Discover How Full Truck Load Works, the Benefits, and the Timing!

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Full Truck Load

Full Truck Load (FTL) refers to a situation where a truck or transport vehicle is delivered fully loaded from one point to a destination point without the need to share cargo space with other shipments. In the context of logistics and transportation, FTL is usually used when a company or individual has a large amount of goods or cargo that meets the full capacity of the truck.

Some of the main characteristics of Full Truck Load shipping involve using a single truck to transport the entire load, avoiding merging the cargo with shipments from other shippers, and allowing the shipper to have full control of the delivery schedule and the route taken by the truck.

The use of FTL can provide benefits such as better delivery speed, minimized risk of damage or loss as there is no transfer of cargo at additional stops, and more flexibility in organizing delivery schedules. However, the cost of FTL may be higher compared to shipping solutions that utilize partial truck capacity (LTL or Less Than Truck Load) as the shipper has to pay for the entire capacity of the truck, even if the load does not fully fill that capacity. Check out the full article with  TransTRACK!

How FTL Shipping Services Work

Full Truck Load (FTL) shipping services involve a number of steps and processes to ensure efficient and safe delivery from one point to the destination point. Here is an overview of how FTL shipping services work:

Quote Request

  • Customers who need FTL services contact the service provider or logistics company to request a quote.
  • They provide information such as the type of goods to be shipped, the number of loads, weight, dimensions, pick-up point, and delivery destination.

Quote and Booking Confirmation

  • Based on the information provided, the service provider makes an offer that includes the shipping cost, delivery schedule, and other details.
  • If the customer agrees with the quote, they confirm the booking and schedule the delivery time.

Collection of Goods (Pickup)

  • At the agreed time, the truck arrives to pick up the cargo from the pickup location.
  • Items are picked up and loaded onto the truck with care to ensure safety during the journey.

Routing and Travel Arrangements

  • Once the cargo is loaded, the truck follows the planned route to the final destination.
  • Regular monitoring and maintenance of the truck can be done during the journey to avoid any unwanted disruptions or delays.

Shipment Monitoring

  • During the journey, customers and service providers can track the progress of shipments using tracking technologies and logistics management systems.
  • This information can include estimated time of arrival (ETA), current location, and other status updates.

Receiving and Unloading

  • Upon arrival at the destination, the cargo is carefully unloaded by the delivery personnel.
  • The receiver verifies the consistency and state of the goods, and if everything meets expectations, the shipment is considered complete.

Payment and Documentation

  • After the delivery is completed, the customer pays the delivery fee according to the agreement.
  • An official document such as a delivery receipt or invoice is provided to the customer as proof of the transaction.

These steps may vary depending on the logistics company or FTL service provider used. Information technology and real-time tracking also play a key role in improving transparency and efficiency in FTL shipping services.

The Difference Between FTL and LTL

The difference between Full Truck Load (FTL) and Less Than Truck Load (LTL) lies in the amount of cargo shipped and how the cargo is organized during the shipping process. Here are some of the key differences:

Amount of Payload

  • FTL: Used when the shipper has a large enough amount of cargo to fill or near the full capacity of the truck. The entire truck is filled with loads from one shipper.
  • LTL: Used when shippers have loads that do not meet the full capacity of the truck. Loads from several different shippers are collected and consolidated on one truck.

Cargo Space Arrangement

  • FTL: The entire cargo space of the truck is filled with cargo from one shipper only. There is no merging with loads from other shippers.
  • LTL: Truck cargo space is divided and used to transport loads from multiple shippers. These loads are often divided into smaller units.


  • FTL: FTL shipping costs tend to be higher because the shipper pays for the entire capacity of the truck, even if the load is not full.
  • LTL: LTL shipping costs are calculated based on the actual space used by the load, so it can be more economical for shippers with smaller loads.

Shipping Speed

  • FTL: FTL shipments tend to be faster as there is no need to collect and unload cargo from various shippers along the route.
  • LTL: LTL shipments may take longer because trucks have to stop at various locations to collect and deliver loads from multiple shippers.

Shipping Control

  • FTL: The shipper has more control over the delivery schedule and the route taken by the truck as the load only comes from one shipper.
  • LTL: Shippers may have a little less control as trucks have to adjust routes and schedules based on various shippers and pickup or delivery points.

The choice between FTL and LTL depends on the volume of the load, the desired speed of delivery, and the specific needs of the shipper. FTL is more suitable for large shipments from a single source, while LTL is suitable for smaller loads from several different sources.

What are the Pros of FTL Shipping

Full Truck Load (FTL) shipping has a number of advantages that can be the right choice depending on the needs of the shipper. Some of the advantages of FTL shipping include:

Speed of Delivery

FTL shipments tend to be faster as there is no need to stop at various locations to collect loads from multiple shippers. Trucks can go straight to the final destination.

Safety and Reliability

With loads originating from a single shipper and not shared with other shippers, the risk of damage or loss during delivery is minimized. Shippers have more control over their cargo.

Full Cargo Space Availability

Shippers can utilize the entire capacity of the truck, which can optimize the use of cargo space and help reduce shipping costs per unit load.

Full Control over Routes and Schedules

Shippers have greater control over delivery routes and schedules. They can determine pick-up and delivery times that suit their needs.

Cost Efficiency for Large Loads

For shipping large loads, FTL can be more economical as the cost per unit of load can be lower compared to using a shipping service that aggregates loads from multiple shippers (LTL).

Simplified for Tracking and Inventory Management

Load tracking and inventory management are simplified because the entire truck is loaded with cargo from a single source. This simplifies supervision and monitoring during the journey.

Reduced Risk of Errors and Delays

By focusing on a single load, the risk of errors or delays caused by coordinating pickups and deliveries from multiple shippers can be minimized.

It is important to note that these advantages mainly apply to shippers who have loads large enough to fill at or near the full capacity of the truck. If the load is smaller, Less Than Truck Load (LTL) shipping may be more suitable to optimize cost and efficiency.

When to Use FTL

The use of Full Truck Load (FTL) should be considered in certain situations. Here are some situations where the use of FTL may be the right choice:

Large Load Volume

When you have a large enough amount of cargo to fill or near the full capacity of a truck. FTL is efficient for large shipments from a single source.

Delivery Speed Matters

If speed of delivery is an important factor and you want to minimize delivery time, FTL can provide better speed as the truck can go straight to the destination without stopping at various pickup points.

Damage-Prone Cargo

For goods or cargo that are prone to damage, such as fragile or high value items, FTL provides added security as the cargo is not shared with cargo from other shippers.

Full Control over Loads and Schedules

If you need complete control over your loads, including delivery schedules and the routes taken by trucks, FTL can provide greater flexibility.

Cost Efficiency for Large Loads

FTL can be more economical if the cost per unit load can be reduced by filling the full capacity of the truck, especially if the shipment volume is large and on a regular basis.

Efficient Inventory Management

If you want to ease inventory management and load tracking in a simple way, FTL can provide clarity and ease of monitoring.

When Cargo Requires Special Treatment

If your load requires special treatment, such as specific temperature conditions or extra security, using FTL can ensure full control of the shipping conditions.

It is important to assess the specific needs of your shipment, including load volume, desired delivery time, nature of the load, and budget, before deciding whether to use FTL or other shipping models such as Less Than Truck Load (LTL). As a general rule, FTL tends to be more suitable for large loads and shipments that require more control over the delivery process.

As a smart logistics decision maker, it’s time to take your Full Truck Load (FTL) shipments to the next level. With TransTRACK’s Truck Appointment System solution, you not only ensure efficiency in managing delivery schedules, but also optimize the overall experience in your supply chain.

Make TransTRACK Your Choice to Improve Logistics Efficiency! It’s not just about delivering loads, but about taking your business to the next level. Make TransTRACK your logistics partner and watch how your FTL shipments become more efficient, planned, and responsive.

Contact Us to discuss how TransTRACK can help you optimize your FTL shipments. With our innovative technology and support, get ready to face your logistics future with confidence and efficiency.


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