Ltl: What Does It Stand For?
If you start shipping your goods with a trucking company, you are going to be given two options most of the time for transporting your goods. The Atlanta delivery company will ask you if you want to ship on an FTL or LTL basis. LTL is the more common option for a number of reasons. It stands for “Less than Truck Load”.
The opposite of LTL shipping is FTL, which stands for full truck load. In order to understand LTL shipping, you first need to know what FTL shipping means. When you ship your goods on an FTL basis, it means that you are hiring the courier company to move your goods and your alone. They will not have property that belongs to any of their other clients on the same truck that they are moving your goods on.
LTL shipping works in a completely different fashion. Instead, the delivery company will try to fill every square inch of the truck with shipments that belong to any of their clients. They combine shipments from any clients who are shipping in a similar direction, even if the goods only need to go in that direction for part of their journey. By putting shipments that belong to more than one party into a single truck load, they offer several advantages to their customers.
One of the largest advantages that are offered by LTL shipping has to do with cost. LTL shipping can save on cost for people that need shipping companies because essentially every cost that is associated with the shipment is shared. When you ship FTL, you are the only person paying for every aspect of that shipment. With an LTL shipment, you get to share almost all of the costs.
There are some situations where FTL shipping might be an option when LTL shipping is also possible. However, for many situations, LTL shipping is by far the most preferable options. Most people recommend using LTL shipping when people are shipping cargo that weighs between 100 and 10,000 lbs. When a shipment is more than 10,000 lbs, trucking companies may even require you to go FTL. In the upper end of the LTL range though, companies may give you the option. The upside of FTL shipping is shorter shipping times. The downside of course is that it will cost more, and you may also end up paying for empty space in the vehicle because you are the only client shipping in the truck.
Conner Calhoun is a consultant for Atlanta delivery and georgia distribution companies as well as national courier service businesses.