Freight Shipping

What is Freight Shipping?

Freight shipping is the transportation of large amounts of goods by land, sea, or air through the use of trucks, railroad cars, or ships with containers. There are several types of freight shipping such as, truckload, less than a truckload (LTL), partial truckload, intermodal and expedited.

What can be shipped via Freight

Freight is defined as goods transported by truck, ship, plane, or train, which means just about anything can be shipped!

Difference Between Shipping Parcels and Shipping Freight?

Shipping parcels are smaller, lighter–150 pounds or less–and are individual shipments that most carriers can transport. Parcels are typically sent from a business to a consumer after they place an order. Shipping freight is transporting bulk goods in a cost-effective manner with a greater weight capacity depending on the carrier and mode of transportation. Freight shipping typically involves shipping from business to business or an individual business moving its inventory from one place to another.

When to use Multiweight instead of Freight Shipping

Multiweight is the price comparison of the total cost of sending multiple packages versus the individual cost of each package in a shipment. For example, in some cases, it might be cheaper to send three 85-pound boxes versus one 255-pound box. There are several cases when multiweight is preferred over freight shipping. Multiweight is best used when the cost is lower than freight shipping or you don’t want to palletize or set aside space to stage shipments, or if the destination has no lift-gate or dock.

What are Freight Classifications?

Freight classifications, otherwise known as National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is the standardized comparison of goods for freight identification and classification to simplify and facilitate negotiations and logistics. Freight classifications are used for LTL intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce due to LTL’s product variations that require a different set of shipping requirements, such as handling, liability, stowing efforts, etc. when being shipped on a single pallet. There are about 18 freight classes for LTL ranging from low 50s to high 500s. A good rule to keep in mind is: the lower the density, the higher the freight class.

What Are The Methods of Shipping Freight

There are five different types of methods for shipping freight. The optimal method will depend on the goods you’re trying to ship, you’re budget, and how fast you want it delivered.

  • Full Truckload (FTL): Full truckload shipments are full containers of about 24 to 26 pallets that are being transported from a pickup location to the destination by road or rail. 
  • Less than Truckload: these are shipments that don’t fill a full container, around 1 to 6 pallets, and can be shipped on different trucks with other cargo to their destinations. 
  • Partial Truckload: These are shipments are between 6 to 12 pallets and there is a low possibility that the inventory will be transferred to a different truck on the way to its destination.
  • Intermodal freight: This is the combination of using a rail and a truck to ship inventory, but can also include rails, trucks, and ships. 
  • Expedited freight: This involves the use of truck and air for time-sensitive shipments and is the most expensive.

What is Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding is coordinating and shipping large amounts of goods from one place to another through a single or multiple carriers via air, ship, rail, or road.

Freight forwarders will help make the transportation and transfer of goods as smooth as possible by negotiating cross-border fees, ensuring all necessary paperwork is complete, and keeping track of freight throughout the shipping process among other duties.

How to Pack Freight

To properly pack your freight and ensure the safety of your delivered goods, you should follow these tips:

  1. Separate breakables and unbreakables. Fragile items are to be placed in their own container and protected.
  2. Use double walls or extra thick boxes for fragile items.
  3. Add more than less with packing materials to ensure all items are cushioned and are less likely to shift during shipment.
  4. Shake the box to ensure the security of items. If something is moving, open the box and add more packing material.
  5. Use original packing materials for electronics when possible, as they are made specifically for the product.
  6. Disassemble any and all furniture before shipment to prevent damage.
  7. For larger or multiple items, consider palletizing and shrink-wrapping freight for protection.

Carriers That Can Ship Freight

Many carriers can ship freight, but the one you pick should be a reliable and trustworthy partner. Researching and finding one that meets your needs at a reasonable price is well worth the time. Listed below are also freight carriers that are considered to be among your top choices:

  • AAA Cooper
  • Central Transport
  • Conway
  • Custom Companies
  • Daylight
  • Dayton Freight
  • Estes
  • Fedex Volume
  • JB Hunt
  • Land Air Express
  • Midwest Motor
  • New Penn
  • Oak Harbor
  • Old Dominion Freight
  • Roadrunner
  • Saia
  • Southeastern Freight
  • US Xpress
  • Werner

Related Shipping Terms

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