Full Truckload (FTL)


Full Truckload (FTL) is a mode of freight transportation where a shipment occupies the entire space of a truck or trailer. It typically involves transporting large volumes of goods from one location to another without any intermediate pickups or deliveries.

Detailed Explanation

FTL is often chosen by shippers when they have enough goods to fill an entire truck or when they have a high-priority shipment that needs direct transportation without stops for additional pickups or deliveries. This method of shipping can be more cost-effective for large shipments as the cost per unit is often lower compared to other modes of transportation.

Additionally, FTL shipments tend to be faster since there’s no need to handle multiple shipments, and there’s a reduced risk of damage as the goods remain in the truck from the point of origin to the destination.

While FTL is ideal for large shipments, it requires careful planning and coordination. The shipper must ensure that they have the necessary volume to justify the cost of hiring an entire truck. Otherwise, they might end up paying for unused space.


A furniture manufacturer delivering a large order to a retail store might use FTL to transport the items, ensuring they arrive together and on time.

A company launching a new product might use FTL to ensure that large quantities of the product reach multiple distribution points simultaneously.

Related Terms and Concepts:

Frequently asked questions about Full Truckload (FTL)

When should a business consider using FTL over LTL?
FTL is ideal when the volume of goods is large enough to fill an entire truck, when goods need to be delivered faster without intermediate stops, or when the nature of the goods requires dedicated space (e.g., fragile or high-value items).

Is FTL more expensive than LTL?
While the overall cost of FTL might be higher due to hiring an entire truck, the cost per unit or per pallet is often lower in FTL compared to LTL. However, if a business doesn’t have enough goods to fill a truck, FTL might not be cost-effective.

How does FTL impact delivery times?
FTL shipments are typically faster than LTL since there are no stops for additional pickups or deliveries. The truck goes directly from the pickup point to the destination.

Are there any limitations to FTL shipping?
The main limitation is the need for a large volume of goods. If a business frequently has shipments that don’t fill an entire truck, they might end up paying for unused space, making LTL or another shipping method more economical.

Can I use FTL for international shipments?
Yes, FTL can be used for both domestic and international shipments. For international FTL, additional considerations like customs documentation and border checks might come into play.

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