Full Truckload (FTL) transportation is when a client uses the full capacity of a 48- to the 53-foot trailer to transport their freight. While a 53-foot trailer can fit around 30 pallets and 45,000 lbs of freight, FTL transportation can be a useful shipping option if you’re transporting 6 or more pallets, or if your shipment weighs 12,000 lbs or more. FTL transportation makes up more than half of trucking transportation in the continental United States and can be a cost-efficient choice for time-sensitive shipments or freight that needs to be isolated and/or refrigerated.
What are the Differences between FTL and LTL?
Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping is when multiple customers share freight space in one trailer. Individual shipments will have separate drop-off locations along the delivery route. This is ideal for smaller, more frequent deliveries, but any shipment over 20,000 lbs will require FTL transportation.
LTL shipments are usually 5 or less pallets packed with other customers’ freight in one trailer. FTL transportation is for larger shipments of 6 or more pallets, with one client per trailer.
An FTL delivery route will only have one destination, whereas LTL transportation includes multiple stops to pick up and distribute individual shipments.
LTL transportation shipments range between 151 to 20,000 lbs, but FTL transportation can be useful for freight weighing 12,000 lbs and above.
What Are the Benefits of FTL Transportation?
Even if a shipment doesn’t max out the space and weight limit of a trailer, FTL transportation can be an economical decision that will protect valuable freight.
During an LTL delivery, the truck driver will have to stop at multiple hubs and distribution centers before delivering each individual shipment at its final destination. If your freight needs to arrive on a tight schedule, FTL transportation is a faster choice. Since the truck only has one destination, the trip is expedited with less starting, stopping and repacking.
FTL shipments are packed once and undisturbed for the entire trip. This is especially useful for shipments of any sensitive or perishable goods. With no chance of disturbance or loss of refrigeration, FTL transportation ensures that your products arrive at their destination in the best condition possible.
Choosing FTL transportation can also help keep your total shipment cost down. Carrier rates for LTL shipments are higher per unit than FTL rates, so after the threshold of 6 pallets or 12,000 lbs, it is more cost-effective to choose FTL transportation.
How Many Pallets are Considered FTL?
FTL shipments are typically 24 or more pallets, with an average freight weight of 20,000 lbs and above.
The two standard pallet or “skid” sizes are 42”x48” and 48”x48”. Both sizes have a standard height of 5-½” and weigh around 40 lbs. A 48-foot trailer can fit up to 24 skids at 48”x48”, or 26 at 42”x44”. A 53-foot trailer will fit up to 26 pallets that are 48”x48”, or 30 that are 42”x48”.
In terms of weight, trailers can usually carry up to 45,000 lbs, as long as the freight weight combined with the tractor and trailer do not exceed the 80,000 lbs legal limit on U.S. roads.
Ship FTL to all 48 Contiguous States with East Coast Transport, LLC!
There are many benefits to using FTL transportation for shipments, even if the freight doesn’t approach the maximum volume and weight limits of a trailer. Using this shipping method makes sure that your freight arrives quickly and undisturbed at a cost-efficient rate. Contact East Coast Transport today to see if FTL transportation is the right choice for you!