The difference between TL and LTL

May 11 2021

If you are new to the logistics industry It is easy to get confused with all the different terms that you meet every day. There are lots of different abbreviations that you might be wondering what they are about. In this article we will compare the differences between Truckload (TL) and Less than Truckload (LTL) . Both methods pose advantages and disadvantages that businesses must consider when making their decision.

What is a TL?

A type of shipping method where a truck carries the dedicated shipment, it does take up the entire trailer but there are many benefits depending on what you are looking for. Full truck load is important for shippers that have the cargo to fill up the trailer or that have a pick up or drop off time that is crucial to be met.

This is the better option if:

  • The customer prefers a whole truck dedicated to their goods.
  • There are enough items to fill an entire truck.
  • The weight makes it more cost effective than less than truckload.
  • The freight is time sensitive.

When using TL services the delivery time is more accurate in comparison to the LTL. 

How do you benefit from Matrix Inc’s TL services

  • Shipments will travel on one truck with one destination so you can make sure there are no extra stops being made to drop off different shipments. Getting to your destination sooner will save time & money.
  • Less risk of damage to your goods, unlike a less than truckload shipment, you won’t have to worry about warehouses loading and unloading your shipment until destination is reached.
  • Rates that match market conditions
    On time deliveries with your shipment needs; Dry Van: Used freight doesn’t have a temperature requirement
    Hazardous Materials: Chemicals, infectious substances, compressed gases, liquid nitrogen, dry ice & many more…
    Refrigerated Freight: Shipping temperature controlled materials
    Experienced team (dispatch & safe drivers)
    100% ELD Compliant
    24/7 Shipment tracking: Use your load number & pick up zipcode to view your shipment’s current location.
    Reliable service: Contact us for more information

What is a LTL ?

Unlike the Full Truckload, LTL is utilized for small shipments that do not require an entire trailer worth of space. It also allows multiple shippers to share space on the same truck. 

This is a good option:

For smaller businesses who don’t have enough goods to fill up an entire trailer which makes it more cost effective for them. Although there is a little disadvantage because sharing a trailer with other shippers can result in a delivery delay.


There are pros and cons for each method and it depends on the needs of your business which method will work for you. With the LTL shipment you are paying only for the space that you occupy in the trailer. The less space you have in the trailer the less money you pay for shipping. However if you are a company with enough product to fill up the entire trailer the cost-effective decision for you could be the TL. Lessen your frequency of shipments in order to reap the benefits of lowered overall transportation costs.