November 21st, 2022
Comparing Partial Truckload, Less-Than-Truckload and Full Truckload
Table of Contents
Understanding Load Sizes to Help Drive Efficiency
If you’re in the commodity business, transportation will be central to your day to day activities. As with other aspects of your business, it helps to understand all the different freight shipping options and how you can leverage each for your business.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the meanings of, use cases for and benefits of the three main freight shipping services; full truck, partial truckload and less than truckload.
So, if you’re keen to learn more about freight class and all that it encompasses, let’s get right to it!
A Full Truck Load or FTL is when a complete truck or an entire trailer is dedicated to a single load, in other words, loaded with goods from one customer. This service is ideal for large loads that can fill up an entire truck.
It’s also the go-to service for goods that require temperature relations or delicate loads, such as dairy products or medicines, for example.
Full Truck Load Shipping Specifications
Broken down, a full truckload shipping carries up to 26 on-stackable pallets or 52 standardised stackable
pallets. For context, a standard wooden pallet measures 48”×40”×48”. The total weight of this is approx. 19,958 KGs.
Partial Truckload Shipping
Partial load transport is suitable and economical for larger freight loads that don’t require a customer to use all the space in a full trailer.
Naturally, this service will be more affordable than the FTL because a customer does not pay for a dedicated truck service.
Partial truckload carriers serve as a cost-efficient in-between because it is not a full load, but then customers are permitted to ship more loads than what is allowed in the Less Than Truckload transport service.
Let’s look at some specs for partial truckloads in more detail.
Partial Truckload Shipping Specifications
A partial truckload service offers a minimum of 3.048 metres and 9.144 metres. On the other hand, the minimum weight should lie between 453.592 kilograms and 11,339.809 kilograms.
With these figures, the maximum weight per pallet on a partial truckload should be 2495 kilograms.
Types of Equipment for Partial Truckload Shipping and Full Truckload Shipping
Depending on the characteristics of your load and service level required, you can choose three different types of equipment from your carrier of choice.
These can generally include the following options:
Dry Vans Truckload Shipping
These are recommended for delicate
loads and loads that need to be transported in a closed box or protected against
external weather conditions.
Flat Bed Truckload Shipping
These are excellent for loading goods with irregular shapes. These would need to be loaded by the side or the top of the truck.
These types of loads would be impossible to do with a closed truck, meaning they have to be loaded via the rear.
Flatbeds are also ideal for transporting goods whose dimensions exceed the truck’s size. Being open, flatbeds offer some flexibility when it comes to space extension.
Aside from their dimensions, heavier goods that would not fit well in closed trucks can be transported easily on flatbeds. Goods transported in this way are those without set temperature requirements.
‘Reefers’ or Temperature Controlled Trucks
Certain foods and pharmaceuticals need to be maintained at specific temperatures. For these, reefers and temperature-controlled trucks are the way to go.
The trucks are built with using hi-tech technology to ensure they keep the goods contained at specific temperatures during transport.
Less Than Truckload
Aside from Full Truck Load and Partial Truckload Shipments, there is the Less Than Truck Load (LTL shipping) option.
The Less Than Truckload (LTL shipments) is the transportation of freight that combines different customer loads in the same shipment on a single truck.
Essentially, not every buyer will need a full 48’’ by 53” trailer. In this system, the remaining space is
given to a different customer.
In this arrangement, every customer will be invoiced according to their shipments size, density, type (freight class), amount, weight and the distance to be covered.
Of all the options, LTL shipments offer the most affordable option compared to the other land transportation services, though there are time constraints that make it the suboptimal choice for many buyers, such as those in FMCG, depending on product seasonality or freshness, for example.
Less Than Truckload Specifications
The specs for LTL shipping are 1 to 3 non-stackable pallets and up to 6 pallets (stackable). This is standard 48”×40”×48”. The total weight of LTL shipping should be 4535 KGs.
Speed and Costs on Full Truckload, Partial Truckload and Less Than Truckload
Aside from how much space you get on the different options, full truckloads, LTL, and partial loads have more differences in both speed and costs.
If your main priority is to minimise transit times, your best option is FTL. With this service, your truckload freight carrier will transport your goods to the final destination without any intermediate stops, thus expediting the delivery date.
There will be several stops with partial shipments and LTL carriers depending on where the multiple companies renting a truck from their truckload carrier want their goods dropped off.
However, as you can imagine, this is a convenience you have to pay for, and though delivery times will be faster, the shipping costs will be significantly higher than what you would pay for other options.
Without a full load and for moving non-perishable items without temperature control, partial truckload is the most cost-effective option of all three shipping methods.
The LTL freight offers the most affordable option if you have small cargo. You get reduced freight rates on these two options because of the shared costs between different transporters.
Ultimately, the type of freight service you opt for will ultimately be determined by freight classification (type of goods being delivered), speed (how fast you need the goods delivered) and budget (the price you’re willing to pay for our freight shipments, with extra charges for better service).
How RollPallet UK Can Help
As freight shipping experts in the field of haulage, our team are experienced in handling high volumes of cargo across the UK, Europe, Asia and North America for our clients in a broad portfolio of industries and we’re here to help you find the economical option that suits your specific business needs, from selecting the correct pallet size to inventory management or even negotiating better transportation costs with your freight broker and anything in-between!
Please feel free to contact us today if you’ve got anything you’d like our support with and we’d be more than happy to work through a plan of action with your firm.