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Which is Better – LTL or FTL Transport?

Shipping freight may appear to be a very complicated procedure due to the variety of available options. Companies must choose between Less Than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) transport when transferring products.  It is important to comprehend the distinctions between Full Truckload (FTL) shipping and Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping because they are two of North America’s most popular modes of transport. Even when considering international logistics, you will benefit from understanding which of these options is best for your needs.

When choosing between an FTL and an LTL, shippers must consider size, timeliness, and cost.  Here are the primary distinctions between FTL and LTL shipments to assist you in selecting the optimal transportation method. Both options have advantages, but in this article, we will examine why FTL transport is often the superior option for many shipping requirements.

FTL Transport

The Basic Differences Between LTL or FTL Transport

The primary distinctions between FTL and LTL shipments fall into four categories, namely; Timing, Pricing, Handling, and Size. Let’s take a closer look at each to better understand their impact on this decision.


When time is of the essence and prompt shipment of your products is required, Full Truckload (FTL) transport is the method of choice. In contrast to Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipments, which entail multiple stops and transfers, Full Truckload (FTL) provides a streamlined process that expedites delivery times and reduces handling risks.
LTL shipments frequently consolidate multiple shipments from various customers onto a single truck, necessitating additional pauses and transfers along the route. This can result in delays as the vehicle makes multiple pickups and deliveries, thereby increasing the likelihood of logistical complications and possible errors.
FTL shipments, on the other hand, dedicate an entire vehicle to a single customer’s shipment. This eliminates the need for intermediate stops or transfers, enabling a direct and uninterrupted journey from the point of pickup to the ultimate destination. Consequently, FTL transport reduces transit periods and accelerates the delivery process.


When deciding between Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) transport, the cost factor is crucial. LTL shipments offer cost advantages due to the shared nature of their space, whereas FTL shipments may incur higher costs due to the need to pay for the entire vehicle. To avoid superfluous expenditures and maximize resource utilization, it is crucial to make the correct choice.
LTL cargoes are typically smaller and occupy a portion of the truck’s available space. With LTL, you only pay for the volume of the vehicle that your shipment occupies. This cost-sharing model makes LTL a cost-effective option, particularly for smaller shipments and companies with lower shipping volumes. It enables you to save money by sharing transportation costs with other LTL shippers who utilize the truck’s remaining capacity.

In contrast, FTL shipments utilize the majority of the cargo, if not the entire vehicle, resulting in higher costs compared to LTL. With FTL, you are responsible for the full cost of the vehicle whether or not your shipment fills the entire space. This pricing structure reflects the truck’s exclusive use for your shipment and ensures that you have access to the truck’s entire capacity.

The choice between FTL and LTL is crucial, as selecting the incorrect option can incur unnecessary costs. If your shipment is small enough to accommodate within an LTL context, selecting FTL may result in paying for unused space. In contrast, selecting LTL for larger shipments could result in additional handling, a higher risk of damage, and possible delays due to multiple pauses and transfers.


When deciding between Less Than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) transport, you must also consider the fragility or high-risk nature of your shipment in addition to the shipping’s urgency. During FTL transport, your shipment remains on the same vehicle without being transferred, which minimizes the likelihood of damage or loss. In contrast, LTL shipments are more susceptible to potential risks, such as the possibility of switching trucks or enduring multiple transfers before arriving at their final destination.

When it comes to shipping fragile or high-risk items, FTL transportation provides an advantage. FTL reduces handling and eliminates the need for transfers between vehicles or terminals by devoting an entire truck to your shipment. This reduces the dangers associated with additional handling, such as harsh loading and unloading or the possibility of accidents during transfers. As a provider of custom storage solutions, Murphy Logistics also understands that with the best of intentions, accidents are still possible when shipments are handled numerous times. Your shipment remains securely loaded on the same truck for the duration of the voyage, drastically reducing the likelihood of loss or damage.


The overall size of the shipment is a crucial factor to consider when shipping freight. The terms “Full Truckload” (FTL) and “Less Than Truckload” (LTL) clearly indicate their respective cargo-carrying capacities. Understanding the differences in size and weight restrictions is crucial for determining whether an LTL or FTL shipping method is more appropriate for your shipment.

LTL shipments typically involve smaller freight packages weighing between 100 and 5,000 pounds. These shipments do not fill the truck, leaving capacity for smaller shipments from other customers. LTL transportation is an economical option for businesses with smaller or fragmented shipments. By sharing the costs of transportation with other shippers, LTL enables cost savings and efficient utilization of resources.

In contrast, FTL shipments typically utilize the entire capacity of a vehicle. Typically, they are larger in size and weight, frequently exceeding 20,000 pounds. FTL shipments are ideal for businesses with considerable freight loads that require the truck’s exclusive use. Choosing FTL guarantees that your shipment has a dedicated space, minimizing the risk of loss or damage associated with multiple handling points.

However, it is important to observe that shipments can fall within a range between the LTL and FTL categories. Occasionally, shipments weighing between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds can be classified as either LTL or FTL. These cargoes are frequently referred to as “volume LTL” shipments in LTL terminology. This means that even though they do not completely load a truck, they may occupy a substantial portion of the available space. When these cargoes are transported as FTL, they are commonly referred to as “partial TL” shipments.

For shipments within this weight range, the choice between LTL and FTL depends on a variety of factors, including cost considerations, transit time requirements, and the specific needs of the shipment. Murphy Logistics recognizes the significance of adaptability and adapts its services to effectively accommodate such cargo. They provide expert guidance and customized solutions for volume LTL and partial TL shipments, ensuring that the optimal shipping method is selected based on the specific characteristics of your freight.

Other Considerations for LTL vs FTL Transport

When determining between Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) and Full-Truckload (FTL) transport, there are a number of additional important considerations. These factors include efficiency, cost flexibility, security, and the overall complexity of your shipping requirements. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that satisfies your specific needs and assures the successful transportation of your goods.

Optimizing Efficiency

FTL transport’s capacity to optimize efficiency is one of its chief advantages. FTL transport dedicates an entire vehicle to a single shipment, as opposed to LTL, which combines multiple shipments into one truck. This means that your products are not subject to additional handling, transfers, or delays, resulting in expedited and dependable delivery.

Murphy Logistics excels in this regard by offering an extensive FTL transport service. With a large fleet of trucks and a network of skilled drivers, they guarantee that your shipment receives undivided attention from pickup to delivery. This method reduces the risk of injury, loss, or miscommunication that is commonly associated with LTL transport.

Cost Adaptability

Contrary to popular belief, FTL transport can also be economical, particularly for larger shipments. LTL may appear to be the more cost-effective option for smaller loads, but the fees, additional handling, and delays can rapidly add up. FTL Transport eliminates these concerns by providing a streamlined and unambiguous pricing structure based on the shipment’s distance, weight, and dimensions.

Murphy Logistics recognizes the significance of cost-effectiveness and offers competitive FTL transport rates. They ensure you receive value for your money by optimizing their routes, utilizing fuel-efficient vehicles, and employing efficient logistics practices. In addition, their adaptable scheduling allows you to schedule shipments according to your specific needs, ensuring minimal disruption and maximum productivity.

Enhanced Protection and Security

Security and protection of your products are of the utmost importance during transport. With FTL transport, your shipment is loaded securely onto the vehicle, reducing the risk of damage or theft that can occur when LTL shipments are handled multiple times.

Murphy Logistics goes above and beyond to guarantee the safety and security of your cargo. Their FTL transport services are equipped with sophisticated tracking systems that enable real-time monitoring of the location and status of your shipment. In addition, their team of devoted professionals implements stringent security protocols to ensure that your items are handled with the utmost care and remain undamaged throughout the journey. Furthermore, Murphy Logistics is also a provider of short-term warehousing solutions which also includes dependable security.

Making Your Decision

LTL transport serves a purpose for smaller shipments, but when it comes to optimizing efficiency, minimizing costs, and ensuring the safety of your products, FTL transport is commonly considered the superior option. Murphy Logistics, through its dedication to excellence, provides businesses of all sizes with a seamless and dependable FTL transport solution.

With Murphy Logistics, you can rest assured that your shipments are being managed by seasoned warehousing and logistics experts who prioritize efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the safety of your products. Their extensive FTL transport services and track record of success make them the best option for all of your transportation requirements.

In conclusion, if you have a large shipment that requires undivided attention or you are looking for a hassle-free and dependable transport solution, choose FTL transport from Murphy Logistics and enjoy the advantages of efficient, cost-effective, and secure shipping. As a full-service 3PL freight brokerage, we have not only the experience but also the resources to prove ourselves. Having experienced manpower and the reliable equipment of a proven asset based carrier ensures your successful delivery.