If you’re looking for shipping services, you’ve probably heard the term “full truckload shipping.” But what exactly is full truckload shipping, and why should you use it? This article will cover everything you need to know about full truckload shipping, including what it is, how it works, and the numerous advantages of using it for your company.
Full truckload shipping (FTL) is a type of freight transportation that involves the transportation of large amounts of goods on a single, dedicated truck. They are ideal for businesses that require the use of an entire tractor-trailer to ship similar products at the same time. FTL shipping, for example, would be the best option if a furniture company needed to ship a large order of chairs to a client.
Let’s take a look at how full truckload shipping works now that you know what it is. FTL shipments are typically transported on trailers owned by the shipper. This means the shipper has complete control over the shipment from beginning to end. The shipper is also in charge of loading and unloading the shipment, as well as providing any required packaging and documentation.
The shipment is transported to its destination after being loaded onto the truck. FTL shipments are typically transported on major highways and delivered directly to their destination, with no stops along the way.
Benefits of Full-Truck Load Shipping
These advantages will be classified into various categories. Depending on the merchandise you need to move, some of these benefits will have more or less impact.
The ability to negotiate rates when shipping via FTL services may provide shippers with an advantage if they understand which factors to scrutinize more closely. Quotes from FTL carriers are more dependent on market factors such as current demand and fuel costs.
If you use a 3PL service to handle your shipping, they may be able to negotiate a lower rate for full truckload shipping. A freight broker can provide a similar service if you are not confident enough in your understanding of the market to negotiate on your own.
Negotiation is made possible by the following factors:
- Backhaul load availability
- The type of freight
- Preferred locations
- The origin of the shipment
- Fuel costs
- Available freight lanes
- Charges for extras (extra packing, blanket wrap use, or other requests)
Not all of the factors may work in your favour. Rising fuel costs, for example, are more likely to raise your rate. However, improving your understanding of these gives you a long-term advantage in price negotiation.
To get the best rates, you may want to schedule shipments at specific times of the year or along specific routes. Your best rates are likely to come from negotiating a long-term contract, six to twelve months depending on your business model. As a result, you establish a mutually beneficial relationship with your carrier service.
Although it may appear that you are paying more at times, keep in mind that a lower price may come at the expense of reduced or non-existent customer service assistance. People, not equipment, are what drive the trucking industry forward.
A contract is more cost-effective in the long run because it allows you to navigate market fluctuations while providing consistent pricing to your customers. A good freight broker can point you in the right direction if you need to switch carrier services or plan a one-time shipment.
Faster delivery times
If you need to restock your store quickly, FTL shipping will be your best friend. Full truckload shipments typically have shorter total transit times than comparable LTL distances and times.
If you have a large shipment at the port or in a local warehouse, an FTL service will load and deliver cargo without making any stops in between. Rapid delivery times are essential for time-sensitive cargo and merchandise.
FTL is also faster than LTL because initial loading is less of a hassle. If you combine truckload and transload services, for example, the warehouse only needs to take the goods out of one container and load them directly into the trailer which will make the final delivery. Since pallets and crates must be weighed and classified to determine shipping costs, the same transload service for an LTL shipment is slower.
Trailer Exclusive Use
The exclusive use of a trailer for the duration of the transport process is a big draw for high-value or fragile shipping needs. Whether you use the entire trailer or not, paying for exclusive use has several advantages.
- Enhanced shipment security: The fewer times a trailer must be opened and closed, the less likely something will go missing.
- Reduced risk of damage during transit: When shipping fragile items that must be carefully packed, such as glassware, being the only package in the trailer reduces the possibility of another package shifting and causing damage.
- Available Dedicated Services: Some carriers provide a full truckload service as part of a daily or weekly service. For that amount of time, a driver and truck are dedicated to you and your shipment. This service may be useful if you know it will take longer to load a truck or if you are in the process of consolidating multiple shipments.
Exclusive use is also associated with faster delivery times. There is no need for you to wait for additional merchandise to be loaded. Your driver will be able to move your items once they are on or in the trailer.
This also benefits drivers, particularly owner-operators who work independently. No driver wants to waste time waiting for shipments to be loaded when they could be driving and delivering.
Any point in the shipment and delivery process where cargo is moved, adjusted, or otherwise handled is considered a touchpoint. The fewer touchpoints your shipment has, the less likely it is to be damaged or misplaced as it moves from container to truck to warehouse to more trucks. Each move carries the risk of causing damage or loss.
Full truckload services can have as few as two touchpoints, depending on what you consider the shipment’s starting point.
- At the point of origin, merchandise is loaded into the trailer or onto a flatbed.
- At the delivery location, the merchandise is unloaded.
FTL carriers provide a quick and safe high-quality service by reducing touchpoints and improving delivery times.