Abbreviation for Full Truck Load

What is FTL?

A Full Truck Load refers to the ideal loading capacity for a truck or container. It is ideal as this is the most profitable form of transport. The space available in the trailer is perfectly occupied by the transported goods.

is therefore the goal to be achieved to maximize transport profitability. Within the framework of , a transporter’s expenses related to driving, administrative work, and productivity (waiting times) on the docks when loading or unloading additional products are reduced as much as possible. A more direct itinerary also ensures enhanced security for the goods transported, and reassures the contracting party.

When the load represents a large volume and reaches the truck, trailer, container or freight car’s maximum capacity, pricing is more attractive than with partial-load transport. To reach this goal, providers pool different transport solutions together thanks to specialized partners.

To pool a system together, contracting parties call upon a 5PL provider (Fifth Party Logistics), able to manage transport and more importantly coordinate the tasks carried out by partner companies.

These more economical solutions () make frequent deliveries to small customers easier. The retailer acquires less stock, and conducts more efficient rotations thus preventing stock shortages and ensuring the end customer’s satisfaction. The system is also beneficial to transporters, who get more regular and high-volume loads, thus increasing profitability for their production tool: truck, barge, freight car or trailer.

efficiently contributes to the fight against harmful road pollution. Greenhouse gas emissions are indeed a major concern for transporters. Improving their filling rates, currently set at about 70%, is an important challenge that will help meet the environmental benchmarks enforced by the government.

Specificities of FTL 

  • Maximizing vehicle loads by partial loads entrusted by partner companies

  • Hence the platform service

  • Ensuring is now easier thanks to Collaborative Routing Centers.

  • uses the technique, that consists in loading goods from dock to dock without incrementing stock levels.

  • It uses a flat-rate, because in operations, goods transport is used to invoice the services of a full truck from a Point A to a point B without taking the quantity of pallets into consideration.

  • Handling for just one loading and one unloading operation reduces the risk of damage to products.

Examples and practical applications

The main advantages of FTL

  • Sending goods that have a sufficiently high volume to require a truck’s entire loading capacity

  • is perfect for transporting dangerous or at the very least high-risk goods, as the load never leaves the truck throughout the entire itinerary.

  • is also particularly well-suited if the goods require special equipment for loading and unloading, as there are no stops scheduled between point A (loading) and point B (unloading).

  • Only one customer is invoiced for an entire truck load, i.e. 33 palettes so about 90 m3 in a standard trailer.

  • The customer pays fewer handling fees, as the itinerary is direct.

  • Transport time is therefore reduced.

Pooling solutions to reach FTL

  • Transporters receive a number of delivery slips, and the goal will be achieved once the best distribution of orders has been found amongst all the transporters available.

  • 5PL providers apply an order exchange technique.

  • The logistic platform can be used by several different providers without them necessarily belonging to it initially.