What are the Different Types of Freight?

In today’s modern supply chain, a variety of flexible freight solutions exist to meet the unique business needs of organizations around the world. Depending on your products, suppliers, and trade patterns, you may need one, or a combination of freight options to get your shipments where they need to go. With the help of professional logistics experts, you can take advantage of these efficient trade solutions to get your goods anywhere in the world.

Air Freight Shipping: Air Freight and Cargo

Air freight shipping involves the transportation of goods by charter or commercial air carriers. Along with being the fastest way to move products around the world, which is ideal for time-critical cargo, this form of shipping allows goods to be delivered to a wide range of locations, both nationally and internationally.

Because their shipping times are quite short, air freight services often have low insurance premiums. Additionally, since air freight travels through highly-secured airports, this freight option offers enhanced security.

Ocean freight shipping: Sea Cargo

Sea freight shipping uses ocean carriers to transport goods packed in large standardize size cargo containers. Generally, cargo containers are picked up by shipping vessels at major ports around the world and travel through specific freight lanes to reach their target destination. 

Although ocean freight shipping takes longer than air freight shipping, it’s often recommended for heavy and bulky shipments because it’s usually less expensive. While air freight shipping factors weight into the total cost, ocean freight shipping charges only by container. In general, a full container (standard size 20’ or 40’x 40’) is charged a single flat rate, while less than container loads (LCL) are charged by cubic meters. If you go the LCL route, your goods will be packed with other shipments in the same container.

Ground Transportation: Land Freight

Ground shipping involves the movement of goods by railway or by truck. While this type of shipping can be used on its own, it is often used in combination with air freight or ocean freight services to move cargo before or after the airport or seaport. When multiple shipping methods are used, it is referred to as intermodal freight transport. Ground transportation services can take cargo directly from the good’s origin to its required destination, which is often referred to as door-to-door shipping. Ground shipping options include:

Rail freight shipping

Freight train shipping uses extensive railway systems to ship cargo to its intended destination. A flexible option that is usually cheaper and more environmentally friendly than other options, railway shipping can carry standard size cargo containers, bulk commodities, vehicles, and other specialized options.

Less Than Truck Load Shipping (LTL)

LTL shipping is a great option for customers who have smaller loads to ship because this method combines shipments from several customers into one truck trailer. Customers using this method pay for the portion their freight takes up in a standard trailer.

Full Truckload Freight Shipping (FTL)

FTL is when one customer uses up the entire space in a standard truck trailer to carry their goods to a destination. Some customers may also put a partial load on its own in one truckload. This option is generally quicker than LTL because it’s only used by one customer for one destination.

You don’t have to figure out the right freight option to use on your own. Carson International’s freight experts can help you determine the best option for your supply chain demands. Get a quote for free.