February 26, 2019

4 things you didn't know about FTL

If you are new to the world of freight, you may be unfamiliar with a lot of the methods in which you can ship your products. Maybe you started off small -- shipping parcels through the mail, and now you have pallets of products that can fill a truck and need to send it across the country.  

Here at Shipwell, we are booking thousands of pounds of freight each day for shippers and 3PLs who need an entire truck for their products.  When you reach full truckload status (or FTL), there are some things you need to know about the benefits and compromises of shipping FTL.

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Rates can differ from LTL

The first thing you might notice if you are coming up from LTL shipping is that the rates for FTL are a bit different. Instead of having a flat offer, shippers and carriers can negotiate for the best rates depending on the market.

If you don't want to haggle and can actually ship LTL, that may be a better option financially. However, FTL prices are higher because the carrier dedicates their capacity to haul just your freight and not other shippers' goods.

Because of this, businesses with smaller freight capacity could find FTL cost prohibitive until they find a solution to making it work for them. Fortunately, Shipwell has specialized freight logistics pros working in several shipping modes and provide personalized solutions.

Transit times can be more accurate

Because your shipment is the only thing inside the truck, there are no additional stops between the pickup and receiving terminals. The truck picks up from Point A and heads straight to Point B unless they are doing a multi-stop drop (e.g., grocery stores).

As a result, you will be provided with more accurate delivery times and can alert the receiving party for a more efficient unloading process. Also, with Shipwell's upcoming dock scheduling feature, the stress of loading and unloading will soon be alleviated.

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FTL is ideal for sensitive freight

When shipping freight, you need to be aware of the maximum holding factors in a typical van. Vans can carry up to 44,000 pounds of product and hold 48 standard pallets, or 2,500 cubic feet of product.

Shipping FTL is ideal for products that are high-risk shipments. For something that could very easily be damaged or disrupted during a shipment, it's best to have it loaded and unloaded once, unlike most LTL shipments.

If you are shipping sensitive materials, make sure you communicate with the 3PL ahead of time about straps, lift gates, or other extra equipment required. Shipwell has all of that information available in our easy-to-use platform for all parties to see.

Carrier selection is important

When choosing a carrier for your full truckload, it is vital not just to pick the cheapest option. We know that freight can be expensive, but it's your product inside and the best hands should handle it. Shipwell has over 800,000 truckers in our network, and our freight professionals can quickly set you up with the right carrier.

Once you get started booking freight in the Shipwell platform, utilize tools such as carrier tags to save carriers you prefer to work with. That way, you can send FTL freight quote requests directly to the carriers you've worked with before in the Shipwell platform and book your freight even faster.

Also, owner-operators are an excellent option for shipping FTL. Most owner-operators are always trying to maintain their business streams and will offer you a competitive price. Additionally, they provide personalized service and can be a great option for sourcing capacity in the future.

Whether you are shipping a small number of pallets on an LTL shipment or loading up the whole truck for an FTL load, Shipwell is here to help! We have access to over 800,000 drivers and have unmatched customer service. Connect with one of our freight logistics professionals about your shipping needs and turn your shipping into a competitive advantage!

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