Pros and Cons of Less Than Truckload Shipping

by | Sep 27, 2022 | Blog, Industry Insights

Pros and Cons of Less Than Truckload Shipping

Have you been looking at the different types of freight shipping for fast and affordable shipping of your goods? Are you torn between full truckload shipping (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) services? In this article, you will learn about the pros and cons of using less than truckload shipping services to help determine if it is cost-effective and reliable for your business.

What is Less Than Truckload Shipping

LTL freight shipping is a mixed trailer where more than one business comes together to fill a container for shipping. The shipping agent makes several stops to collect and drop off goods for customers at the designated locations. Most small businesses prefer using LTL, as it may take a while before they fill up the container all alone.

Pros of Using Less Than Truckload Shipping

Cost Effective

Using LTL costs are much less since you are sharing the truck with other containers. You only have to pay for a portion of the trip. The total costs of shipping are calculated according to the weight of your goods and the space. A recent analysis by redwood showed instances where customers used full truckload(FTL), spent over $2,100 and only used 12% of the trailer. If they used LTL, the cost would be approximately $500, which is more cost-effective.

Favorable to Small Businesses

Small and big businesses can use LTL, but small businesses might find it more useful as they rarely can fill a truckload on their own. When small businesses start to ship their goods, turn to LTL because you can have up to six pallets (or less) to send out your goods.

Product Safety

Less than truckload shipping is more secure than parcel because all of your goods are secured in skids or pallets, making them tight and stable.


When using LTL, you can ship less than six pallets at a time if you need to. You do not have to stretch beyond your reach to afford a whole truck. There is also pick up and drop off of your goods at designated locations. Furthermore, LTL ships from a variety of locations across USA and Canada.

Environmental Friendly

When you use LTL, you share space with others who want to ship. Only a few trucks hit the road, meaning there are fewer emissions and fewer traffic jams.

Cons of  Less Than Truckload Service

Unreliable Availability

Due to low volume, some routes may not have trucks passing by. It inconveniences the customer as they have to send the goods to a different course with a higher volume of goods being shipped.

Less Secure

Although the use of LTL is ensures your actual product is more safe than parcel services, your delivery may be less secure. Because the truck stops at multiple locations to drop off goods, other customers can access your freight and mistakes may be made. Unlike a sealed FTL that only opens once it reaches the customer.

Delay of Your Goods

Since you depend on the pickup and drop off of your freight, it may take longer than expected as the truck has to pass through multiple routes before delivering your goods.

Your Goods can Be Damaged

When the truck makes multiple stops to drop off or pick up goods, your freight may be damaged as other goods are removed or loaded.

Not Cost-Efficient if You are Shipping More Than Six Pallets

Less than truckload shipping is cost-efficient if you are shipping less than six pallets. Above six pallets, the cost becomes much higher and using FTL would be the best option. Most freight companies will only accept a freight if it is less than 2,500 kg.

Choose The Best Ground Freight Shipping

When choosing a ground freight shipping method, you should consider the cost and the value of your goods, the duration it will take and if your route is accessible to the truck. If you are a small business, using LTL will save you a lot, but you should also consider the cons before deciding which freight shipping method to use.

To learn more about optimizing your deliveries to ensure customer satisfaction, contact Elite EXTRA today!


Mallorie Barabas

Mallorie Barabas


Mallorie is the Marketing Strategist at Elite EXTRA; if you ask her about her job, she will immediately tell you to follow @EliteEXTRA on LinkedIn (that is your cue;) When she isn't at the office, you can catch her teaching aerial yoga, swimming, or just generally enjoying the outdoors.

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