When considering cost-effectiveness, safety, and efficient time delivery when using land freight transport, one begins to look in the direction of less than truckload versus full truckload (LTL vs.FTL) shipping. To find out which of the option will be the best for one’s shipping requirements, there is the need to consider what advantages and challenges that come with each shipping mode to make the best decision.

There are major determinants that affect which mode suits best, and they include the size of shipment, the time frame for delivery, nature of freight and budget. Given these facts, we will compare the pros and cons for less than truckload and full truckload.


Less Than Truck Load LTL


    Cost of a whole truck can be shared with other shippers.

    It is cost effective for cargo less than six pallets.

    It suits one’s business irrespective of the size of your business.

    Freights are secured in pallets or skids.

    It makes shipping possible to many locations across USA and Canada with many carriers offering LTL service.

The advantage of Less Than Truck Load Shipping

An advantage of Less Than Truck Load Shipping is that it is cost effective.


    LTL services may not be available for certain routes due to low volume.

    Sensitive cargo may be mishandled at multiple terminals that fall on that route.

    Consolidation of cargo on a particular route might take a longer period, and this will not be the best option for a time-sensitive cargo.

    Not cost effective for cargo more than six pallets.

    Carriers may have to use 3rd party hub as they may not have theirs and this will increase cost.


To determine if your company requires freight shipping services, refer to our article titled How Does Freight Forwarding Work, and Does My Company Need It?



Full Truck Load FTL


    It best suit cargo of high value with a whole truck to one’s freight.

    Handling is limited, and this is the best for sensitive cargo.

    It suits the need for guaranteed time delivery as consolidation of cargo is not a factor here.

    It is best for cargo more than 6-8 pallets.

    The fixed rate is available for most locations based on the FTL weight.

ltl vs ftl pros of ftl

Full Truckload Shipping offers an efficient method for large shipments as it reaches its destination on time.


    Shipments cost more than LTL freight in most cases.

    LTL offer better rates than FTL they leverage on other carriers to offer cheaper services.

    Value added services which include handling services at the delivery point may not be available.

    FTL is likely less flexible when it comes to cargo movement than LTL.

    E-Commerce shipment type of small cargo is not available.


At the end of the day, finding the best options for shipment is determined by which types of products will be shipped, and the distance required for travel. For additional information on which types of freight mode to use for ltl vs ftl, please refer to our Ultimate Guide to Freight Shipping Services where we break down even further the difference between the two truckloads.


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