On paper, parcel and less than truckload shipping may seem similar. However, there are plenty of differences between the two. Wondering what these differences are? You will find your answers in this post.

Size of the Package

Also known as LTL trucking, less than truckload shipping generally carries large packages. Hence, if you have a bulky package, LTL shipping is a better option for you out of the two. On the other hand, parcel shipping is preferred by many people for smaller and lightweight packages.

Damage Risk Factor

Another differentiating factor between the two options is the risk of damage. With LTL trucking, the risk is relatively lower since there are limited check-ins as they are bulky. Thus, fewer hands on the packages and ultimately fewer chances of damage. However, it depends on freight trucking specialists who are at the helm of shipping parcels.


Parcel shipping is considered to be more a cost-efficient way to ship goods. The major reason why LTL trucking rates are higher is their bulky size. They end up consuming more space; thus, the more charges are applied by the freight trucking specialists. There is no such issue with parcel shipping; therefore, charges are generally lower.

Easy Tracking

With parcel shipping, there is an added benefit of easy tracking. This is due to the fact that there are different checkpoints through which packages in a parcel shipping method have to go through. Hence, it is easy to locate the parcel when it is in the shipping phase.

Risk of Losing a Parcel

The risk of losing the package is greater in case of parcel shipping. As parcels are less than 150 pounds, they can easily be misplaced or lost. On the other hand, no such issue is associated with LTL shipping. The parcels in LTL shipping, as stated above, are generally bulky. They need assistance to be carried, unlike parcel shipping. Therefore, the chances of losing a package are quite fewer with LTL shipping.

The Shape of the Parcel

If you have packages in a unique shape, it is recommended to go for LTL shipping. The reason behind this recommendation is that LTL carriers generally use forklifts instead of conveyor belts. On conveyor belts, oddly shaped packages are often at the risk of falling off the belt. Hence, they can sustain damages.

Technological Advancement

When it comes to technological advanced, parcel shipping has surged ahead of LTL shipping. It is more automated; the process of carrying goods is more streamlined.

Chances of Delay

Chances of delay are more in case of parcel shipping. This is because packages are initially loaded onto pallets. Then, they are distributed into small trunks. These trunks then reach a delivery van from where they are sent to the recipients.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.


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