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What Are Specialized Freight Services?

What Are Specialized Freight Services?

Learn about specialized shipping services and what types of cargo may need them.

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Specialized freight services are defined as any cargo that can’t be packaged and placed inside a basic truck trailer, including products that fall under regulatory guidelines or have specific shipping requirements. That means your cargo might need specialized freight services in order to ship it safely and securely. So, what are specialized freight services and how do you know if you need them? We dive into the details below.

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While not all goods will require specialized freight services, many products do. Items that are fragile, oversized and certain types of equipment may need an additional layer of protection that specialized freight services can provide. Examples of items include:

  • Delicate electronics and devices: These include office equipment, medical devices and musical instruments, and anything sensitive to bumps, jolts, or knocks.
  • Fragile robotics and industrial equipment: Any complex machinery (sometimes oversized) with moving parts that require extra protection from jostling or pinging.
  • Commercial refrigeration and restaurant equipment: Large, bulky and heavy items that require extra padding and protection from damage and dents in transit.
  • Fixtures, furniture, and miscellaneous fragile goods: This can include retail store fixtures, hotel furniture, casino gaming equipment, exercise equipment, residential furniture, household goods—such as mirrors, glass, or pottery, and even precious antiques.
  • Military freight: Often military freight requires specific paperwork, processes, and pricing, such as special authorizations.
  • Motorcycles: Even though motorcycles look tough, they may require a fully enclosed ride, air-suspension trucking, tilt-free storage, and more to keep them protected in transit.

Types of Specialized Freight Services Available to You

Now that you know some examples of cargo that may require specialized freight services, it’s important to know what types of specialized freight services are available to you.

White Glove Service

This is the go-to for shippers who need it all and goes beyond the standard curbside pickup and delivery that carriers provide. Basically, everything is taken care of for you. White glove services generally include packaging, moving, loading, and unloading your cargo for you. It also includes unpacking your shipment and removing packaging materials.

Anyone shipping valuable cargo, fragile items, antiques, or furniture can benefit from adding white glove services. Your shipment will get the VIP treatment, and there will be less mess for you to handle once the packaging is removed. Who doesn’t like to be served tiny sandwiches from a silver platter? That’s what white glove services are like for your valuable cargo.

Expedited Freight Services

While there aren’t any guarantees in freight shipping, expedited freight services offer you the option to put your freight at the top of the priority list. That means that when capacity gets tight, or the weather gets bad, and shipments start getting backed up, your freight will remain a priority shipment and be less impacted by transit delays.

Expedited freight services are good to choose when urgent or time-sensitive cargo needs to be delivered quickly. Generally, trucks used in expedited shipping rarely stop during transit.

Oversize and Overlength Freight

Large, bulky, very heavy, oversize, or overlength freight shipments will require oversize freight specialized shipping services due to, you guessed it, their size! Heavy machinery, boats, automobiles, motorcycles, and commercial, industrial, or construction equipment will need special trucks to move them from one place to another. In certain instances, additional equipment, such as cranes, may be needed for unloading the oversized item from the truck.

General oversized freight dimensions are:

  • Exceeds 8 ft. 6 in. (2.59 m) in width.
  • Exceeds 13 ft. 6 in. (4.11 m) in height.
  • 34k to 80k pounds, depending on the number of axles.


The term overlength freight pertains only to shipments for which length is the only outstanding dimension. Pipe and lumber are examples of freight that can face an overlength limit. Carriers set their own limits on overlength freight; some set the limit at 96” whereas others set theirs at 144”.

For these types of shipments, you will need to go with full truckload shipping. In truckload shipping, your cargo requires full use of the trailer or requires special trailer equipment.

Blanket Wrap Freight

Fragile cargo or anything that could easily be damaged in transit may require blanket wrap freight services for added protection that occurs during normal loading, transit, and unloading. Blanket wrap freight services, aka pad wrap services, refers to the process of wrapping thick blankets around goods to cover and shield them.

Most commonly, blanket-wrapped cargo is transported on air ride suspension trailers, providing an extra shock-absorbing buffer and degree of care for delicate cargo.

Get Your Specialized Freight Services Right the First Time

Choosing the right shipping services may seem like an overwhelming task, especially when you have other things on your plate to do. FreightCenter has the know-how you need to get the right specialized shipping services for your cargo, from furniture and antique shipping to heavy machinery and hazardous materials.

FreightCenter has the tools and resources you need to get shipping! Just give us a call at (800) 716-7608 or get your instant, free online quote right here!

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