FTL vs. LTL: which of these shipping services is best for you?


Choosing between Full Truckload (FTL) and  Less than Truckload (LTL) shipping services can be a challenging task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the logistics industry. Both services have their advantages and disadvantages, which may vary based on your specific needs, that’s why we’ve delved into the differences between FTL and LTL shipping services to help you know which of the shipping services is best for you.

FTL Shipping

Full Truckload shipping services are best suited for businesses that have a very large volume of merchandise to transport. FTL shipments usually require an entire truck and are especially ideal for those businesses that need to ship heavy or fragile items that require specialized handling.


  • Faster Delivery: FTL shipping is faster compared to LTL shipping since the entire truckload is devoted to your shipment, so if you’re in a rush, it’s a very nice feature.
  • More Secure: Since this service only carries your items, the risk of theft, damage, and loss is significantly reduced.
  • Cost-Effective: Contrary to what many people believe, FTL shipping can be more economic if you have a large volume of merchandise to ship.


  • Higher Minimum Charges: FTL shipments typically have higher minimum charges, that means it can be more expensive for small shipments.
  • Inflexibility: FTL shipments are inflexible as you have to reserve an entire truckload, which makes it difficult to make changes to your shipment if needed.

LTL Shipping

On the contrary to FTL, Less than Truckload shipping services tend to be better for businesses that need to ship smaller volumes of products. LTL shipments tend to involve a large number of smaller goods into one larger cargo, which can help you reduce costs.


  • Cheaper with small shipments: If you’re looking to save money and you only need to transportate small volumes of merchandise, LTL is a good option.
  • Flexibility: LTL shipping is known for its flexibility, as it allows you to make changes to your shipment with ease and without much hassle.
  • Improved Tracking: A lot of LTL services provide advanced tracking systems that allow you to monitor your shipment’s status in real-time, providing better visibility and control over your shipments, which also leads to peace of mind.


  • Longer Delivery Times: It can take longer to deliver since they involve several stops to pick up and drop off different cargo to different clients.
  • Higher Risks: As LTL always carry several shipments, the risk of damage and theft tend to be higher.

Which one suits you best according to the type of cargo you will send?

The choice between FTL and LTL shipping services ultimately depends on your business requirements. If you have a large volume of goods to transport, FTL shipping tends to be more suitable. On the other hand, if you have smaller shipments, LTL services can be cheaper and more flexible.

It’s essential to consider several factors, such as the size and weight of your shipment, the delivery timeline, and your budget, before deciding on the best shipping service for your business. 

We acknowledge that both FTL and LTL shipping services come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, selecting the most suitable service for your business may need thoughtful evaluation. If you are unsure about which option to choose, seeking the guidance of logistics industry experts such as Cargomatic can be helpful in navigating the shipping process.


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Kenny Oliva

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