FTL and LTL Shipping Definitions to Help You Decide on Your Carrier


Ltl shipping definition

Moving goods from place to place is a vital part of every market. As a business expands, it is important to be able to provide the desired or needed products in a timely fashion. Depending on the operation, your company may opt to move your goods in any number of ways. From air to rail to boat to truck, you need to explore what works best for your business and your customers. You might find that a combination of transportation methods is ideal. Or you might find that you value one mode of transportation over the others. Whatever you decide to do, you definitely want to do your research ahead of time, so that you can avoid costly delays.

For those companies that determine trucking to be ideal for their particular operations, there are more decisions to make. Specialty freight services, FTL or LTL carriers, expedited trucking transportation and more are all things to consider.

FTL and LTL shipping definitions

Of course, in order to decide on exactly what service you are going to want to use, you are going to need to know what the FTL and LTL shipping definitions are in order to differentiate and decide between them based on what they offer and what you need.

  • FTL shipping definition FTL shipping refers to Full Truckload services. This type of service is preferred if you are looking to transport a large quantity, or items that are take up a lot of space. In this case, you would be utilizing the entire truck container to move your products and goods, tools and machinery, or other elements of your business that need to be transported from one place to the next.
  • LTL shipping definition LTL shipping is Less Than Truckload transportation. This is used when you need to move products or items for your business, but do not have enough to fill an entire truck. A lot of times, this means a better price than if you were going to try and fill an entire truck. LTL prices are determined by a number of factors, including weight, class, the locations of pick up and delivery, and any other specifications that might need to be factored in.

Recently, the spending amount for the logistics and transportation industry within the United States added up to $1.48 trillion. The spending in this industry accounted for 8% of the annual gross domestic product. The market for Less Than Truckload transportation alone has been approximated at $35 billion.

Freight transportation throughout the country

Since our species first figured out how to trade for goods, there has always been a method of transporting those goods from the provider to the consumer. Naturally, the methods have changed over time, just as the goods themselves have changed. Countless commodities are transported throughout the country, but the three most valuable ones that are moved by the freight transportation system are electronics, machinery, and vehicles. Each of these three play crucial roles in society, and there are almost 12 million trains, trucks, and ships that carry these goods and more to their intended destinations.

Another major element to consider is ecommerce. Throughout the United States, ecommerce revenue is well over $420 billion, and still rising. From less than truckload services to industrial machinery transport services and more, each carrier and company involved must recalibrate and adjust as the buying and spending habits change.

Keeping up with the changing times is what transportation companies specialize in. There will always be the need to move things from here to there, and as a business, you have a wide selection of choices to decide between. Knowing the difference between things like the FTL and LTL shipping definitions can assist you in the process of deciding.