When it comes to shipping your goods, choosing the right freight shipping method can have a significant impact on your business’s efficiency and bottom line. With various modes of transportation and freight carriers available, it’s essential to understand your options and the factors that influence your decision.
Which Freight Shipping Method is Right for You?
Here’s a closer look at the most common shipping options, and what shipping method may be right for you and your business.
What is Freight Shipping?
According to industry experts, freight shipping refers to anything that weighs more than 150 lbs. While this is a rough estimate, it’s a good guideline for what requires freight shipping (and what doesn’t). One single letter wouldn’t require freight shipping, but you would need one of the shipping methods if you wanted to send a thousand (or five thousand) letters at once.
Freight can also be referred to as cargo. Small packages are usually only sent via freight shipping methods when they’re being sent in bulk. If not, they are delivered by courier or delivery services, and not by freight.
When Freight Shipping Is Used
Bulk items or large shipments are the most common things that would require freight shipping. Shipping large things (or larger amounts) will require pallets or shipping containers. For freight shipping, things aren’t boxed or packaged in quite the same way as for individual deliveries – the more distance is traveled, the more well-packaged your freight or cargo should be.
If you name almost any large company, you will notice that they probably use freight shipping, for example, Walgreens, Amazon, and Walmart. Their bulk buying power means that shipping in bulk comes with the territory of their business.
Anything you would want to order or ship in bulk may require freight shipping. Small items that are sent over a long distance, might also make it into another, larger shipment – and that’s also, technically, freight.
Different Types Of Freight Shipping
Expedited Freight Shipping
Sometimes, you need your freight delivered in a hurry. That’s where expedited freight shipping comes into play. This service ensures swift and on-time freight delivery, which can be critical when time is of the essence. However, expedited freight shipping rates are typically higher than standard options, so it’s essential to balance shipping costs with the urgency of your delivery.
LTL Freight Shipping
(Less Than Truckload) freight shipping is a method of transporting relatively small quantities of goods that do not require the use of an entire truck trailer. It is a cost-effective and efficient solution for businesses and individuals who need to ship items that are too large for traditional parcel services but don’t fill an entire truck.
Freight Shipping Via The Ground
One of the most common ways to ship freight is through road-based shipping. When shipments are done via highways and roads, trucks and sometimes flatbeds are used to move cargo from the beginning to the end destination. Ground shipping works for local shipments, and usually gets used for shipments that are taken off the docks and move inland.
For obvious reasons, ground shipping may not be the best choice when boundaries are international. Shipping through the roads and highways can be done as Full Truckloads or as Less-Than-Truckload shipments. The difference between these two types of shipping methods is that one (LTL) can be considered cheaper than the other – and several clients share a less-than-truckload shipment to cut down on what each client pays. If you need a large shipment over a short distance, freight shipping via roads and highways is your best option.
Railway freight shipments existed long before roads were properly laid out, and there are still thousands of active railways that transport cargo between destination points. If roads aren’t your first option, railway freight still moves cargo today – and yes, it can sometimes be cheaper than moving the entire shipment via roads. One disadvantage of this type of shipment is that it still might need short-distance transport via road to reach its final destination.
Ocean or Air Freight
Shipments can also be taken via ocean freight or air, which is usually considered best for large shipments with international destinations. Distances that can’t be reached by road (or that would be too expensive with vehicles) can be reached easily with ocean or air freight. While it might hike the cost, shared shipments are also possible that could reduce the cost of getting your goods to their final point.
Important Things To Consider When Choosing A Freight Shipping Method
One of the first considerations in selecting a freight shipping method is the size and weight of your cargo. If you’re dealing with smaller shipments that don’t fill an entire truck, less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping might be a cost-effective choice. On the other hand, if you have large, heavy loads, full truckload (FTL) shipping is likely the way to go. FTL shipping allows you to use an entire truck for your cargo, ensuring that it gets from point A to point B without additional handling.
For long-distance shipments, you’ll often need to decide between using rail or trucks. Rail transportation can be more cost-effective for large volumes of cargo, but it may require additional truck transportation to reach its final destination. Trucks offer flexibility and door-to-door service, making them a popular choice for many businesses. The decision between rail and trucks will depend on your specific needs and shipping preferences.
Understanding the different freight services available is crucial when choosing the right method for your shipments. Freight service can refer to a range of value-added options, such as liftgate service, inside delivery, or even temperature-controlled transportation. Assess your cargo’s requirements and consider these additional services to ensure a smooth and successful freight delivery.
Making the Right Move: Your Guide to Smart Freight Shipping Choices
Ultimately, your choice should also come down to shipping costs. Freight shipping rates can vary widely depending on the method, distance, and other factors. It’s advisable to request quotes from multiple freight carriers and compare them to find the most cost-effective option that meets your needs.
Selecting the right freight shipping method involves evaluating your cargo’s size and weight, considering expedited shipping for time-sensitive shipments, choosing between rail and truckload shipping for long-distance hauls, exploring various freight service options, and comparing freight shipping rates.
By carefully assessing these factors, you can make an informed decision that ensures efficient and cost-effective freight transportation for your business.
The Junction LLC | Truckload Shipping
As a leader in the transportation industry, we demand excellence from our entire team. Our team at The Junction LLC strives to deliver the best possible customer service. We help our customers solve the toughest transportation and supply chain needs.
Our team is dedicated to serving our customers and will take the necessary action to deliver our customers’ products safely, efficiently, and on time. In fact, this is our promise to you!
Nationwide Services include:
- FTL (Full Truck Load) Shipping
- LTL (Less Than Truck Load) Shipping
- Transportation of refrigerated, dry, and bulk shipments
- 3PL Warehousing and Logistics
- Contract Warehousing
- Trucking Freight Brokerage
Trucking & Freight Shipping Services:
- Time-sensitive shipments
- LTL (Less-Than-Truckload)
- FTL (Full Truckload)
- Flatbed LTLRGN (removable gooseneck lowboy)
- RGN (removable gooseneck lowboy)
- Maxi’s / A-Train / B-Train
- Heavy Haul
- Over Dimensional
- Dry Van
- Dry Van LTL
- Refrigerated LTL
- Power Only
- Our sister companies can also provide warehousing in our food-grade facilities, cross-docking, and contract warehousing.