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7 Key differences between FTL and LTL

AMG Logistics

Shippers may obtain the best outcomes and enhance planning by being aware of these
seven crucial distinctions between shipping Full truckload (FTL) and Less than truckload (LTL).

  1. Freight class difference: Carriers shipping an FTL package often do not care as much about the precise commodity specs. Product specs often provide enough details to calculate prices accurately. Even when mixed goods move in the same lane with the same number of pallets, LTL charges can fluctuate more widely. All LTL carriers classify commodities using the National Motor Freight Traffic Association’s freight classification system, which tries to take their density, value, handling attributes, and storability into consideration.

  1. Reweighing/reclassifying products for accuracy: FTL delays product inspection until the load reaches the receiver. An FTL driver making stops at weigh stations to ensure the truck is under the 80,000-pound regulatory limit is unusual. To ensure accuracy with LTL, the origin terminal rechecks the cargo, and each order is probably reweighed by a forklift or floor scale. The freight may pass through a dimensioner, which automatically scans it to calculate weight and dimensions, depending on the commodity profile. The carrier may reclassify the freight and change the charge if the dimensioner notices that the product’s specifications differ from those on the bill of lading

  1. Additional charges costs that are added on incrementally: FTL drivers stay with a cargo from pickup through delivery, providing them in a better position to control additional costs. FTL drivers could be less concerned about being detained or getting a 15-minute driver-assist on a multi-day trip. Since these carriers must be compensated for the services they provide, delays or unforeseen consignee requests sometimes result in costs with LTL. To continue being lucrative, the supplier must continue to move. In these circumstances, note the entire possible cost reduction with LTL versus FTL. To increase the accuracy of front-end quoting using LTL, it is also crucial to comprehend the delivery needs.

  1. First-come, first-serve pickup (FCFS) windows: Since they pick up several shipments each day, LTL drivers need greater flexibility than FTL drivers, who establish a set appointment time. Delivery windows may be impacted by delays as they accumulate. LTL pickup timings are typically not guaranteed, with two-hour (or more) FCFS periods being the norm.

  2. Increased freight handling: When a product is shipped FTL, it goes directly to its destination, keeping the seal intact on the trailer. Typically, a single driver oversees both pickup and delivery. With LTL, the cargo is probably loaded and unloaded throughout the course of several terminals and trailers. LTL shipments will still arrive in good condition provided correct packaging procedures are used, however, this greater handling might raise the probability of potential product damage.

  1. Unhindered transit: If the driver picks up the package on time and delivers it to the receiver directly, FTL transit may be predicted. Arrival time is determined by total miles, service hours, stated speed limits, and anticipated traffic. However, loads transported by LTL seldom use straight routes and will probably take longer than by FTL. Delivery dates are approximations unless a shipper pays an extra to guarantee the specified transit.

  1. Varying trailer specifications: FTL carriers frequently use 53-foot trailers with swing doors that are 102 inches in width and 110 inches in height. The only difference in the specifications of the trailers used by LTL carriers is the use of roll doors rather than swing doors. As a result, their overall capacity is somewhat reduced, and the clearance height is lowered to 100 inches.

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AMG Logistics is a Lagos-based TRACE certified logistics company. Our services include Freight Forwarding, Customs Clearance, Trucking, Distribution, and Warehousing within Nigeria.



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