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modalidades de transporte FTL y LTL

FTL vs. LTL: what are they and what are the differences?

Road freight transport is a key activity for any sector. Without it, many companies and organisations would be unable to provide service and attention to their customers’ needs. Just like them, companies also have their transport needs, and that is why there are modalities such as FTL and LTL. Which of the two is better? What are the delivery times? These are questions that we at Conde Fernández Hermanos frequently answer, and our answer, as it could not be otherwise, is very Galician: it depends.

Every business, like people, is different, so each case must be analysed individually. FTL and LTL are not the only modes of freight transport that exist, but it is for a good reason that they are the most widespread internationally. If you’re here, it’s probably because you’re not sure which of the two best suits your company’s needs. But before we get to our destination, we first have to make a few stops along the way.

Because what are FTL and LTL?

FTL: full truckload transport

modalidad de transporte FTL (full truck load) o de carga completa

FTL (Full Truck Load) is a type of road transport that stands out for its immediacy. This is the full load transport option; in other words, it is the type of transport in which only one loading and unloading operation is carried out, which does not mean that the lorry is half empty! When we talk about full load, we mean that the goods being transported belong to a single company.

This makes FTL the ideal mode of transport for sending a high volume of goods to a specific destination. And, as we have already said, the fact that only one unloading is carried out greatly speeds up the process. Thus, the goods are picked up at your business and arrive directly at the final address quickly. All this, moreover, regardless of the territory. A good full-load transport service reaches wherever you need it, be it anywhere on the Iberian Peninsula or in countries outside the European Union.

It is also a very reliable option when it comes to guaranteeing detailed supervision of your business goods. After all, the cargo belongs exclusively to you, so tracking is easy to carry out.

LTL: groupage or break-bulk transport

modalidad de transporte LTL (less than truckload) o de carga parcial

On the other side of the coin, we find LTL (Less Than Truckload), also known as break-bulk or groupage transport. This is carried out when a company’s load is not enough to fill the truck, so goods from several businesses are grouped together. In other words, it is about making better use of space for more efficient and sustainable freight transport.

The idea may not seem very appealing at first, but LTL offers clear advantages for your company. The most important one is that the cost of the shipment is very economical, as the total transport price is shared between the different companies that have opted for truck sharing. At the same time, it is a flexible system in terms of routing, without sacrificing the punctuality of delivery that is expected of transport.

Of course, sharing space with other loads does not mean that you lose the right to enjoy a personalised service tailored to your needs – quite the contrary! It is essential to take into account the requirements you place on us and, therefore, to ensure that delivery times are met at all times.

So which one is best for you?

transporte de mercancías

Now that you know each type of mode in detail, let’s go back to the question we asked at the beginning: which type of road freight transport is best for your business? Don’t worry, we’re not going to give you another “it depends” answer. Between what we have told you and the information you have about your company, it is not difficult to find the best solution.

Of course, the price of the shipment is one of the most relevant factors when contracting a transport service. It is true that we have pointed out the affordability of LTL versus FTL, but you must consider the role of each mode. If you want to transport a full load, it would be inefficient to opt for groupage in two different trucks, and the cost is likely to be too high. Of course, FTL will have the same disadvantage if the vehicle is not fully loaded.

It is not a black and white issue, however, and delivery times are very relevant to the decision. If you need to make an urgent shipment, full-load transport is the one that guarantees the most immediacy, as the only unloading stop is for your goods. This does not mean that break-bulk transport does not comply with punctuality. On the contrary! Moreover, as we have already mentioned, it is a very flexible mode, allowing you to adapt routes and deliveries to any unforeseen event.

transporte de mercancías o cargas y logística

There are more factors to take into consideration. For example, if your business is an SME or if it is a large company. At Conde Fernández Hermanos we design our services with our clients in mind, always thinking about what and how they need it, and it is common for them to ask us for advice. We know that your goods are of great value, and that is why we give them the treatment they deserve. Because trust between the transport company and its customers is essential in every part of the process.

If you are still not sure which type of transport best suits your company, do not hesitate to contact us.