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Guide to Freight Shipping Services

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Guide to Freight Shipping Services

Freight shipping has become an integral part of most companies’ customer service. Americans have become accustomed to having a wide choice of products available at any time and having those products delivered to their address, no matter where they live. Some of the major industries that require freight shipping to send goods to customers and other businesses include e-commerce stores, pharmaceutical companies, medical clinics and hospitals, manufacturing and industrial support, etc. If the process of freight shipping is still new to you and you want to learn more about it, here’s a brief guide to freight shipping services that will help you gain a deeper understanding of how freight shipping works.

First of all, what are freight shipping services?

Freight (often synonymous with cargo) are goods transported in bulk by land, sea or air. Freight shipping services are a part of the process of transporting goods from point A to point B by land, air or sea. Freight services can be customized depending on the type of cargo in question and the shipper’s needs. These goods are usually packed in boxes, crates and containers and transported by different means of transportation. Freight rates are mostly based on the distance, the size of the shipment, and the method of shipping.

Crates and pallets are used for stability, protection, and easy loading when shipping goods by truck, and if the goods are perishable, the truck must be refrigerated. When shipped by sea, goods are usually transported in shipping containers. When shipping goods by air, special air freight pallets are used. There is also additional protection against extreme temperatures, humidity, pressure, and vibrations up to 500 Hz.

Is there a difference between freight and parcel shipping?

Many people confuse freight shipping and parcel delivery. The main difference between the two is weight. Parcels are individual shipments that are much lighter compared to standard freight pallets. They are handled by common US carriers like the USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Shippers can take a parcel to a local drop-off point and have it shipped in a box or envelope. A package that exceeds the maximum parcel weight is classified and shipped as freight. Parcel shipping is usually done via a small truck or van, while larger packages categorized as freight require larger vehicles.

Modes of freight transportation

Shippers can choose between different freight services. Each shipment can be customized to meet the shipper’s specific needs. Factors such as the shipper’s budget, the nature of goods that are being shipped, and the speed of delivery can determine which freight shipping service is the best fit.

Ground freight shipping services

Less Than Truckload (LTL)

Sometimes, a single truck is large enough to fit several loads of shipment. Less Than Truckload is your best option if you don’t need to use the whole truck. Since one load of shipment only occupies a portion of a trailer, more than one customer can be served at a time. LTL shipping has several benefits. It is not only cost-efficient but also eco-friendly, as it helps reduce the carbon footprint on Earth.

Full Truck Load (FTL)

If the goods you are shipping require a whole truck, FTL is a valid option. Full truckload is a convenient choice when a company is shipping enough goods to fill a truck or it needs a dedicated vehicle for a partial load. The standard size of each load ranges between 10,000 and 45,000 lbs. FTLs use dry van, flatbeds, and refrigerated trailers.

Rail shipping

Freight shipping by rail is the most affordable mode of transportation for large and heavy goods. Automobiles, stone, grain, coal, ethanol, and petroleum are some of the goods commonly transported by rail. One of its biggest drawbacks is that the arrival destination is connected to the railway. Additional modes of transportation may be necessary to have your goods delivered which may involve additional costs. Still, if you can cut costs and your customers don’t mind waiting a little longer, rail shipping is the way to go.

Ocean freight shipping services

If we compare airfreight and sea freight, air freight is generally preferred for international shipping, but that doesn’t mean sea freight has no perks. The downside is that ocean freight takes weeks while air freight takes days for the same distance.

There are two types of ocean freight – Share a Container and Full Container.

Share a Container (LCL)

Similar to Less Than Truckload, sharing a container helps you save money by splitting the cost of shipping with another company. You are not paying for a whole container, plus, you can more easily restock and manage seasonal inventory in different shipments.

Full Container (FCL)

If you need to use a whole container, Full container shipping allows just that. You are paying for the entire container, whether you fill it up or not. If you opt for FCL, there is no standby time for filling out the container and there is no risk of damage caused by someone else’s cargo. Therefore, you can expect a quicker and safer delivery.

Air freight shipping services

Air freight is widely used all over the world. This is a safe, quick, and reliable way to ship your products. Smaller shipments belong to a service called express freight. They are handled by one central company (DHL, UPS, or FedEx). The second category is international air freight. This service is used to transport larger goods that require larger planes and one trip can involve multiple companies. If you need to ship products urgently, have in mind that air freight is much faster than the other freight shipping services. Moreover, products transported by air are less likely to suffer any damage. Although more expensive than other modes of transport, air freight is the best choice for high-value and urgent-delivery goods.


Hillary Jones is a freelance writer born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in Los Angeles and writes for Over the past few years, she has collaborated with several moving and storage companies writing helpful how-to blogs and promoting their services. Her main hobby and second source of income is making handmade jewelry.

ltl freight shipping

Benefits of LTL Freight Shipping

Less than truckload (LTL) shipping is a method of shipping that uses either LTL carriers or parcel carriers. The sticking point of this type of shipping is that it allows for people to put together their smaller loads (less than 150lbs, 68kg) and then ship them together with other people’s packages. This allows shipping companies to make shipments much more economically than with the FTL (full truckload) alternatives. But, besides economical benefits, there are other benefits of LTL freight shipping that you need to be aware of in order to incorporate it with your business. So, let us take a look at why LTL freight shipping is comparable and often preferable to FTL shipping.

Top Benefits of LTL Freight Shipping

The fastest way to ship your packages is to have a shipping company pick them up, load them and directly transport them to your desired location. Unfortunately, this is often the least economical way of doing it. In order to make shipping cheaper and more eco-friendly, shipping companies often have to use alternative ways of shipping. And one of the better ones is LTL. Even though it can be slower than direct FTL shipping, it allows for a much better cost and fuel efficiency. And, with modern technologies and regular use, it can be just as efficient as FTL shipping.

Shipping Cost

One of the largest benefits of LTL freight shipping is the reduced shipping cost. Since this method of shipping is based on smaller loads from various clients, it manages to reduce the overall shipping cost for everyone. This is due to the fact that by using LTL, shipping companies put together multiple smaller loads. By doing so they manage to reduce the fuel and the number of vehicles necessary to transport their loads. If they were to ship client by client, they wouldn’t be able to fill the vehicles to their maximum capacity (hence the less than truckload). But, by lumping up items together, LTL shipping manages to save cost on transport, while allowing the same service as FTL.


More and more companies are turning towards eco-friendliness as a necessary mode of operation. And, once you take a look at our current rate of climate change and our carbon footprint, you’ll also be hardpressed to look for eco-friendly solutions. Luckily, when it comes to shipping, LTL is one of the greener options. By reducing the amount of fuel and vehicles necessary for shipping, LTL allows shipping companies to be much greener. They are also able to figure out optimal pathways, due to more regular shipping that is common to LTL. So, if you are looking for an easy way to make your shipments greener, simply employ LTL freight shipping.

Increased Safety

The first way that LTL freight shipping increases the safety of your items is with ample packing. Companies like Triple 7 Movers will first make sure that your possessions are properly packed. Then they will repack them each time the total LTL shipment is altered. By reapplying protective covers, they ensure the safety of your possessions from both physical and environmental harm. Individual loads are usually either packed on a parcel and then secured, or the company puts them in protective containers. This allows for maximum safety during shipping as well as easy handling.

Another safety feature of LTL freight shipping is that there is almost no chance of a package getting misplaced. By using tracking technologies, safety measures, and notification requirements, moving companies ensure that any package on board is well looked after. Furthermore, shipping companies usually organize LTL shipping routes with as few stops as possible. This allows them to keep packages safe for the entirety of the trip.

Better Organization

The biggest worry people have about LTL freight shipping is the supposed lack of availability. After all, with an FTL, you have the control of timing and the necessary route. Meanwhile, the LTL shipments are often limited by their route and the necessary drops. So, can better organization really be one of the benefits of LTL freight shipping? Well, as it turns out, it can. LTL freight shipping is ideal for customers who have regular shipments. Shipping companies often group up regular customers together. This allows them to achieve a greater degree of reliability and consistency. Along with regular shipments, companies also use automation to figure out optimal routes.

But, the true beauty of modern LTL freight shipping is that you don’t have to rely on your shipping company’s skills alone. Modern technologies allow clients to track their packages and get live notifications of any delays or setbacks. Therefore, with LTL freight shipping, you should be able to run your business and both send and receive your shipments with a high degree of reliability.

Shipping Options

Most shipping companies offer various shipping options. These options can come at a higher cost, but they can also make your shipping much better organized. Some of them are:

Expedient shipping – You can use this option if you want your goods to arrive faster than standard transit time. This option can often be quite costly, but it is quite useful for emergency shipping.

Liftgate – Does you freight exceeds 100 pounds? Then you should opt for Liftgate. Also, consider using it if the receiving location doesn’t have a clear dock for shipments.

Limited access – You can use this type of LTL for areas that have limited access due to safety reasons. So, for your construction sites or rural locations, you would probably want to choose this kind of shipping.

Custom delivery window – If you need your shipment to arrive within a specific period, you can opt for custom delivery windows. Most companies will deal with your package so that it fits their workload. This allows them to deal with transport cheaply and efficiently. So, this option can also be costly and should, therefore, be used with ample forethought.