When shipping your commodity by land, there are 4 basic options to choose from:
- LTL – Lighter Than Truckload
- FTL – Full Truckload
- Reefer – Refrigerated
Less Than Truckload
LTL is the transportation of relatively smaller quantities of freight, and is usually moved on a pallet, and may be several pallets via one of the common carriers that are seen across the highways of North. As the name implies, these shipments usually consist of several pallets, pieces or cartons and almost all LTL common carriers are also more likely to accept loose (non-palletized) cargo than the traditional carriers. LTL shipments typically weigh between 151 and 20,000 lb (68 and 9,072 kg).
While routes tend to be more casual, the main advantage to using an LTL carrier is that a shipment may be transported for a fraction of the cost of hiring an entire truck and trailer for an exclusive shipment. Also, a number of accessory services are available from LTL carriers, which are not typically offered by FTL carriers. These optional services include liftgate service at pickup or delivery, residential (also known as “non-commercial”) service at pickup or delivery, inside delivery, notification prior to delivery, freeze protection, and several others.
TL is the transportation of larger amounts of cargo, generally the amount necessary to fill an entire semi-trailer, open deck trailer (like a flatbed or stepdeck) or into an enclosed sea or rail container. A truckload carrier is a trucking company that generally contracts an entire trailer-load to a single customer. This is as opposed to a less-than truckload (LTL) company that generally mixes freight from several customers in each trailer. One advantage Full Truckload (FTL) carriers have over Less than Truckload carriers is that the freight is never trans-loaded en route, whereas an LTL shipment will typically be