Difference Between Shared, Less-Than, Or Partial Truckload

When you’re shipping freight, you may run into some unfamiliar terms. You’ve probably heard of “truckload,” but what about shared, less-than-truckload (LTL), partial truckload (PTL) or partition freight? All these terms refer to different types of freight shipping. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the difference between each one.


Truckload shipping is a freight service where the freight is loaded onto a truck and delivered to a single destination. This is the most common method of shipping freight, and it can be used for any type of freight, from heavy machinery to small packages.

The truckload shipping industry has three main types:

  • Full Truckload (FTL)
  • Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)
  • Partial Truckload (PTL)

What is a shared truckload?

A shared truckload is exactly what it sounds like: a truckload that is shared with other shippers. As per the experts at Flock Freight, “The carrier can pick up freight from multiple shippers and deliver it all in one trip, usually within a short period of time.” This is often done when the shippers are relatively close to each other geographically and have similar schedules so that they don’t have to make multiple stops at different locations or spend more time than necessary on the road.

What is a less-than-truckload?

It’s a shipment that comes in less than a full truckload (FTL), which means it’s not the entire load. It can be any size, but these shipments typically range from 1,500 pounds to 5,000 pounds. How does an LTL shipment differ from an FTL?

There are several differences between LTL and FTL shipments:

  • The price and shipping time of each are determined by how much space you need on the truck.
  • For example: If you only need 1/3 of your container filled with goods, then that’s all that will be shipped to your destination—and only those items will cost you anything! The rest of your container won’t be used at all until someone else fills up their spot in it with more freight. This saves money because there isn’t extra fuel being burned or empty space taking up valuable cargo space on board. That way, everyone wins!

What is a partial truckload?

A partial truckload (TL) is a combination of the other three. It’s the least common and most expensive option, but it’s also more flexible because you can choose which items you want to ship. For example, if your products are very large or heavy, they may not all fit into one trailer—so instead of having a whole trailer dedicated to just one item, you could use multiple trailers to ship them separately. You would need enough space in each trailer for all your items together at once, though; otherwise, it wouldn’t be considered an “in-truck” load at all!

You can see how shared truckload shipping is different from less-than-truckload and partial truckload by comparing the three types. It’s important to understand the differences between these services so you can choose the right freight carrier for your business needs.