The logistics industry has certain terminologies that might be hard to understand if you are just starting to learn your way through it. One of the most commonly used jargon is “FTL” which stands for full truckload, it is the opposite of LTL or less than truckload. If you are engaged in a business that involves a lot of logistics or if you are working in the logistics industry yourself, you need to be familiar with the meaning of FTL and how it can be used in making your logistics efforts much easier.

What is full truckload shipping?

Full truckload shipping is a method of moving freight between two different locations. The term “full truck” refers to the configuration of the shipment that usually consumes an entire vehicle. This could include pallets, crates, and other packaging materials. 

There might be different definitions of a full truckload, depending on the carrier used and the type of shipment, it can include any of the following:

  • Flatbed
  • Intermodal
  • Backhauls
  • Dry van

Fee computation can vary as well depending on these types but a full truckload, generally speaking, is subject to these three most common maximum limits:

  • The product weight is 44,000 pounds
  • Shipment uses 48 standard pallets
  • Product volume is at 2,500 cubic feet

However, in most cases, a full truckload may be the best option for a shipment if it already reaches 15,000 pounds or 10 pallets.

When using full truckloads for your shipment, you have many options when it comes to shipping containers. You can choose from a variety of sizes, depending on what you need for your shipment and how much space you need for it. There are also different types of containers available depending on what type of freight you’re shipping and where you’re sending it. Sometimes, FTL can even be used for transporting large machinery or equipment that requires extreme care during transit.

When should you use full truckload shipping?

With FTL shipping, you will get the full space of an entire truck for your shipment without any company sharing it with you. Using FTL can be costly due to the nature of the service but it also serves its purpose during special occasions when this type of shipment is needed. 

Man driving a forklift inside a warehouse.

There are at least two reasons why you should consider going with a full truckload type of shipment for your logistics needs.

  1. You have a very large quantity of delivery – If your business happens to have a bulk delivery that might weigh enough to get an FTL service, then going with this path might be the most economical decision. Not only that you can take advantage of all the benefits of FTL shipping but using this method in this scenario will help in reducing your cost since you will no longer have to worry about redelivery, reweigh, and other common charges.
  2. Your shipment needs to arrive at its destination fast – With FTL shipping, you will be occupying the whole truckload for yourself. This means that the vehicle will go directly to its destination from its point of origin without doing stops to pick up other shipments along the way. This is a great option especially if your shipment is needed at its destination within a specific timeframe.

What are the benefits of FTL shipping?

Woman with a white cap signing on a document for a box of shipment she was about to receive from a delivery man.

Full truckload shipping provides many unique advantages that you cannot get with other modes of delivery. It is a popular option for business owners who want to ship their items quickly, safely, and hassle-free. For an FTL shipment, your benefits will include:

  1. Flexibility – You can schedule your shipments at your convenience when it suits you best. You don’t need to re-schedule your shipments if you discover that there is a better time for them. Therefore, you have more flexibility and control over your shipping process since you are essentially the only customer for that particular shipment.
  2. Cost savings – Moving your cargo directly from point A to point B without any stops has its advantages due to the fact that certain costs for handling will be eliminated, which makes it cheaper than other modes of transportation. With this, you will be able to save money on your shipping costs as well as on transportation fees charged by the couriers who provide their services through FTL shipping delivery services. This can also mean if your shipment is planned out carefully and it is only done a couple of times a year, moving your goods in bulk can be more cost-effective than LTL.
  3. Faster delivery – The couriers who provide their services through FTL shipping delivery services are experts in speed and efficiency so that they can deliver packages within a shorter period of time than traditional carriers would take to deliver them via regular modes of transportation. With FTL deliveries not having to stop to pick up other shipments along the route also means that your goods will arrive much faster and safer.

Disadvantages of using FTL shipping service

Though there are a lot of advantages to using an FTL shipping service, the complexities of any type of business may require different modes of delivery from time to time. There can be disadvantages in using FTL if your business is not entirely designed for bulk shipment.

  • It is not suitable for companies with regular, smaller orders. Businesses such as online clothing lines, or even sellers of office equipment, for example, seldom receive bulk orders. With smaller transactions involving only a handful of items, FTL might not be the best choice. Most smaller companies will choose to go with the LTL type of shipment.
  • Expensive compared to less than truckload shipment. In an FTL shipment, you will be occupying a whole truck, so that means that you have to pay for the whole space even if it is not consumed at maximum capacity. The cost is also high considering that you will have to shoulder all the fees related to your shipment on your own.

How FTL can be used for your business

Ultimately, it comes down to your shipping requirements. There are also other factors that can influence your decision on what shipping service to choose. Your shipment size, destination, and timeline are all important things that should be considered when making this decision.

If you have requirements in either LTL or FTL shipping, you can contact us here at Soul Logistics to avail yourself of our reliable and cost-effective logistics solutions.