Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Full Truckload (FTL) Shipping

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Full Truckload (FTL) Shipping

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Full Truckload (FTL) Shipping

Full Truckload (FTL) is a shipping method where an entire truck or a trailer is dedicated to a single shipment

What Is Full Truckload (FTL)

Full Truckload (FTL) is a shipping method where an entire truck or a trailer is dedicated to a single shipment. This means the goods occupy the whole space and are not combined with other shipments. FTL is typically used for large shipments or shipments that require special handling or faster delivery.

What Are The Benefits & Challenges Of Using FTL Shipping?

Full Truckload (FTL) shipping offers several benefits, making it a preferred choice for many businesses, but it also comes with certain challenges:

Benefits Of FTL Shipping:

  • Faster Transit Times: Since the entire truck is dedicated to a single shipment, there are no additional stops or delays for consolidating or deconsolidating cargo with other shipments. This results in faster transit times, especially for long-distance deliveries.
  • Reduced Risk Of Damage: As the goods are not handled multiple times during transit and remain in the same truck throughout the journey, the risk of damage due to loading/unloading or transfers is significantly reduced. This is particularly advantageous for delicate or high-value cargo.
  • Ideal For Large Shipments: FTL is the most cost-effective option for large shipments filling an entire truck. Utilising the truck’s full capacity maximises efficiency and minimises the cost per unit shipped.
  • Enhanced Security: FTL shipments offer greater security as there is no commingling of goods from different shippers. This reduces the chances of theft or misplacement during transit.
  • Flexibility & Control: Shippers have more control over the routing and scheduling of FTL shipments, allowing them to choose specific pick-up and delivery times and preferred routes.

Challenges Of FTL Shipping:

  • Higher Cost: FTL shipping is generally more expensive than Less-than-Truckload (LTL) shipping, especially for smaller shipments that don’t utilise the truck’s full capacity.
  • Capacity Requirements: FTL is only feasible for large shipments to fill a truck. Smaller shipments may require LTL shipping or other alternatives.
  • Limited Availability: During peak seasons or in certain regions, the availability of FTL carriers might be limited, leading to higher rates or potential delays.
  • Empty Miles: If the return trip is not pre-booked, the truck might return empty, adding to the overall cost and environmental impact.

When Is LTL Shipping The Right Choice For Business?

FTL shipping is the right choice for a business in the following scenarios:

  • Shipment Size: When the shipment is large enough to fill a truck, typically exceeding 6,800 kg or 6-10 pallets, FTL becomes the most cost-effective option.
  • Faster Transit Time: If time is of the essence and the shipment needs to be delivered quickly, FTL offers faster transit times than Less-than-Truckload (LTL) shipping due to no additional stops or transfers.
  • Fragile Or High-Value Goods: FTL shipping is ideal for transporting delicate or valuable items that require extra care and security. The reduced handling and dedicated truck space minimise the risk of damage or theft.
  • Sensitive Or Specialised Cargo: For shipments that require specific temperature control, handling procedures, or equipment, FTL provides the flexibility and customisation necessary to meet those requirements.
  • High Volume Shipments: Businesses with regular, large shipments can benefit from FTL as it offers cost savings through volume discounts and dedicated capacity.
  • Reduced Risk Of Damage: FTL minimises the risk of damage due to fewer transfers and handling, making it suitable for easily damaged goods.

Can I Consolidate Multiple LTL Shipments Into An FTL For Better Rates?

Yes, a business can consolidate multiple LTL shipments into an FTL shipment to obtain better rates and improve efficiency. This strategy is often employed when a business has several smaller shipments destined for the same region or delivery area.

Benefits Of LTL Consolidation Into FTL:

  • Cost Savings: FTL rates are generally lower per unit of weight or volume than LTL rates. By consolidating, businesses can achieve cost savings due to the economies of scale associated with FTL.
  • Reduced Damage Risk: Consolidating shipments into an FTL reduces the number of handling points, minimising the risk of damage during transit.
  • Faster Delivery: FTL shipments typically have faster transit times than LTL shipments because they bypass the LTL carrier’s consolidation terminals.
  • Simplified Logistics: Managing a single FTL shipment is often simpler than coordinating multiple LTL shipments.

Which Indian Players Offer LTL Shipping?

While the Indian logistics market has a few established players offering LTL shipping, several startups have also emerged, providing innovative solutions and disrupting the traditional landscape:

  • Pickrr: It is a tech-enabled logistics platform that focusses on end-to-end logistics solutions, including LTL shipping, for ecommerce businesses. The startup leverages technology to optimise routes, reduce costs, and enhance transparency.
  • Rivigo: While not solely focussed on LTL, Rivigo offers a unique ‘relay trucking’ model where drivers switch trucks at designated points, ensuring faster delivery times for both FTL and LTL shipments.
  • BlackBuck: Primarily a digital freight marketplace, BlackBuck offers LTL services through its extensive network of carriers.