[GUIDE] The Differences between LTL and FTL Road Freight and which one is right for you

[GUIDE] The Differences between LTL and FTL Road Freight and which one is right for you


3 minute read | By Detype Studio

Last updated: January 4, 2024 | Published: March 8, 2018


Within the road freight or road haulage industry there are two terms you’ll come across all the time – FTL and LTL, but what exactly do they mean and which one should you choose when shipping your products throughout Europe?

Definition of LTL – Less than Truckload

LTL is a road freight service that combines shipments from multiple customers and transports them together by sharing a truckload. Ideal for small businesses that don’t have enough product to fill a truck on their own, LTL allows several companies to share the transportation costs by only paying for the space their product requires.

Inevitably, with LTL shipments the shipment will take longer to reach its destination than if you’d had a truck to yourself because it has to make several stops. However, the slight delay can be worth it thanks to the cost saving. At John Good Logistics, we work hard to match LTL shipments with similar requirements to minimise stops and delivery points, by combining shipments going to the same destination.

Definition of FTL – Full Truckload

FTL means you require a full truckload either because you have enough products to fill an entire truckload or you just want a truck to yourself, whether you can fill it or not. FTL is typically chosen when you have more ten or more pallets to ship, you need to transport goods quickly, or your goods are delicate or high risk. An FTL service will get your shipment delivered faster than LTL. However, it is more expensive.

How to choose FTL or LTL?

Working out whether FTL or LTL is best depends on the following:

  • The size of your shipment
  • Your budget
  • Speed of delivery
  • If the shipment is high risk (fragile, temperature sensitive etc.)

If your shipment is large or high risk and needs to get to its destination as quickly as possible, FTL is likely the best solution for you. However, if you don’t have enough goods to fill a truckload and don’t need to get the goods to destination urgently, LTL is probably the way to go.

If you’re still not sure, our road freight experts will be happy to discuss your options and organise the best solution for your requirements.

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