While full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping can seem similar, or even the same to newcomers in the shipping industry, there are a number of important differences between these two shipping modes. Mainly, these differences pertain to the pricing process for both modes. Understanding how FTL and LTL quotes work is the key to a successful shipping experience and saving your costs and time.
Full truckload shipping is quite simple: the business takes the entire truck trailer to move their freight. There are no in-between stops and the shipment is transported straight from point A to point B. The truck is completely dedicated to your freight. LTL shipping is when you share the truck space with other shippers. Shippers only pay for the portion of the truck their freight uses. Usually, the LTL shipment is 150lbs - 20,000lbs or 1 to 6 pallets of goods. Because many different shippers are using the same trailer, the driver makes multiple stops because many destinations are included in the route.
The many factors that make up an LTL quote are quite different from the FTL quote process. The key difference is that for LTL freight, you need to know your freight class. It is a specific classification, with 18 classes ranging from 50 to 500. Also, density is an important part of determining an LTL quote. If you book an LTL truck in advance with shipping services like GoShip.com, you are more likely to save on an LTL quote.
Truckload quotes are less complicated to understand, but you are less likely to negotiate a freight quote in full truckload shipping. There are many factors that form a full truckload quote, but mostly it's mileage and destination. The distance plays the most important role in your FTL quote. Ultimately, there are two different processes, but both of them are made simpler when you use a proper pricing calculator. With technology at your advantage, you can compare FTL and LTL quotes in a matter of seconds.