What are Truckload, Partial Truckload and LTL?

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What is the Difference between a Full Truckload, a Partial Truckload and LTL shipment?

Trucking companies often use the terms “Full Truckload (FTL),” “Partial Truckload (PTL)” and “Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)” to describe how they move goods. FTL shipments fill up an entire truck with your cargo, PTL ships partial loads in shared trailers, and LTL puts multiple smaller orders onto one trailer for shipment. Depending on your needs, each of these have their own benefits, so let’s take a closer look.

What are LTL Shipments?

LTL Shipments are transported by some of the leading LTL Carriers out there, while the Full Truckloads and partial Truckloads are transported by the Independent Carriers. LTL Carriers that we hire include, but are not Limited to:

ABF Freight

Forward Air

Ward LTL


YRC Freight

A Duie Pyle

Southeastern LTL Freight

Central Freight

Frontline Freight

Clear Lane Carrier

Reddaway Freight Lines

New Penn Freight

Land and Air Express

Holland Transportation

Midwest Motors

Fedex Freight

Pitt Ohio

Land Express

What are Full Truckloads?

Full Truckloads are typically reserved for large or bulky orders that require an entire truck’s worth of space to transport, such as large pallets and containers. They offer direct shipping from point A to point B and can be customized depending on your product’s needs.

What are partial truckloads?

Partial Truckloads are a great way to ship smaller orders that don’t require an entire trailer. PTL services offer lower shipping rates than FTL, since they share space with other customers’ cargo in the same truck. This allows you to get more bang for your buck!

Tell me more

Finally, Less-Than Truckload shipments are best suited for small shipments that need to be delivered quickly. LTL services allow multiple shippers on one trailer, meaning that each customer only pays for their portion of the load rather than filling up the whole trailer themselves. A great option for those who want fast and affordable delivery!

Is the Trucking Industry always this way?

The Trucking Industry has its own little language, but hopefully this breakdown of the FTL, PTL and LTL services has given you a better understanding of the terminology used. Whichever type of shipment is best for your needs, you can be sure that your cargo will arrive safely and on-time!

This post is provided by The Shipping Emporium, a Small Woman Owned Freight Business in Virginia and also a leading provider of Truckload, Partial Truckload and Less-Than-Truckload services in the United States. We specialize in helping companies get their cargo where it needs to go quickly and efficiently. Learn more about our services at shippingemp.com!

Happy Trucking!

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed learning about the different types of truckload shipping services. At The Shipping Emporium, we’re proud to be a leading provider in the Trucking Industry and are committed to providing our customers with quality service and support. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you get your cargo on the move!

-The Shipping Emporium Team.