FULL TRUCKLOAD (FTL)

Full truckload carriers normally deliver a semi trailer to a shipper who will fill the trailer with freight for one destination. After the trailer is loaded, the driver returns to the shipper to collect the required paperwork (i.e. Bill of lading, Invoice, and Customs paperwork) and depart with the trailer containing freight. In most cases the driver then proceeds directly to the consignee and delivers the freight him or herself. Occasionally, a driver will transfer the trailer to another driver who will drive the freight the rest of the way. Full Truckload (FTL) transit times are normally constrained by the driver's availability according to Hours of Service regulations and distance. It is normally accepted that Full Truckload drivers will transport freight at an average rate of 47 miles per hour (including traffic jams or queues at intersections).


Because truckload carriers are asked to ship a wide variety of items, a truckload carrier will often specialize in moving a specific kind of freight. Some carriers will primarily transport food and perishable items, whereas others may specialize in moving poisonous and hazardous materials. Carriers will only transport specific freight because different equipment and insurance is needed for the different kinds. There are also federal laws stating which types of freight can be shipped together in the same trailer.