What You Need to Know about FTL Shipping

What You Need to Know about FTL Shipping

When looking into how to move freight, one of the first modes of transport you’ll probably hear about is truckload, or FTL shipping. At its core, truckload shipping is a means to transport sizeable loads. You’ve got enough goods to fill an entire semitrailer or intermodal container for shipment.

Obviously, FTL shipping is ideal for any company shipping large amounts of goods at one time. It ensures everything will arrive at once. It’s also one of the speedier options to move cargo across the country. You’re not waiting for additional freight to fill a trailer, as is sometimes the case with less than truckload shipping, where a carrier groups goods from several different customers before transport.

What’s more, FTL shipping tends to be safer on cargo. Packages aren’t handled as much, oftentimes just at pickup and drop off. Each time someone must “touch” your goods, it increases the chances of damage to your shipment.

FTL Shipping – Not a Full Load

As you may suspect, FTL shipping isn’t for every company — nor is it for every shipment.

Let’s say, for example, you can easily split up your products into multiple shipments. You may find that a carrier will move these less than truckload (LTL) shipments for a lower cost than another carrier would for a truckload shipment.

After all, pricing for FTL shipping is typically based on miles traveled, while LTL shipping is priced on a per-pound basis. It may be more cost-effective to break up your shipment into two 10,000-pound loads.

And if your total shipment is less than 15,000 pounds, it won’t come close to filling a trailer or intermodal container. So you’re just paying for space you won’t ever use. On average, truckload shipments weigh about 42,000 pounds. When it comes to shipping containers, the tipping point between LCL and FCL is debatable.

At the very least, you’ll want to discuss pricing levels for different modes of transport with your carrier before making a final decision.

If you are currently shipping LTL or FCL and what to know what option is best for your company, give the team at Interlog USA a call – we would be happy to talk with you.


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