Trucking companies use different names to name their services than courier companies. So even if you’re used to doing business with an Atlanta delivery company, if you start doing business with their trucking division, you may have to learn about a new set of terms which define their new services. The most important of these terms is going to be learning what the differences between LTL and FTL shipping are.

LTL stands for less than truck load, and FTL stands for full truck load. These are the two basic ways that courier companies arrange shipments. LTL though is going to be the best option for the most people. That is because of the wide range of shipments which are going to be suitable for LTL shipping. FTL is typically reserved for those shipping very big loads. LTL on the other hand is appropriate for people shipping loads which weight anywhere between 100 and 10,000 lbs.

An LTL shipment obviously does not take up all of the room which is available in a large truck. So, what the courier company does is fill up the truck with as many different clients’ shipments as they need to until the truck is full. By splitting the available space between many different clients, they also help to split many of the costs of the shipments between many different clients.

LTL shipping offers the primary advantage of a reduced cost to all the clients that choose to take advantage of it. However, it also has its drawbacks. While it might be the only practical option for those who are shipping loads which are close to the 100lb mark, once a client gets closer to the 10,000lb threshold, they have a legitimate decision to make between FTL and LTL shipping.

While LTL shipping holds the cost advantage, FTL can offer faster delivery times in many situations. This is because when your shipment is part of an LTL shipment, the delivery of all the other clients who are sharing in the truckload need to be taken into consideration. If it is logical for the courier company to deliver their shipments before yours, they will do so. Each of these can delay your shipment to some degree. When you ship FTL, you are the only one with cargo on board. Not only does this reduce your shipping time, but it also gives you the ability to easily schedule multi stop shipments or to specify the order you want deliveries to be made in.

Conner Calhoun is a consultant for Atlanta delivery and atlanta messenger companies as well as national courier service businesses.