Partial Truckload (PTL)

Is a Good Option for Shippers Looking for a Cost-Effective Shipping Solution

What is Partial Truckload?


Partial truckload refers to a freight shipping mode that falls between less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) shipments. This shipping method is typically used for large shipments that do not require the use of a full truckload trailer.

A partial truckload shipment can be described as a shipment that is too big for LTL but too small to fill a full truckload. It involves moving mid-sized quantities of freight that do not require the full capacity of a semi-trailer.

Partial truckload shipments offer a middle-ground option that can provide cost savings compared to FTL shipments while offering faster transit times and increased security compared to traditional LTL shipments. This method is especially useful when businesses have shipments that are too large for LTL but do not require the use of a full truckload trailer. It allows for more precise space utilization and reduces handling since shipments are not transferred between multiple carriers or terminals.


Advantage of Partial Truckload:

  • Cost savings: Partial truckload shipments often offer cost-saving opportunities compared to full truckload (FTL) shipments. Since businesses only pay for the space their freight occupies, they can avoid the expense of booking an entire truck when they don’t require it. Savings of up to 35% have been reported when using partial truckload instead of FTL.


  • Avoidance of accessorial charges: With partial truckload shipping, businesses can bypass accessorial charges commonly associated with less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. These charges can include additional fees for services like inside pick-up or delivery, liftgate usage, and residential delivery. By opting for partial truckload, businesses can potentially eliminate or minimize these add-on charges.


  • Reduced risk of damage: Partial truckload shipments typically involve less handling and fewer transfers compared to LTL shipments. This can reduce the risk of cargo damage during transportation.


  • Faster transit times: Partial truckload shipping can offer faster transit times compared to traditional LTL shipments and can be a helpful option for businesses looking for expedited delivery.


  • Increased security: With partial truckload, shipments are consolidated onto a single truck, reducing the risk of lost or misplaced freight. This can provide increased security and peace of mind for businesses.

By understanding these advantages, businesses can leverage partial truckload shipping to optimize their transportation strategies and achieve cost savings and efficiency in their supply chain operations.

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