Jan 08 2018
FULL TRUCKLOAD (FTL) FREIGHT: THE RUNDOWN
If you are a user of ground freight services for your products, your trailer options range from full truckload (FTL) to less than truckload (LTL). Consider first what your shipment needs might be when deciding which method you should use to get your product should get from point A to point B.
A full truckload can mean two things: either you have enough product to fill a full truckload (measured by space or weight), or you don’t have enough product to fill a truckload -- but you prefer a dedicated truck for your product (perhaps your product is high risk or fragile). Either way, a FTL is contracted to one customer at a time.
The full truckload option is often chosen when businesses have over 10 pallets or 15,000 pounds to ship at a time, when the packages are high risk in any way, or when time is of the essence.
The FTL industry is expected to be worth $108.6 billion by 2020, whereas LTL is expected to reach $40.9 billion. They are relatively stable, and they both show a growth rate of just under 2% by 2020.
As you might imagine, full truckload can cost more than less than truckload, but it comes with its own string of benefits to consider. We’ve highlighted some advantages of FTL below:
- Most efficient way to transport large product shipments
- Optimal for high risk or fragile shipments
- The products remain in the same truck for the entire trip
- Substantially faster than LTL
- FTL industry favors drivers over businesses, because there are more shipments than drivers
- Less cost effective than LTL
- Products are vulnerable to a single point transit failure
FTL shipping is ideal for a variety of different industries, from shipping multiple items to a location, moving large industrial goods, bulk foods, and other mass materials.
While it’s true that, dollar for dollar, LTL is cheaper than FTL, the costs will catch up with you if you choose the wrong option for your business needs. Damaged or late goods can cost your company time and money, so choose wisely. When you book a full truck, you are essentially eliminating the time needed to fill the remainder of the truck, as well as ensuring the direct route from the pickup and drop off points, without any added stops.
Point blank, full truckload providers offer a reasonable timeline for when shippers should expect delivery, since the freight belongs to one shipper at a time. Businesses that deal with a lot of supply chain operations would do well to work with full truckload shipping, because of the time efficiency that these FTL carriers offer, even though it’s the more expensive option of the two.
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