Freight shipping is the cornerstone of the commercial transport industry. It offers the best way to move commodities, consumer items, and other merchandise all over the world. With so many companies operating in this space, it can be challenging to identify the right partner.
But affordable freight shipping is one of the key elements of improving a business’s operational efficiency. Whether you’re moving freight by land or sea, sticking to a few golden rules will help you find the most efficient, quick, and affordable freight shipping option.
Identifying the Appropriate Freight Service
Freight shipping companies offer many types of services. You can determine what you need based on the size and volume of the cargo.
For example, you can choose LTL, FTL, or TL carriers to move your goods:
- LTL, or less-than-truckload, is a freight class service that may include distribution and storage or warehousing perks. It’s ideal for moving small merchandise quantities with multiple destinations on the supply chain.
- A freight class of FTL or full truckload is used by carriers that can move significantly larger and heavier cargo without returning to the same destination.
- TL or trailer road freight shipping companies can ship up to one or two containers or a single trailer load. But unlike FTL shipping, TL shipping can have drivers go to the destination multiple times.
- Intermodal freight shipping refers to the process of shipping goods using multiple means of transportation to reach remote areas, different countries, continents, etc.
Picking the Right Transport Method
Traditionally, freight shipping referred to transporting goods by sea. However, as the industry evolved, freight shipping started incorporating multiple means of transport, like road, air, and rail. Learning the difference between these is key to shipping freight easily and cheaply.
Very few businesses need to use air freight. Air freight as a transport method is a luxury, not a necessity. It’s one of the most expensive options and with severe limits on cargo capacity. And despite what many believe, air freight shipping is not infallible. Airport issues and flight delays can still affect logistics.
Moving cargo by train isn’t uncommon, but it’s highly industry-dependent.
While not as expensive as air freight, rail freight’s overall price per mile depends a lot on the destination and weight. Another reason why rail freight isn’t ideal, especially for domestic shipping, is that it often requires other modes of transport to complete a delivery to the nearest distribution center, depending on line availability. The more complex the process is, from loading to moving to unloading, the more expensive it gets.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the majority of freight cargo is moved by trucks. Trucks offer the cheapest and easiest way to move heavy cargo, whether its containers filled with shampoo or heavy mining equipment.
That’s also why flatbed trucks and massive trailers are in such high demand. Road freight transportation handles most continental U.S. shipments, intrastate shipping, and even some international freight transport. You can check a1autotransport.com for more guidance on choosing the best road freight services for domestic and international jobs.
Using trucks to move massive cargo over the border is possible and affordable when talking about neighboring countries or countries on the same continent. But intercontinental freight shipping often requires sea freight transportation.
With this method, shippers load the cargo onto massive ocean liners, put them in containers, and send them on their way. Naturally, road freight transportation is used to deliver the cargo to the port and pick it up at the destination.
Land or road freight shipping services are the cheapest when transporting goods between neighboring countries or within the same borders. Sea freight is the easiest and most affordable way to ship freight-level cargo overseas.
How to Lower Freight Shipping Costs
Naturally, you want to find the best freight shipping company to ensure your cargo’s safety. The best services often incur higher costs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great deal and even establish long-term partnerships.
Here are a few things to remember when shopping for deals:
- Get multiple quotes
- Be transparent
- Offer detailed cargo information
- Find the best route
- Check the shipper’s legitimacy and history
- Avoid periods of peak shipping activity
- Find a shipper with a vast network
- Don’t use expedited services unless mandatory
- Avoid paying for insurance coverage you don’t need
- Use open instead of enclosed trailers when possible
The best freight shipping experience is never about one thing. It’s always about addressing multiple issues and finding the best combination of services to meet your needs.
How to Simplify the Process
The quickest way to streamline freight shipping operations is to work with an experienced and dedicated shipper who is comfortable moving your type of cargo.
Firstly, partnering with the right carrier ensures more safety for your goods. A good carrier will have the proper equipment for loading and unloading procedures, good warehousing options, reliable staff, and the best vehicles to move your cargo.
Secondly, shipping freight, especially heavy or oversized cargo, may require tons of permits. Experienced shipping companies know what they need to transport your items, how to plot routes, and move things along while sticking to the desired timeframe.
Furthermore, clearing customs can be a nightmare for businesses that need to export or import cargo. Shippers can expedite the process because they know what documents are required on both sides of the border. In addition, they can pay fees on the customer’s behalf, arrange for temporary storage, etc.
Shipping Freight Easy and Affordable Comes Down to Having the Best Help
Freight shipping is more complex from a logistics standpoint because it can involve multiple stops on route to the final destination, international transport, multiple shipping methods, more paperwork, etc.
But it doesn’t mean it has to be a scary experience. Working with the right shipping company can help any business resolve distribution issues and meet customer and partner expectations and deadlines.
Identifying the best freight shipping vehicle and method based on the cargo specifics and destination is essential. Then, you can customize the shipping order to fit your budget while considering the risk versus reward outcome of various factors involved.