LTL vs FTL. Which is the best ground transportation option?


When it comes to ground transportation, two modes of trucking must be considered, LTL (Less than a Truck Load) and FTL (Full Truck Load). The decision concerning which one to use depends on the size and weight of the load, time constraints, and any special handling required. 

Less than a truckload- LTL 

An excellent option for small businesses, LTL consolidates small cargoes from multiple shippers into one full truckload. Recommended when loads are between 1 to 6 pallets or are less than 12 linear feet, LTL provides an efficient and cost-effective solution. 


If your shipment is smallyour timeline is flexible, the loading conditions are normal without specific requirements, and you want to save money, choosing LTL is your best option. However, when shipping LTL, it is crucial to properly package your product, to avoid damage to the merchandise as LTL increases cargo handling and increases the risk of loss. 


Full truckload- FTL 

FTL is recommended for loadthat are more than 12 pallets, contain fragile products, or when specific timelines must be met.  With FTL, the truck will be used exclusively for your merchandise, whether you fill it or not. FTL is also the best option for shipments requiring special handling such as temperaturecontrolled and non-stackable items. 

It is important to note that the trailer size for both FTL and LTL is usually the same with a width of 8.5 feet, a length of 53 feet, and a legal height of 13.5 feet. 

Which of the two options is the best? 

Both LTL and FTL have great advantages when it comes to transporting your merchandise. Choosing the best option will depend on your needs.  When unsure which is the best option for your shipment, you should consult with a logistics provider specializing in ground transportation.  

What is a 3PL company? 

A 3PL ( Third-Party Logistics Company) employs supply chain professionals who hold expertise in all transportation modes. When consulting with a 3PL, you will receive customized solutions based on your logistical needs.  

What benefits do you receive when working with a 3PL company? 

Cost Savings: Due to the volume of cargo that 3PL’s handle, they have access to more competitive rates across many carriers and can pass that cost saving to you.  

Real-time merchandise tracking: 3PLhave track and trace technology allowing for better visibility of your cargo during transit. A dedicated operational team will track your cargo from origin to destination and provide real-time updates on the status of your shipment. 

Experience: 3PL’s have the necessary expertise to determine the most efficient way to transport your merchandise while mitigating risk. In addition, they can often provide additional logistics services, including packaging, warehousing, and distribution, becoming an all-in-one logistics solution. 

Do you need logistical support? 

As an international 3PL and Customs Brokerage Firm, GLC offers a vast portfolio of services, providing support at all supply chain nodes. Our Ground Transportation division offers nationwide pickup and delivery, full-service consolidation and distribution, real-time online shipment tracking services, and port pickup and delivery for international freight shipments. We have various trucks equipped to meet all needs, from industrial-size cargo to fresh produce and retail produce. 

Contact us today.