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The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Pallet Transport Companies

Find out how to make informed decisions about the type of pallet transport service you need.

Selecting the appropriate pallet delivery company is essential for businesses focused on achieving efficient and cost-effective supply chain management. The highly dynamic logistics sector and the volatile business environment require strong flexibility and efficiency in relationships with logistics service providers.

The good news is that as the demand for seamless freight services continues to rise, pallet shipping companies have diversified to cater to all kinds of specific needs.

Not all pallet delivery services are created equal, however, and choosing the right model for your precise business requirements is a skill in and of itself. This blog post will delve into the diverse landscape of pallet delivery services and examine the advantages and drawbacks of each type of service model to help you make informed decisions for your business's shipping needs.

The Continued Growth of Pallet Delivery

The UK freight and logistics industry continues to grow year on year.

According to the latest figures from Mordor Intelligence, the market will stand at USD 115.73 billion (£92.14 billion) in 2024, and grow at a CAGR of 3.55% to reach USD 137.77 billion (£109.68 billion) in 2029.

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As the report notes, the huge growth in ecommerce in recent years has accelerated the demand for a diversified range of transportation services. As such, road freight transportation within the UK transport and storage sector has more than doubled in scale since 2011, while the courier segment has also experienced significant and swift growth.

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The result is a huge variety of freight and logistics companies, nearly all of which offering pallet shipping service solutions to businesses in an enormous range of industries, including pharma, apparel, bulk goods, medical supplies, alcohol, cosmetics, and retail.  

So, let’s consider the different types of pallet delivery available and the pros and cons of each.

Types of Pallet Delivery

There are three main types of pallet delivery service that you can choose between. Each model is suited to different types of delivery, so it’s essential to know the differences between them so you can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall logistics performance.

Pallet Courier Services

Pallet courier services cover the smallest loads in the pallet delivery market. A pallet courier handles the transportation of just one or two pallets of goods at a time. As such, this type of service is only suitable for small loads and utilises vans or small trucks instead of large lorries.

Here are the pros and cons of using a pallet courier:


  • Efficiency: Since pallet couriers generally deal with single loads for single customers, they can usually be relied upon for efficient and prompt deliveries.
  • Specialisation: Pallet couriers often offer custom services to accommodate specific pallet sizes, weights, and delivery requirements.
  • Tracking and Visibility: Many pallet delivery courier services offer advanced tracking for customers via an app or online portal, providing real-time visibility into your shipment’s location.


  • Cost: While efficient, pallet couriers are usually more expensive to use when compared to other shipping methods, due to their smaller loads.
  • Limited Services: By their nature, pallet couriers can only carry small loads of just one or two pallets, so if your shipment is bigger you may need to consider other options.
  • Scheduling Challenges: Coordinating pickup and pallet delivery schedules can pose a challenge, particularly because pallet couriers often rely on partnerships with other carriers, which can lead to complexities and potential delays.

Less Than Truckload (LTL) Pallet Delivery

Less Than Truckload (LTL) pallet delivery is a freight shipping method that consolidates multiple shipments from different businesses into a single truck. Unlike full truckload shipments, LTL shipments occupy only a portion of the trailer, allowing businesses with smaller quantities of goods to share transportation costs. This cost-effective approach makes LTL pallet delivery an attractive option for companies looking to optimise their shipping expenses without committing to a full truckload.

Pros of LTL Pallet Delivery:

  • Cost Efficiency: LTL pallet shipping allows businesses to share the cost of transportation, meaning a cheap pallet delivery service becomes available for smaller shipments.
  • Flexibility: Ideal for businesses with varying shipping needs, LTL pallet delivery services accommodate shipments that don't require an entire truck.
  • Reduced Environmental Impact: By maximising the use of truck space, LTL pallet delivery contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation system.
  • Network Coverage: LTL pallet shipping carriers often have extensive delivery networks, providing businesses with access to a wide range of destinations.
  • Tracking and Visibility: Many LTL pallet delivery carriers offer advanced tracking systems, providing real-time updates on the status and location of the shipment. 

Cons of LTL Pallet Delivery:

  • Transit Time: LTL shipments may take longer to reach their destination due to multiple stops and the need for consolidation and deconsolidation.
  • Handling Risks: Increased handling during consolidation and deconsolidation can pose a risk of damage to goods, especially if not properly packaged.
  • Limited Control: Businesses may have less control over the shipping process compared to dedicated truck shipments, potentially leading to scheduling challenges.
  • Additional Fees: Additional charges, such as liftgate services or residential delivery fees, may increase the overall cost of LTL pallet delivery.
  • Volume Constraints: While cost-effective, LTL pallet delivery services may not be suitable for very large shipments, as it still involves sharing space with other businesses' goods.

Full Truckload (FTL) Pallet Delivery

Full Truckload (FTL) pallet delivery involves dedicating an entire truck to a single shipment from one business. Unlike LTL pallet shipping, FTL shipments are not shared with other companies, allowing for direct transportation from the origin to the destination. This method is often preferred for larger quantities of goods, offering advantages in terms of speed, security, and control over the shipping process.

Pros of Full Truckload Pallet Delivery:

  • Speed and Directness: FTL pallet delivery shipments typically have faster transit times as they do not involve multiple stops for consolidation or deconsolidation.
  • Reduced Handling: With fewer touchpoints, FTL reduces the risk of damage during loading and unloading, ensuring more secure transportation.
  • Predictable Scheduling: Businesses have greater control over pickup and delivery schedules, allowing for precise planning and coordination.
  • Cost-Effective for Large Shipments: FTL can be cost-effective for businesses with large quantities of goods, as the cost per unit tends to decrease with higher volume.
  • Flexibility in Loading: Shippers have the flexibility to load the entire truck with their goods, optimising the use of space and minimising wasted capacity.

Cons of Full Truckload Pallet Delivery:

  • Higher Cost for Smaller Shipments: FTL may not be cost-effective for businesses with smaller shipment volumes, leading to higher transportation expenses.
  • Environmental Impact: Since FTL involves dedicating an entire truck to a single shipment, it may contribute to increased carbon emissions and be less environmentally friendly than shared transportation methods.
  • Limited Access to Some Locations: Full-sized trucks may face challenges accessing certain locations, especially in residential or urban areas with restricted truck access.
  • Scheduling Rigidity: While FTL provides control over schedules, it may also be less flexible for last-minute changes or urgent deliveries.
  • Potential for Underutilisation: In cases where the entire truck capacity is not utilised, businesses may end up paying for unused space, affecting cost efficiency.

FTL and LTL Shipping Services Market Share

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Traditionally, companies aim to ship as much volume as possible using Full Truckload (FTL) to minimise the cost per pallet or ton. However, not all shipments recorded and paid for as FTLs are fully loaded. Hauliers and carriers usually begin charging FTL rates when a truck reaches over 75% utilisation, and shippers often categorise these as FTLs.

This 75% truck utilisation presents a significant opportunity for the co-shipment of smaller, complementary loads. This approach can improve the economics of the original load and generate additional revenue for the carrier.

Find the Perfect Pallet Delivery Service with FLOX

In the diverse landscape of pallet delivery, choosing the right method is pivotal for businesses seeking efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Whether opting for the specialised services of a pallet courier, the flexibility of LTL, or the directness of FTL, or co-shipment deliveries, each approach comes with its own set of advantages and considerations.

If you’re searching for a platform that makes it easy to find and book shipments with leading pallet delivery companies either for domestic or international pallet shipping, your search is over.

FLOX is a shared transportation and warehousing logistics platform that is dedicated to promoting efficiency, cost savings and sustainability – helping you improve operations across the board. Our platform enables logistics managers, shippers, and service providers to collaborate seamlessly, driving the flow of every order and shipment. Get a pallet delivery quote easily with FLOX.

To try it out with no monthly fees, sign up for FLOX platform access to create an account and start shaping the future of logistics today.