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How to Choose the Right Shipping Option


There are so many shipping options for moving freight and choosing the right service provider.  With the ever-evolving logistics, rules, and tariffs; you may need to alter your businesses shipping strategy.

Here is a guide to understanding the differences between FTL, PTL and LTL shipping.  This way, based on your shipping needs, you can choose the correct option and know what you made the need for the next time.

Full Truckload (FTL) Shipping

FTL is for a business that has a lot of freight, usually over 20,000 pounds on 20 plus pallets.  FTL shipping is when the shipment utilizes the entire truck for the full shipment.  There are no transfers, no stops, it gets the freight to the destination quickly as the items are loaded and unloaded once.

This generally costs more, but it is more efficient and if you ship a ton of freight, it makes the most sense.

Less than Truckload (LTL) Shipping

LTL shipping (Less than Truckload) is a great choice for businesses who send shipments frequently but seldom have enough freight to fill an entire trailer.  They combine multiple shipments to fill an entire truck.  This option helps you avoid overpaying for smaller shipments. It is efficient and more cost-effective than paying for an entire truckload.

Freight that qualifies for LTL shipping is classified as freight that utilizes 1-6 pallet spaces and weighs less than 10,000 pounds.  When pricing, it is based on weight, length, height, density, ease of handling, value, and liability of freight.

The freight class of the items is a major factor in determining the cost of your freight shipment.  There are 18 freight classes ranging from 50 (the least expensive) to 500 (the most expensive).  Higher density freight (heavy and compact) gets a lower classification, as they are less susceptible to damage. While low density, more fragile freight gets a higher classification.

Partial Truckload (PTL) Shipping

Freight that qualifies for PTL shipping (Partial Truckload) typically takes up four pallet spaces or more, or up to ¾ of space on a trailer.  PTL freight stays on the same truck but other freight is added to the truck.  So with PTL, there is less handling of the freight.

It is more cost-effective than LTL, but it has slower transit times.  The reason for the additional length in delivery time is that it has multi-stop loads.

Experts Can Help You Choose

Expert logistics providers specialize in pairing shippers with the transportation services that they need.  Logistic professionals have the knowledge and resources to match businesses with the right freight shipping option.  PPLUS Global Logistics provides “Best in Class” service for customers and will meet your logistic needs.

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