How to Select the Best Shipping Method for Your Freight

November 19, 2019 by Constantinos Garoufalidis
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With so many different ways to ship freight, how do you know which method is the best? Look no further, we’ve simplified the search for the right shipping method for your cargo. To help you make a better, more informed decision, we’ve created a short synopsis of the types of methods available.

Less than Truckload (LTL)

If your cargo is too big to be parcel (150 lbs. or more), but you don’t need an entire freight truck, LTL shipping is the way to go. It’s the most popular shipping method and for good reason; it’s the most economical way to transport freight. You only pay for the space you need. And LTL carriers calculate rates off dimensional weight and load capacity. Streamlined stowing on shared truck space with other freight loads means lower risks of damage and more timely deliveries. Sharing is caring!

Truckload (TL)

Is your cargo oversized or pretty heavy? TL shipping is ideal for getting your oversized or overweight cargo (5,000-10,000 lbs.) from point A to point B. Shipments that are unpackaged or may require refrigeration, climate control, flatbeds or other special accommodations are perfect for TL also. Cargo stays in one trailer so no need to deal with truck transfers or reloading of your shipment. That means a lower risk of damage and faster transit times.

Partial Truckload (PTL)

Partial Truckload is your best option when you have large cargo that is in between the average LTL shipment and a full truckload. These shipments are usually between 6-18 pallets and 8,000 lbs. or more. And the best part, freight class isn’t required.

Intermodal Rail Freight

Looking for the best kept secret in freight? Intermodal shipping combines the use of rail and trucks for freight shipping. Trucks take the freight from rail hub to final destination. It is an often overlooked, underrated shipping method in the industry. And, if your business is eco-minded, trains use less fuel. Meaning lower greenhouse gas emissions. Consolidate any size shipment all in one place on a flexible transit schedule.

Air Freight

Is your freight time-sensitive? This is the best way to move time-sensitive freight intercontinentally as air freight has the fastest transit times. With modern technology it’s easier to track your cargo through highly reliable air freight carriers during transit. Also, there is a lower chance that your cargo will get damaged. 

International Shipping

The world is a big place and if you need to move cargo across international borders – well, this is it. There are a few ways to handle your international freight – Ocean or Air.

Ocean Freight 

The most efficient way to ship internationally is to have your goods transported in a cargo container by ocean freight-liner. These are giant boats built to accommodate many containers. It doesn’t matter if you’re shipping an entire container or just a small portion of one. Non-conforming loads are not a problem with ocean shipping. International ocean freight services are all-encompassing and cost-effective for any shipper.

Air Freight (International)

Just as air freight is the fastest intercontinental shipping mode it is also the fastest international shipping mode. If your shipment is dense, meaning it has a small footprint that takes up minimum space but weighs more than 150 pounds, then air freight may be the best mode of transportation. Air freight’s transit times are unmatched and even offer expedited, overnight and specialty shipping options and accommodations.

Additional Freight Services

If your supply chain needs that extra boost, there are additional freight services out there to optimize your shipping game.

Expedited Freight

Expedited freight shipping is for an urgent shipment that must arrive by a certain date and time. Since expedited freight involves the handling of urgent or time-sensitive loads, there are usually no accessorials on this type of shipping. Predominately used by supply chains to meet the needs of customers, expedited freight moves as a priority above all other shipments. Trucks shipping expedited freight rarely stop along the way.

Air-Ride

If your shipment is delicate or has a high risk of damage, then a dedicated truck with air-ride suspension is the most preferred method of transportation which provides a softer ride than a standard freight truck. It’s also versatile on different types of terrain and helps with the overall well-being of the truck itself. Improved fuel economy and less wear and tear on the trailer makes air-ride suspension a friend to trucking companies. 

Guaranteed Delivery Freight Services

If your cargo requires it to be delivered on a specific date and time, then guaranteed delivery is your best option. Your supply chain gets stronger with this service knowing it has the flexibility to meet the demands of customers, especially during the busy shipping seasons.

We hope this helps to explain what type of shipping method would work best for you and we are always here to help answer any questions. Give us a call today or get started with your quote today.

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