Less than truckload shipping or less than load (LTL) is the transportation of relatively small freight. The alternatives to LTL carriers are parcel carriers or full truckload carriers. Parcel carriers usually handle small packages and freight that can be broken down into units less than 150 pounds (68 kg).
The opposite of LTL is FTL ( Full Truckload ) FTL shipping stands for full truckload, meaning that the shipment will take up an entire truck by itself. FTL shipments are typically used when there are ten or more palettes that need to ship.
There are several different perspectives as to what is considered LTL. Full Truck Load carriers can put anywhere from 2 to 6 different people’s shipments on a trailer and since each shipment is technically “less than a truckload” they would consider that to be LTL. There are also freight companies who do not specialize in truck loads, but rather, consolidate larger volume shipments from about 2 to 12 pallets (or about 4000 to 24000 pounds) and consider themselves LTL Carriers.
Whether shipping less-than-truckload or full truck load, make sure you have the right semi-truck roadside assistance to keep you delivering truck loads longer.