What’s the Difference Between LTL and FTL Shipping?

Posted on October 7, 2019

truck couriers


Two standard terms used with truck couriers are LTL and FTL. If you’re not familiar with these acronyms, never mind their meanings, don’t fret! Unless you’re part of the courier industry, you probably haven’t had the need to know. However, here at Fleet Couriers, we love to educate our customers! This article will touch upon the two terms to give you a better understanding behind the scenes of truck couriers in Massachusetts and how it affects your business.



LTL is the shortened version of less than truckload. Several companies across the United States offer less than truckload services. All that less than truckload means is that your freight will not take up the entire space of the truck. The typical freight for LTL is anywhere between 150 and 15,000 pounds.

LTL is the perfect solution for companies that rely on their inventory being in stock. Instead of waiting until products are almost running out, LTL allows inventory to be scheduled and shipped at more cost-effective means. If you’re a small business, waiting to place an order until you can fill a truck could end up costing you more money in the long run. Although shipment times may be longer, sometimes this option is worth the wait.

Often LTL will share the truck with other small shipments. This enables your business to save money on shipping costs. However, some courier services offer a wide variety of trucks within their fleet. If this is the case, it may be cheaper to utilize a smaller vehicle at FTL pricing.



If you didn’t already guess, FTL means full truckload. Utilizing the entire space of the truck, businesses can expect their deliveries to arrive faster than they would with LTL. This is because your one shipment is utilizing the entire truck. Thus there is only one stop. FTL shipments remain on the same truck for the entire duration, reducing not only travel time but the risk of damage or lost items.


When deciding which type of shipment is best for your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, is your budget. The cost between LTL and FTL can sometimes vary greatly. Other elements to consider is the size of your freight and how quickly you need your items to arrives. When answering these three questions, you should have a better idea on which shipping service will best suit your needs.


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For more information on truck couriers that may be right for your business needs, contact the team at Fleet Couriers. With a large fleet of trucks, we have what it takes to get your delivery made on time, every time. Call us today at 800.734.9309.