5 Facts About FTL Shipping You Never Knew

FTL Facts

Shippers all over the world depend on multiple modes of transportation to move their freight. Whether by air, sea, railway, or roadway, billions of tons of freight are moved across the globe on a daily basis. And for those who deal in high volumes, full truckload shipping is often the choice that offers them the most bang for their buck. 

However, many shippers also pair this shipping mode with an experienced 3PL such as Redwood Logistics to help them manage the entire FTL process.

In this blog post, we are going to take a look at some FTL facts that you may have never known, 5 FTL facts to be exact. Facts that make FTL shipping one of the best modes available for those with larger shipping volumes.


FTL Rates are Significantly Different Than LTL Rates

It’s well known that volume tends to dictate pricing. This isn't just one of many FTL facts, it is a fairly universal truth in the logistics industry.

Whether you’re buying in bulk or shipping an entire truckload container, quantity has a huge impact on cost. What is not commonly known, however, is how FTL carriers determine their rates for shippers.

And the name of the game here is negotiation

Most FTL carriers are more than happy to negotiate shipping costs with their consistent customers. They factor in the routes traveled, the distance the freight needs to be moved, and of course, the time of year. Other criteria include things such as special handling, freight tracking services, and other add-on services. 

Having said all of this, FTL carriers are typically much more stringent with their rates than other types of carriers and it can be more difficult to get them to budge. So, if you’re looking for flexibility, LTL is actually going to be your best option.

But, if you’re consistent with volume shipping and build a good rapport with an FTL carrier, there are plenty of opportunities for improved shipping rates. The key is knowing how to build that rapport and negotiate correctly. 

This is where a reputable 3PL comes in handy as they have already taken the time to build those working relationships. Likewise, they have a lot more negotiating power right out of the gate, so to speak.


It’s Easier to Predict Transit Times

One of the best attributes of FTL shipping is that it’s usually a straightforward "point A to point B" shipment.

Once you schedule the pickup, freight is kept in the same container until it is delivered to the recipient. However, there are some variables that many customers don’t consider that can totally disrupt your expected transit times:

  • Driver Availability: Recent regulatory changes in driver hour of service requirements have had a huge impact on driver availability. An aging demographic of currently licensed CDL drivers and a lack of qualified candidates to replace them in the workforce is likewise causing issues. 
  • Multiple Stops with Full Truck Load Service: This issue typically happens in the retail space, where an FTL carrier will pick up a full load destined for multiple locations in the same route. Several elements ranging from delays at the point of delivery can lead to additional delays down the route. 

To improve transit time prediction, ensuring your FTL freight movements have satellite tracking ability with instant notifications can help improve communication through the supply chain.


FTL is a Great Solution for High-Risk Freight Movements

Most FTL carriers have stringent requirements that determine how much capacity defines a ‘truckload’ and this plays heavily into the risk of any freight movement. However, once you know the limitations, you can schedule the pickup and delivery with the confidence that your freight is as safe as possible. 

The main reason for this is the methods FTL carriers use to stack or load full truck loads. They do so in a way that ensures less shifting of goods while they are being transported and thus, creating the reduced potential for damage.

FTL carriers usually also offer customers near-real-time tracking services to offer a higher level of transparency and peace of mind. 


Not All FTL Carriers are the Same

Contrary to popular belief, not all carriers are alike. While most of them have similar requirements for determining a full truckload, and rates are somewhat similar, each one has specific criteria, policies and performance capability. 

Anytime you’re choosing an FTL carrier, take time to review their performance, policies and individual capacity requirements. Also, make sure to complete due diligence to review their safety record, on-time deliveries, and seek input from other customers. 


A Professional 3PL can Help Streamline All FTL Shipments

Picking the right FTL carrier is time consuming, frustrating, and a daunting process that can be too much for a smaller or larger shipper to handle. This is where the experience offered by Redwood Logistics can help you mitigate many common hurdles. 

Redwood Logistics serves multiple industries, maintains exceptional relationships with hundreds of FTL specific carriers, and can help you find the right one for specific load requirements. We can also help negotiate freight shipping rates, improve on-time delivery, and expedite damaged freight claims if needed. 

If you require full truckload services and are looking for some assistance with FTL management, contact our team today.