Knowing all about the differences between FTL and LTL freight shipments is mandatory information to start to understand when you should use each one. There are no exact rules that must be followed, but there will be certain scenarios when one will make much more sense over the other.
Top Considerations for LTL vs. FTL
To optimize your FTL and LTL shipments, we’re breaking down the most relevant scenarios for your business.
Amount of Pallets
If you’re shipping more than 10 pallets at a time, going with the option of full truckload is likely going to be the best route. This amount of pallets is going to take up a significant amount of space on the truck making it harder for the carrier to combine other shipments with yours.
When shipping fewer than 10 pallets at a time, less than truckload will be the most cost efficient and environmentally friendly method. Planning for this ahead of time could significantly lower your supply chain shipping costs.
Pickup and Delivery
If your shipment requires firm pickup and delivery times, you will want to go with an FTL shipment. Between the two, only FTL can provide a greater amount of predictability and dependability in regards to a stricter timeframe. So for pickups, you’ll be allowed a smaller appointment time and then delivery comes with the same level of precision as well.
However, if you have any flexibility on the pickup and delivery range, you will absolutely experience higher cost savings if you use LTL freight for your shipment. It is often worthwhile to use this strategy for your supply chain overall when you’re able to ship in smaller pallet quantities and your freight isn’t fragile.
Care and Handling
Because LTL shipments naturally experience more handling during their transit, if your shipment is more fragile, you’ll want to avoid this method. Excessive loading and unloading by multiple carriers will always raise the chances of damage for your shipment.
If your shipment is more fragile or you’re concerned about possible damage, using FTL is the way to go. This method guarantees one individual and dedicated truck for the entire transport. This will diminish all excessive handling and moving of freight.
For this consideration specifically, you’ll want to be certain that you’ve prepared, packed, and palletized your freight with the highest standards regardless of the method you choose. That is always where the strongest freight shipment starts, with great packing.
If your freight is heavy for its size, irregular in shape, cannot properly be fully boxed or palletized, or takes up more than half of a truckload, it’s likely that FTL is going to be the best option for your shipment. In these scenarios, there isn’t much flexibility for LTL because the specifics of the freight itself are dictating certain conditions.
As you weigh your options and strategize your supply chain management throughout the year, it’s always a great idea to weigh in with some pros. Whether your first or your hundredth shipment, Pride Logistics is always ready to deliver on exactly what you need for your business and your freight. Contact us today to experience the difference we can make in your bottom line.