas LTL stands for less-than-truckload. Having a full truckload simply means you have enough freight to fill an entire truck. It also applies to companies that want their freight to be shipped alone even though it may not fill up an entire truck.
Less-than-truckload means your cargo doesn’t fill up a whole truck and it will be transported with freight from other companies. Both can be suitable solutions in certain situations, but which one is best for your company?
When Is FTL Shipping the Answer?
Per the basic explanation of full-truckload shipping, it would certainly make sense to use this option if you have enough product to fill up a trailer. You’ll be paying for the entire truck and its driver’s services, which could cost more. Still, the extra money would be well spent because of the perks of FTL shipping. Your freight would all be together in a safe environment, and it would be sent to your client without any other pickups or deliveries along the route. That would also be the case if you hired an FTL service for less than a truckload, though some experts recommend weighing the cost against the benefits in situations like those.
When Is LTL Shipping the Best Solution?
LTL shipping is often the better solution for companies that don’t necessarily need or want their cargo to be the only items being shipped in a truck. Maybe you don’t need the freight delivered by a specific date or time. Perhaps your budget would benefit from only renting a portion of the space in an 18-wheeler’s trailer. It could be that certain regulations apply to your cargo and it shouldn’t be shipped with other items.
Choosing the Right Shipping Option
Overall, FTL shipping is a bit more expensive than LTL because you’re paying for the entire truck. LTL is less expensive per load but doesn’t promise express delivery, and your freight will be traveling with that of other businesses. Even if you’re shipping less than a full truckload of product, the benefits of FTL could make it worth your while.