There is a common misconception on the meaning of freight shipping. Some people think freight shipping is any movement of goods across large water bodies. This is a very narrow understanding of the magnitude of what freight shipping is. Freight shipping is the shipment of goods over 150lbs. This means that any other goods below 150 lbs or thereabouts are merely considered shipping, much like dropshipping.
Furthermore, the term ‘shipping’ includes transportation modes such as ships, air, truck or train, and load (Intermodal). In many cases, freight shipping involves combining two or three different modes of transportation, thereby making it the most complex form of cargo transportation.
Modes of Freight shipping
With the increasing complexity in supply chains, freight shipping has adopted several modes to cater to different cargo and supply routes. These freight shipping modes are:
- Full Truckload
Full truckload is the movement of bulk cargo either in the form of bulk loads or pallet loads. These cargoes are moved in an entire truck/semi-truck and typically involve over 15000 pounds in weight. This is the most common type of cargo for precious items where the owner is willing to part with extra sums to ensure their load does not mix with other client’s cargo.
- Less than Truckload
For shipments, less than 15000 pounds, the Less than truckload (LTL) is highly preferred. Such cargo typically starts from 150 pounds which is the size of more than a parcel, and therefore different cargo from separate clients can be loaded into one truck.
Intermodal involves a combination of rail and truck, although, in some instances, it also includes ships or airplanes, mainly when used over long distances and across continents. There are many advantages to combining various transportation models under intermodal transport.
As the name suggests, expedited freight is very time-sensitive and is reserved for certain emergency deliveries. Expedited freight typically utilizes air or truck, assuring the client that the goods will arrive as per the agreed time. In most cases, the clients and other entities interested in the cargo will track it from origin to destination.
- Partial truckload
A partial truckload is the most cost-sensitive form of freight transportation as it allows clients to const share on single truck transportation. Each client can have at least 5000 pounds of goods, allowing them to share the remaining space and tonnage allowance with another client.
How to make your freight shipping stress free
Freight shipping involves a lot of moving parts and regulations that may complicate matters for new transporters. There are some essential tools to consider when choosing a promising agent for your freight shipping, and in the event, you don’t need an agent. You need to know all the terminologies and basic information regarding freight shipping.
The first consideration is usually the cost of shipping. Prices differ depending on several factors such as distance covered, type of goods, freight dimension, packaging, etc. Someone might cut costs by transporting via pallets, and another might save certain costs by transporting via shipping containers. A freight class calculator will come in handy in all these considerations when determining which services, agents, or mode of transportation to use.
Important freight shipping advice to consider
One rarely mentioned risk is when transporting hazmat (Hazardous materials). Though there are regulations set on this, new transporters may not understand all the risks. Therefore, it is essential to consider a Hazmat consultant’s services before undertaking such a significant risk.
In seconds, it is essential to avoid price adjustments during the freight process. Such adjustments reduce the overall profitability of a venture. Some common price adjustment areas are Oversize fee, lift gate fee, bill of lading changes, residential payments, and reclass fees. Having predictable costs will go a long way in ensuring your business remains afloat despite changing external factors.
It is essential to choose the best carrier with minimal risk to their business. Different pages have different route advantages, and therefore, proper research is necessary before selecting a carrier. However, online carriers can serve an essential role in determining costs, risks, modes of freight, and overall workability around regulations and processes depending on the goods for transport.
Therefore, whether you decide to choose pellets, intermodal containers, or any other form of packaging, it is essential to properly communicate your specific needs to find a customized solution specifically for your needs.
In essence, the more you know about the goods to be transported, the better the chances of choosing the perfect freight solution. This saves on cost, time, and efficiency, giving you enough leeway to mitigate unforeseen risks such as terrorism, piracy, adverse weather conditions, and war. Overall, freight shipping has grown to become the most reliable means of cargo transportation. With further technological improvement, it can become even better from a security, efficiency, and regulatory standpoint.