The Partial Truckload Market

Updated: Apr 20


Those in the transportation industry are familiar with the term LTL (less than truckload) and FTL (full truckload) but the space between these two modes, PTL (partial truckload), can be a bit confusing.


Partial truckload is exactly what it sounds like; it is a load of freight that does not take up a full truck but is too large to qualify for discounted shipping rates with less than truckload carriers. To put this into perspective, most LTL carriers price loads at six pallets or less and with a maximum weight of 8,000 pounds; therefore, anything above six pallets and/or 8,000 pounds is considered to be a partial load. Partial loads can be shipped at rates higher than LTL but much less than the price of a full truckload.



The North American transportation industry is extremely vast and has the potential to be inefficient. According to estimates by USDOT, the size of this market is somewhere around $800 billion per year (or about 4% of US Gross Domestic Product). Within this market, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory Scale Survey of around 11,600 tractor-trailers in 15 States found that only 25% were full truckloads. This means that shippers are paying money to haul empty space. This is particularly bad for shippers who have between six to 20 pallets that need to be moved as they are not able to get competitive LTL rates and have to pay for a full truck.


On Road Vehicle Weight in Pounds (combined weight of Class 8 tractor, trailer and payload).


Since partial truckloads are an area that many in the transportation industry do not focus on, it can become a catch-22 situation. Companies are being paid for moving trucks, not freight. This leads to shippers being charged for a full truckload even though the majority of the truck is underused.



FreightWeb is solving this problem in transportation by using our “3-pronged” approach:

  1. Freight pay-per-use pricing model: Charge customers to “Move Freight, Not Trucks” by giving them the ability to quote based on the percentage of truck space required to move the freight.

  2. Hardware innovations to utilize vertical truck space: We've introduced proprietary pallet racking into the ecosystem that allows for racking pallets (using adjustable shelving) vs. floor loads and up to 3 pallets per position enabling 25-30% more capacity per truck.

  3. AI powered freight matching to utilize horizontal space: Our software solutions let us combine partial loads from different shippers into a single truck to utilize capacity efficiently.

Combining these three elements to utilize empty space on trucks gives us the ability to stay competitive while passing on financial and time savings to shippers. The transportation industry is lacking a cost-effective and reliable service in the partials space and by tackling this problem, we can also tackle the problem of underused trucks on the road. Our approach is building a reliable solution that allows the industry to optimize their freight on a whole new level.

Not only is this saving time and money in shipping, but the environment as well. Maximizing the capacity of trucks allows there to be less trucks on the road; and in return, reducing the CO2 impact within our environment. This is the trucking future we envision; helping you save your budget, and the planet, one truck at a time.


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