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To Ship by Full Truckload (FT) or Less Than Truckload (LTL) & Why a Freight Broker Company Is Key

Nathan McGuire
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June 3, 2022
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To Ship by Full Truckload (FT) or Less Than Truckload (LTL) & Why a Freight Broker Company Is Key
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In  March 2022, John D. Schulz of Logistics Management reported the “$46 billion less-than-truckload (LTL) market, plagued by high fixed costs and sometimes awkward labor relations, has rebounded to become a cash cow over the past two years.” However, there are still times when full truckload (FT) is better than LTL and vice versa. The trick is knowing which works best, why, and what’s necessary to achieve cost savings. The supply chain is broken, and the parties involved are not on the same page to fix it. Whether dealing with local hotshot transport needs, or cross-border long hauls, the shipping industry must develop open communication among all stakeholders. Freight brokerage services can provide expert guidance to help shippers decide between FT and LTL options.

What’s the Difference Between FT and LTL?

Shippers rely on both of these truck transportation  methods to move shipments in everyday life. By design, LTL  holds under 12 pallets, weighing between 100 and 10,000 pounds. LTL service rates are typically more cost-efficient, but the delivery time can be longer. Wicker Park Logistics has turned this traditional difference into a competitive advantage. Any available advantage is critical as the 2022 transportation outlook forecasts ongoing costly supply chain challenges. Shippers thrive by leveraging the newest analytics and tracking technology to combat this. 

Shippers use FT to transport loads of more than 12 pallets with a max weight of 45,000 pounds. Fit with innovative technology, FT services provide a shorter delivery time and less risk of product damage. FT carriers run on a tighter schedule, with predictable routes and no stops between pickup and delivery location. An FT quote from a logistics freight broker would reveal this as the more expensive over-the-road freight option. Still, a quality freight broker company will walk shippers through the best recommendation for their situation. 

How a Freight Broker Company Helps Shippers Assess Which Mode Is Best

There are two primary ways that a freight broker company helps to assess a shipper’s mode needs. The freight brokerage can provide shipping decision-makers with National Carrier Network information, a web page filled with different carriers and services. The logistics freight broker assigned to the shipper would provide them with detailed instructions to navigate the site to make capacity purchasing decisions. 

A shipper might be intimidated by making that decision amidst changing trends in the market. In that case, the freight broker company would assign a logistics freight broker to go through that process on behalf of the shipper or retailer. By providing detailed shipment and budget information to the logistics freight broker, they can work to act based on a clear understanding of company needs.  

Additional Benefits of Working With a Logistics Freight Broker for FT Vs. LTL Decision Making

Brokers aid shippers when deciding to use FT or LTL services. While some might consider hiring freight brokerage services “too much,” those overwhelmed by managing multiple runs at once, tracking shipments, completing paperwork, and much more in today’s broken system enjoy the benefits of a like-minded freight broker company. A freight broker company can assist with:

  • Insight into actual market rates – With a logistics freight broker, shippers and retailers receive more accurate information from the broker’s ability to branch out to other markets.
  • Access to more capacity – Because a freight broker company leverages networks and relationships, a well-established agent provides shippers and retailers with access to more power. 
  • Freight consolidation to move more FT loads – While LTL loads may be less expensive on the front end, a logistics freight broker can guide their customers to consolidate LTL loads for lower risk and eco-friendly transportation arrangements.
  • Less overhead and stress – Not every supply chain professional has experience in every business avenue. By partnering with a logistics freight broker, transportation managers can choose how active of a role they’ll play in moving their freight.
  • Better controls and management by exception – With the help of a logistics freight broker, shippers and retailers can entirely focus on business-building techniques and only be alerted by pressing abnormalities.

Let an Expert Freight Broker Company Handle the LTL Vs. FT Decisions Now

Though FTL and LTL complete the same objective, choosing between these freight solutions can be difficult. In a less-volatile season when shippers might not have as much on their plate, they could make this decision independently. However, in today’s fast-paced and capacity-crunched market, a logistics freight broker is the perfect addition to the team to handle this. There are many options to choose from, and see what exact plan would suit your shipping needs. Reach out to Wicker Park Logistics and find you a perfect shipping match today.

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