What are the different types of freight shipping?

Understand Logistics & Freight

When transporting cargo, there are a lot of aspects we need to consider in order to make everything run smoothly, and one of the most important things to take into account is how exactly we are going to transport our goods, so we ask ourselves: What are the options for each type of freight?

Types of Freight Services

Less than Truckload (LTL): One of the most popular ways of transporting smaller items that are not big enough to occupy an entire truck by itself. The space inside the truck is divided to accommodate multiple freights from multiple businesses.

Full Truck Load (FTL): Requires a full truck for a single cargo shipment, and that can be due to multiple reasons: the cargo may be too big, unpackaged, too fragile, or may require special conditions of transport (such as a specific temperature) or need to get to the destination sooner.

Expedited Freight Services and Guaranteed Delivery Freight: Both allow freight to be moved at higher speeds. The main difference here is, that while Expedited Freight is usually arranged to deliver in between one and five days, Guaranteed Delivery is optimal for cargo that needs to arrive on a certain date or time, with reimbursement in case the delivery is late.

Rail Freight: Very cost-effective, rail freight is ideal to transport construction and hazardous materials. It offers Intermodal support, which widens the options of container sizes and shapes.

Ocean Freight: It’s used for large standardized cargo containers that carry bigger and heavier cargo, and, just like the trucks, it includes different types of loads: Full Container Loads (FCL) and Less than Container Loads (LCL). 

Air Freight: It’s the fastest option for smaller packages and, as much as it is expensive, it’s ideal for more urgent and sensitive shipping to be delivered to almost anywhere in the world with the utmost level of security provided by airports.

As of today, Air freight includes mostly planes, but Cargo Drones are slowly joining the market. Different from the usual toy drones that can fly short distances while carrying light objects, actual cargo drones are capable of flying for long periods of time and under any weather conditions, carrying, for example, enough food supplies to fill an entire kitchen.

Freight Shipping Rates

The rates can be determined by a number of factors: the shipping method, the distance between the origin and the destination (the further the distance, the higher the rate), the size and the weight of the cargo, as well as whether the shipment requires any special handling (as an example, any temperature-sensitive cargo). Freight service providers are professionals that sell freight service without owning any of the transportation equipment. Instead, they will help you find reliable contract carriers, choose the most adequate shipping method for your cargo, negotiate competitive prices and manage the whole transportation process.

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