What is Freight Shipping?

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Freight shipping is the process of moving cargo over the road, across the ocean or in the air.

Freight can be interpreted as assets, commodities, goods, or products that need to be transported from one point to another.

Companies and shippers rely on the freight shipping industry to keep our everyday life running. Freight transportation plays a key role in supplying people with all of the needed products and materials all over the world. Freight shipping is different than parcel shipping since it suggests moving a large volume of goods instead of smaller items.

How does the freight shipping process work?

Freight shipping can seem challenging to a newcomer, however, it is not that complicated. Here are three main steps that will help you understand how freight shipping works:

  1. Gathering shipment information. Before diving into the shipping process, it is essential to collect all of the necessary information about your load. Dimensions, weight, size, quantity, and commodity type all play a large role in how your freight will be transported.
  2. Choosing the right shipping method. Once you know all of the data about your shipment, it is easy to determine the right way to ship cargo. Usually, freight is transported by land, air, or ocean. If you need to deliver the load to another continent, ocean and air shipping would be the best options. On the contrary, if you need to ship to another state, moving freight by truck is the most appropriate way.
  3. Packaging. Another important consideration while shipping cargo is packaging. It is important to properly secure and pack your freight to avoid the damage during transit. Depending on the commodity type, you can stack your freight onto pallets, crates, seal it, etc.
  4. Choosing a freight shipping company. The next step in the freight shipping process is choosing a good freight shipping company or freight carrier. Freight shipping companies can help you get better freight rates, prepare the paperwork, and take control over the entire shipping process.

What are the types of freight shipping?

In terms of truck freight shipping, there are a variety of transportation and freight shipping modes, including:

Full Truckload (FTL) This transportation method is the most popular mode in the freight shipping industry. Truckload shipping suggests moving a full trailer of goods or commodities in a total weight of over 15,000 – 20,000 pounds. When shipping FTL, you can use such equipment as dry van, refrigerated truck, flatbed, and specialized.

Less-than-truckload (LTL) LTL shipping has the same concept as FTL, but is made for shippers who have one to five pallets of goods, or less than 20,000 pounds of freight. When shipping LTL, your shipment is loaded with a few other shipments, and the final cost is split between all of the shippers. Only dry vans and refrigerated trucks can be used for LTL shipping.

Intermodal Sometimes one mode of transportation is not enough to deliver freight to its destination. You may need to combine several transportation modes, like truck and rail or ship and truck. This is called intermodal transportation. When shipping using intermodal, every shipment is signed under one bill.

Multimodal Same as intermodal, multimodal means the combination of different shipping modes. However, when shipping multimodal, you have several bills and each carrier reports to you separately.

Expedited Whenever you are tight on time and need to send an urgent shipment, expedited shipping can be a solution. It is a dedicated truck that moves your freight faster than regular transit time.

How much does freight shipping cost?

The price of freight shipping depends on many different factors. Apart from freight type and dimensions, the price can differ among carriers and highly depends on the shipping mode and route.

How long does freight shipping take?

Transit times in freight shipping heavily depend on the route and destination. However, a regular freight shipment moved by truck takes two to five  .

How do you calculate freight rates?

Freight shipping rates are approximate price estimates. Most shipping companies offer to see rates or quotes so the shipper has a better understanding of the shipping cost. Freight rates are formed by many different factors, including:

  • Address destination
  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Density
  • Commodity type
  • Freight class
  • Urgency
  • Fuel price
  • Equipment types
  • Additional services

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