Common Types of Freight

Tri-National, Inc. pic
Tri-National, Inc.

A transportation company based in Earth City, Missouri, Tri-National, Inc., provides a wide range of uninterrupted, door-to-door services to clients in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Some of the services offered by Tri-National, Inc., include import/export consulting, cross-dock operations, and warehousing for clients with a variety of freight types.

A few of the most common freight types are:

Truckload (TL), which requires the use of a full truck dedicated to carrying only one shipment. Since all the freight on the truck belongs to a single customer, the shipment typically does not require any transfers and is faster than some other freight types. Most TL freight is transported via flatbed, refrigerated trailer, or dry van.

Less than truckload (LTL) is the most cost-effective and popular type of freight. LTL shipments share a trailer with multiple other LTL shipments. All of these shipments typically are delivered to a terminal or cross-dock and may go through several transfers before arriving at a final destination. FedEx and UPS are examples of common LTL carriers.

Partial truckload (PTL) falls between TL and LTL freight types. PTL freight does not completely fill a trailer but does frequently remain on a single truck during the entire shipping process. This exposes the freight to less handling, a benefit shared with TL shipping, while being more cost-effective, a benefit shared with LTL shipping.


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