What is Full Truckload Shipping (FTL)?

Full-Truckload-Shipping or FTL

Truckload shipping (FTL) is the movement of large amounts of cargo or freight. The amount of product necessary for truckload shipping would need to fill an entire semi-trailer or intermodal container. A truckload carrier is a trucking company, such as 3 star logistics and would contract and entire trailer-load to a single customer or location. Full truckload shipping (FTL) is much different than less than truckload (LTL) shipping because LTL typically involves mixing freight from several different customers inside of each trailer. A major advantage to full truckload shipping is that the freight is rarely handled more than once. Additionally, full truckload carriers are able to give a more accurate time frame on when the freight will arrive. Less than truckload shipments are typically transported on several different trailers and make multiple stops.

Full truckload carriers usually deliver a semi trailer to a shipper who then fills the trailer with freight for delivery to its destination. Once the freight has been loaded onto the trailer, the driver will return to the shipper and collect all of the required paperwork. Typically, the shipping paperwork involved is a Bill of Lading, an Invoice or Customs paperwork and it will depart along with the trailer that contains the freight. Most of the time, the driver will proceed to the consignee and will deliver the freight him or herself. On occasion, a driver with a full truckload will transfer the trailer to another driver who delivers the freight to the proper destination. Full truckload (FTL) transit times tend to be constrained by the hours of service regulations. The average transit time for a full truckload shipper is approximately 47 miles per hour. This includes queues at intersections, traffic jams and rest stops.

FTL or full truckload carriers will often specialize in moving a specific type of freight although truckload carriers do have a wide variety of products to ship. Because the trucking industry has a huge variety of cargo to ship, most drivers will deter from their normal Freight in order to make sure a product arrives at its destination on time. Full truckload shipments are vital to moving multitudes of cargo which can include but is not limited too food and perishable items, poisonous and hazardous materials, and frozen items. Most full truckload carriers will only transport specific freight because there are different insurance and equipment needs for different kinds of products. Additionally, full truckload shippers have to abide by the federal laws which state which type of freight can be shipped together inside of the same trailer.

This history of full truckload shipping can be traced back to the American Interstate Highway System which was expanded in the 1950ís. Around this time, the trucking industry took a huge amount of market share involving the transportation of all kinds of goods throughout the country. Prior to the expansion of the Interstate Highway System, the transportation of goods and cargo in the United States was primarily done via Trains. Since the early 50ís, the truckload carriers have taken full advantage of the interstate system in order to transport cargo and goods throughout America. The huge increase in truckload freight transportation has reduced the amount of time it takes to transport goods from where the freight was produced or manufactured to different areas across the United States.