LTL vs FTL; Features and Differences

LTL and FTL freight methods

If you work in the logistics or transportation industry, you have probably heard the terms LTL and FTL freight. These are the two terms you come across when moving cargo by truck. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will look at the benefits of each one, the meaning…

If you work in the logistics or transportation industry, you have probably heard the terms LTL and FTL freight. These are the two terms you come across when moving cargo by truck. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will look at the benefits of each one, the meaning and definition, and the differences between them. In the end, with full knowledge of these methods, you can make the right choice for moving your cargo.

Table of Contents


In the Full Truck Load (FTL) method, the goods are transported by a suitable road vehicle with efficient and specialized procurement. The designated vehicle does not transport any goods other than your cargo. There is no pickup or additional delivery on the way, or the vehicle will not change on the way. The goods arrive at the destination as soon as possible and will not waste time on the way. It is also suitable for sensitive goods that will be damaged if handed over between vehicles.

In the logistics and transportation industry, FTL refers to the movement of cargo that requires the use of an entire truck. This type of freight is typically large and heavy, making it challenging to transport using smaller vehicles. The FTL method moves between manufacturing and distribution facilities or ports to inland destinations. There are many benefits to using FTL services. First, it is a very efficient way to move large and heavy cargo. Second, FTL services can help to reduce overall transportation costs if the vehicle is wholly occupied with your shipment. And third, this service can help to improve supply chain management and coordination.

Despite the FTL method’s many benefits, some challenges must be considered. These freight services can require more lead time and planning and can be more challenging to coordinate. FTL service can be an excellent option for transporting large and heavy cargo. However, it is crucial to consider the challenges associated with this type of service. When used correctly, this service can help improve the supply chain’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness.


LTL is the shipping method in which multiple shippers can share space on a trailer, resulting in a much more cost-efficient option. In this method, the amount of cargo is less than the volume of the container space, and the container is not filled with individual shipments. As a result, there is another cargo in the vehicle (container), and each owner of the goods is responsible for paying for the cargo’s volume.

This shipping method is recommended, especially when the customer has a certain amount of goods to ship. We are talking primarily about pallet loads that occupy only part of the space. Likewise, choosing the described option costs less because the transaction price is adjusted according to the number of products shipped and the distance. The possibility of dividing the cargo space with other means that the shipping time takes a little longer; in this case, the goods collected from the customer are stored in the warehouse to combine with other products; also, there is a possibility of unloading and reloading on the way, which affects the final delivery date.

LTL freight carriers specialize in transporting smaller shipments that would not be cost-effective to ship via full truckload carriers. These carriers typically have a smaller fleet of trucks and drivers and offer more flexible shipping options than full truckload carriers. They are an essential part of the supply chain for many small businesses. They provide a cost-effective shipping option for smaller shipments and offer more flexibility than full truckload carriers.


The main difference between the two is whether or not the truck is fully loaded. A wide range of factors can affect the shipping method and whether this option is economically viable for you. These factors include:

SizeSmaller cargoLarger and heavier
PriceCost-effective for smaller goodsCost-effective for larger goods
SpeedDelivery often with a delay Quick delivery
HandlingPossibility of switching trucks and unloadingStay in the same truck

In summary, we can conclude that the LTL method is suitable for light and small loads whose delivery is not time sensitive. This method will also cost you less. The FTL method is for goods that need to reach their destination as quickly as possible, are sensitive and delicate, or occupy the entire volume of a truck. Finally, decide if you have a problem loading and unloading your cargo along the way because, in the LTL method, there is a possibility of moving your freight to each destination where other goods are delivered.


Today’s technological advances make both FTL and LTL shipping secure and available. Given the definitions, comparisons, advantages, and disadvantages, you can now choose the proper method for moving your cargo. If you are still hesitant to choose between these two methods, ask your questions below in the comments.

DFreight is a digital freight forwarding platform that can provide you with reliable and efficient services. We have a team of experienced professionals dedicated to ensuring that your goods are delivered safely and on time. Contact us today to get a free quote.


Is LTL better than FTL?

The answer is no. Because the choice depends on the size and weight of the cargo, you want to carry. If you have a lighter load to carry, LTL is a more economical option. If you have heavy shipments for transportation, FTL is a better and cheaper choice.

What are the different LTL and FTL freight rates?

LTL and FTL freight rates vary depending on the size and type of your shipment, the carrier you choose, and the shipping services you select. You can get a quote from a carrier to estimate your shipping costs.

What are the benefits of using FTL freight?

FTL freight is typically more expensive than LTL freight, but it is the best option for larger shipments. FTL freight is also more reliable than LTL freight, with fewer delays and shipment issues.

What are the benefits of using LTL freight?

LTL freight is typically less expensive than FTL freight and can be a more convenient option for smaller shipments. LTL freight is also naturally more flexible than FTL freight, with more shipping options and routes available.

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