Home » Let’s get into the difference and competitive advantage between Full truckload and LTL (Less-than-truckload)

Let’s get into the difference and competitive advantage between Full truckload and LTL (Less-than-truckload)

by Uneeb Khan

This article provides all you need to know about truck transportation, the types of truck transportation methods, LTL Freight, and Full Truckload Freight, and which is absolutely suitable for you.

What is Full Truckload Freight?

According to the overall graph, full truckload is the most popular for-hire option, accounting for 46.4% of the market. Shippers will benefit from faster transit times from origin to destination when employing this form of transportation versus the other 53′ capacity option, intermodal.

Freight is typically built, stretch-wrapped, and loaded onto a trailer for truck delivery. Shippers can also load the cargo trailer on the ground or with slip sheets. Allowing more product to be loaded, floor loading, and slip sheeting a trailer increase the trailer’s usable cubic foot capacity. Slip sheeting and floor loading add time to transporting of items.

When choosing a freight provider, shippers can access various options for truckload shipping (dry, temperature-controlled, or Haz-Mat capacity) through top freight brokers and logistics providers. However, technology has allowed freight brokers of all sizes to access the same capacity and price, so it comes down to the best fit for the company.

Shippers can also access truckloads directly, although the number of motor carriers they can independently handle is limited. Because of their technology and people, freight brokers and logistics service providers (LSPs) are more efficient at tapping into the total market, which may be leveraged cost-effectively across a broader range of customers and revenues generated by their non-asset company.

Not only does locating capacity through a non-asset provider take time, but so does their ability to promptly screen the carrier for safety and legal operating permission, as well as contracting the carrier. These factors are crucial in ensuring that the load is legally on the road.

What is LTL Freight? (Less-than-Truckload)?

When freight shipments are too small to fit the entire capacity of 53′ trailers, shippers turn to LTL or less-than-truckload. By sweeping local and regional distribution hubs, the motor carrier hopes to consolidate several LTL shipments from multiple shippers into one 53′ trailer. Which is then returned to its transload cross-dock to load out the line hauls for the destination cities. Once in the destination cities. The goods are transloaded at another cross-dock location before being delivered locally.

There is more to the LTL model, known in the industry as a hub-and-spoke network operation, but this overview should get you started.

Larger shippers can perform their consolidations by utilizing a transportation management software (TMS) platform that optimizes freight routes and prices to generate the most efficient and cost-effective load plan for the day’s shipments.


Freight consolidation is a logistics freight strategy in which a shipper consolidates multiple LTL shipments from a specific geographic region into a truckload or intermodal that is then line hauled to a destination point where the shipments are broken down and shipped LTL to their final destination.

Some businesses, such as medical and JIT operations, rely on accelerated freight. This freight mode is the more expensive option for shippers. Thus, we advocate doing all necessary to restrict accelerated use, including planning ahead of time, increased communication, and involving teams to help them understand this mode’s economic effects on their budgets.

With the introduction of the two basic forms of freight transportation utilized in the United States complete, let us now deconstruct the cost, comparison, and other subjects linked with how shippers employ the numerous OTR (over-the-road) choices to optimize their logistics and supply chains.

Which ones are better? Less-than-Truckload VS Truckload (LTL)

As previously stated, no freight option is objectively superior to another. Diversification is the only free lunch in logistics, so it is critical to examine every freight mode and mode mix when developing the optimal logistics plan to fulfill the needs of a shipper.

Putting together the best load plan for the day is critical in generating the most efficient and cost-effective way for a shipper to transport its freight. Carrying out this optimization procedure helps a transportation management system (TMS).  It optimizes a shipper’s freight on rate contracts and modes that satisfy the required pick-up and delivery timetables.

In freight savings optimization, modal conversion yields the most significant savings. The goal of switching freight methods changed the way shippers moved freight. InTek’s key competencies are assisting shippers with the transition from truckload to intermodal. Combining truckloads’ versatility with rail transportation’s efficiency provides access to long-term savings.

The “pyramid of modal conversion” is listed below, with TMS systems constantly analyzing the mode on top to consolidate into a mode below:

  • Small Area
  • LTL (less-than-truckload) (less-than-truckload)
  • Truckload
  • Intermodal

It is impossible to discuss the value of “big data analysis” in converting freight cost savings in truckload and LTL.

The conversion between formats is where the most significant big data cost savings occur.

Shippers working with an additional transit connected with intermodal can save significantly by converting from truckload to intermodal.

The data analysis process capabilities of Transportation Management Systems can have LTL cost savings through big data optimization (TMS). Big data also enables businesses to assess their logistics and supply chain network to save money on freight and improve KPIs.

The combination of big data and the capabilities of a TMS provides various advantages to a shipper’s LTL and truckload freight and logistics network.

Improving “Last Mile Delivery” Efficiency

The final mile delivery of any mode is the most inefficient and, thus, the most expensive. The interconnectedness in today’s TMS systems helps shippers and logistics service providers drive out inefficiencies. Big data knowledge is a powerful tool in shipping analysis from the origin to the final destination.

Clarity Builds Confidence

The contemporary TMS can swiftly summarise and simplify the most complex data due to advancements in logistics and supply chains brought together in mountains of data. The operators behind the screens can then see the transparency in the data to make better judgments to ensure the lowest possible cost, and service is always a factor.

The TMS provides a “bird’s eye view” of the exceptions requiring attention to reach the RAD date and required arrival date by automating what is done correctly in the logistics network. Eliminating noise focuses on the issues that increase expenses while decreasing performance and transparency leads to reliability.

Efficiency of Routes

Transportation Management Systems (TMS) play a significant role in the effectiveness of route optimization for all freight modes, particularly in the performance of LTL and truckload shipments, which account for most moves inside a company’s supply chain.

Carriers can deploy resources more efficiently by employing a TMS and the data it collects. Once the freight is in motion, the TMS will provide feedback to keep the freight on track for on-time delivery. Using too many resources, such as transporting many LTL on the same O/D pairing on the same day rather than crowding them into one truckload. Raises the freight lane’s cost and fails to capitalize on efficiencies available within the day’s load plan.

Permitted Cargo Loading Weight

Loading a truck with more than what is legally authorized to carry on the interstate is prohibited. The priority is public safety, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) takes its obligation to keep the roadways safe seriously. So, if the shipment leaves your facility illegally, you may face financial penalties from the DOT. Rework charges to make the load lawful, shipping delays, and the threat of massive claims if the shipment is affected in a deadly accident.

The general norm for each 53′ freight mode is below, but exceptions exist.

  • 44,000 to 45,000 pounds for a dry van trailer
  • 42,500 pounds by intermodal
  • 42,500 to 44,000 for a Refrigerated Reefer Trailer
  • 48,000 pounds of stuff on a flatbed trailer

For your 3PL logistic needs, Contact 6g logistics and get the quote for your cargo transportation. From LTL to sprinter service, 6g Logistics provides the best eCommerce delivery and shipping solutions. They provide the most suitable services according to your shipping requirement.

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