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What is Freight?

June 15, 2022 by Jailin Harris-Putulin

What is Freight?

The term freight can be defined as goods, items, or commodities weighing more than 150 lbs, requiring specialized transport methods. Shipping freight is transporting commodities, goods, and cargo in bulk via air, land, or sea/ocean. Common types of freight shipping over the road include truckload, less than truckload (LTL), and intermodal.

How Does Freight Shipping Work?

Shipping with freight consists of loading and unloading equipment such as docks, lift gates, large shipping trucks, etc. Packages shipped as freight should be in crates, pallets, barrels, or boxes. The more protection, the better! Freight is delivered “curbside” and is not brought to your door. If extra assistance is needed, it is available to request at booking.

Shipping Methods:

LTL (Less Than Truckload) – For shipments that are larger than a parcel but don’t fill a full truck, allowing shippers to only pay for the space their shipment occupies. By using capacity sharing, shipping LTL freight reduces costs for shippers (the most common method).

Full Truck Load – This involves the shipment of goods that require a full semi-trailer to transport and is often a cost-effective option for large shipments. This truck can be used to be filled as much as possible and then transported to your desired destination.

Intermodal – Transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation such as truck, train, boat, plane, etc. Intermodal shipping reduces cargo handling, improves security, reduces damage and loss, and allows freight to be transported faster. For example, if freight needs to be shipped from China to Austin, Texas, intermodal shipping would be used. The freight would be brought by a cargo vessel to the Port of L.A. to a drayage truck to be taken to a terminal where a long hauler truck will deliver the freight to the Austin Terminal.

Expedited – Allows urgent shipments to be delivered quickly, typically by truck or plane, often moving directly from pick up to delivery with few stops. Expedited shipping involves handling critical or time-sensitive loads; there are usually no accessorials on this type of shipping.

Prep & Pack

There are many options for packaging your freight in the most efficient way to keep it safe and undamaged. Let us help you find the choice that fits your situation best!

  • Professionally Packaged – Using a third-party company to professionally package your cargo will provide the most efficient packaging. (If purchasing insurance, professional packaging is often mandatory)

  • Palletized – Placing cargo on top of a pallet to consolidate the shipment, making it easier for the handling equipment to transport it

  • Barrels – Often recommended when shipping liquids or spillable items to prevent damage to other shipments

  • Crates – You can fill crates with products or large items for shipping

  • Protection – The use of bubble wrap, foam, packaging type, and any type of protection is highly recommended when shipping your payload.

What’s The Difference Between Freight and Parcel?

Freight and parcel are often mistaken due to them both being types of shipping. Here are some common misconceptions to give you a better understanding:

  • Freight is the shipment of large products and or large amounts of items, often more significant than 150 lbs. At the same time, the parcel is the shipment of one or many individually shipped packages weighing in at less than 150 lbs.

  • Freight delivery is curbside without moving assistance. Your package will not be brought up to you or brought inside unless booked at shipping. If you need those types of services you would want to learn more about white glove delivery. You can find more info about that here. On the other hand, a Parcel is brought to the mailbox or doorstep and often hand-delivered to you.

  • Freight uses larger trucks, causing restrictions on certain shipping areas such as areas with tricky turns, gates, small streets, etc. With parcels, smaller trucks deliver shipments making it easier for the driver to maneuver through limited access areas.

Why Ship with FreightCenter?

FreightCenter provides quick and efficient rates for your shipping needs. We are able to provide unmatched discounts and knowledge to provide you with a stress-free shipping experience. We provide you with 24/7 access to quotes and rates from our freight shipping partners, and an assigned agent is also available to answer your questions about all things shipping! Dependability and trust are valued greatly at FreightCenter, and we are always more than happy to help you with all your shipping needs. To contact us, click here.

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