Full Truckload Freight Shipping (FTL)


Full truckload shipping (FLT) is when the entire truck is used for a freight shipment, unlike less-than-load-shipping (LTL), in which you share the truck space with other shippers. It is an efficient mode of freight shipping if you want to ship items weighing over 15,000 lbs. using cross-border road transport to a single destination.

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The Benefits of FTL Shipping

FTL shipping has several advantages including:

  • Fast service: FTL gets your items delivered faster than other types of delivery.
  • Better rates: You’ll find that you will get more competitive rates with FTL shipping. 
  • Safer shipping: You don’t have to share with other shippers, which is great if you are shipping fragile or valuable items.
  • Faster handling: The handling time is lower than with LTL shipping. 
  • Cost-effective: FTL is very affordable when you are shipping bulk items. 
  • No restrictions: The carrier does not impose weight or size restrictions. 
  • Good protection: Because your items are being shipped separately, there is less chance of damage or loss in transit. 
  • Easy tracking: Your shipment can be tracked en route. 
  • Bigger capacity: Because you are not sharing the shipping container, you have the option for more load capacity. 
  • Lots of options: FTL gives you the ability to ship a wide range of items.

Why Consider FTL Shipping?

Here are some important reasons to consider using FTL freight shipping:

When Time is a Factor 

FTL is the perfect freight shipping choice if you have a time-sensitive shipment. Your shipment is only traveling from the pickup point to the final destination by the most efficient route. This means that it will arrive much faster than if you use an LTL service, which may have to make several stops in between. Because there are no stops on the way, FTL reduces the risk of unexpected delays. Also, your delivery will be picked up and delivered on time. 

When Security is a Factor 

If you’re shipping a valuable load, then security is important. This is why FTL is a better option than LTL. Because your shipment is traveling directly from point A to point B, it will only be handled by the people directly associated with it. However, if you choose LTL shipping, it’s possible that your items may be removed from one truck to another one or more times during the course of its journey. FTL means reduced handling and a safer journey, with less risk of damaged or missing items. 

When Size is a Factor 

If you are transporting bulk items, heavy items, or multiple pallet loads, FTL carriers are the more cost-effective option. It is less expensive to make one FTL shipment than to divide up your load between smaller LTL shipments. As long as you have enough time to fill or almost fill a full truckload freight shipment, FTL is the better option. For example, if you are shipping 12 pallets or more at one time, the full truckload option is best for you. 

FTL Shipping FAQ

When should I use an FTL service?

There are many reasons to use an FTL freight service, here are the main ones:

  • When your load is large enough to fill or almost fill a trailer
  • When you need special equipment
  • When you are shipping fragile of valuable items
  • When you prefer your shipment to go directly to its destination
  • When your shipment is bulky or heavy

How do I choose an FTL provider?

There are many companies to choose from. However, choosing the right one comes down to have a company with logistics experience and handling requirements you can count on. At Shipcarte, we base our relationships with our clients on trust. You can count on us to take care of all your shipping needs, down to the last detail. 

How long will the transit of my shipment take?

Your FTL transit time will be calculated based on the distance between the pick-up location and the destination. Because your shipment will be the only one in the carrier, the driver will take the most efficient route. This will give you a faster transit time than an LTL service. Of course, some variables may affect your transit time, including traffic, weather conditions, and hours of service regulations. 

How much weight can an FTL accommodate?

Typically, FTL shipping can accommodate up to 44,000 pounds per shipment. 

What is freight classification?

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) developed the freight classification system to provide guidelines for shipping commodities. There are 18 freight classes. Each is designated a number between 50 and 500. Freight classification is determined by dimensions, weight, density, value, ease of handling, and liability. Usually, a lower freight classification means a lower freight shipping cost per pound. 

What is a BOL?

In the freight shipping industry, a BOL is a bill of lading. This is a receipt for freight services provided. It includes all the necessary details to process your shipment correctly. The BOL is given to the carrier at the pick-up location. The freight company will also retain a copy for their records. 

Hopefully, this FTL ship guide has helped you decide whether or not FTL freight shipping is the right option for you. Our team at Shipcarte is committed to helping you move your items directly from A to B, safely and efficiently. When you use our shipping platform, you’ll see how easy it is to manage and move your inventory wherever it needs to go. Our cloud-based system is user-friendly and we provide you with a dedicated account manager who will help you with your transactions. We’ve got you covered with all the features your business needs for shipping including: 

  • Instant multiple quotes
  • Multiple carrier services
  • Generate and print carrier compliant shipping labels
  • Schedule pick up online
  • Track and trace your products 

Consider using Shipcarte for your FTL shipping. For more information or to sign up for a demo, contact Shipcarte today. You can also download our free eBook, which provides helpful information about our shipping solutions.

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