Freight Transport Services: LTL and TL Explained

May 25, 2022

What are freight transport services to begin with? A simple definition describes freight transport as a process for moving goods by land, air, and sea. Making up the bulk of that transportation in the U.S. is the trucking industry. According to the American Trucking Association, nearly 72.5% of the country’s freight is transported by trucks. That’s roughly 10.23 billion tons of freight handled by trucks on a yearly basis in 2020.

With so much merchandise for businesses across the nation to transport, it’s more important than ever to know the ins and outs of shipping by truck. This blog will walk you through the basics of truckload (TL) and less than truckload (LTL) shipments to get you started.

What defines LTL in shipping?

LTL stands for less than truckload, a shipment that usually falls somewhere between 150 to 15,000 pounds. This type of freight service is designed to handle shipments bigger than a parcel but small enough that transportation doesn’t require the full space of a semi-trailer. Businesses looking to ship smaller amounts of merchandise can reduce costs by sharing the load and finding competitive rates from a qualified shipper.

What is the definition of TL and when should you use it?

TL (also written as FTL) stands for truckload, a type of shipment that uses the full space of a semi-trailer for transport. Beyond being able to accommodate shipments of more than 15,000 pounds at a time, TL is also a preferred method for expedited services. This is because a single truckload means fewer stops and less opportunity for freight to be damaged during transport.

Finding the best LTL and TL services

Getting the best shipping rates with fast, reliable service has everything to do with the quality of your carriers and how you connect with them. Freightquote® pairs the latest freight shipping technology with industry experts to help you find competitive quotes, build BOLs, and get end-to-end support for your supply chain. This includes navigating you through carrier tariffs, keeping you connected to all points of contact throughout your shipping network, and tailoring shipping services to the needs of your freight.

For more information about TL, LTL, and more freight shipping details related to transport by truck, Freightquote can help. Customers across the U.S. experience these great benefits:

  • Take full advantage of a North American transportation network with more than 85,000 carriers
  • Get consistent capacity and reliable service for your business needs
  • Find instant, competitive TL and LTL rates online
  • Receive customized solutions created with your specific truckload freight in mind
  • Manage freight easily with tracking and tracing online 24/7

Learn more about Freightquote’s transport services

Whether you should opt for LTL or TL depends on the size of your shipments and how your freight needs to be handled. Both offer benefits of saving money or expediting the speed of shipment, and Freightquote can help you make informed, reliable decisions for every carrier choice. Get a quote today to start saving and shipping with Freightquote.