Freight transportation service involves arranging for the safe, timely transport of cargo, products or other freight. It can be done domestically or internationally using ship, air, train or truck.
Commonly used in business to move large bulky goods that are too heavy or awkward for parcel shipping, freight is a major component of global supply chains. It is critical for the safe delivery of materials to consumers and businesses.
In the United States, there are more than 4 million miles of road, a railroad network covering 100,000 miles and liquid pipeline networks stretching another 1.4 million miles. Many airports and seaports also operate as transport hubs to move cargo between different modes of transportation.
Most freight moves through a combination of freight carriers, each offering their own specific service levels and rates. It is up to the shipper to select which method works best for their particular needs.
Shippers must consider the type of product they are shipping, as well as their location and timing. For example, if the product is sensitive to environmental conditions or is hazardous, a specialized carrier may be required.
A reliable freight transportation partner can save you money, time and stress. They can help you find the right contract carriers and negotiate competitive rates, streamline the process of tracking shipments and maintain consistent communications between you and your carrier.
When choosing a freight transportation service, consider the size and weight of your shipment as well as any special handling requirements that must be met. You will need to determine whether it is best to ship it full truckload (FTL), less than truckload (LTL) or in a parcel package.
LTL shipments are typically a lower price than FTL but require more space than parcel packages. This option is ideal for shipments between 150 and 15,000 pounds, including items that are too big or oddly shaped for parcel shipping.
For example, if you need to transport a car, the most cost-effective choice would be to use a freight trucking company to deliver the vehicle to your location. However, if you are shipping a heavy or expensive product, using an air freight carrier may be more beneficial as this can save you time and money.
Generally, air freight can be cheaper than other methods of shipping but it is more difficult to track and can take longer than other options. This is an especially important consideration if you are delivering goods to locations where time is limited or if you need your product to arrive on-time.
A common form of multimodal transportation, intermodal shipping uses containers to ship cargo between ships, trains and trucks. This reduces the time it takes to get goods from one destination to another and provides an additional level of protection against damage.
It can also be a more economical choice for small or fragile products, as well as perishable goods and goods that must be handled carefully. In addition, it can be an effective way to transport goods to remote areas without having to worry about transportation costs.